In the last 10 years, contractors built almost 7 million new homes. Contractors built many of those homes with the environment in mind.
Eco-friendly construction is one of the biggest trends in the industry. Why? Because it saves the environment and saves homeowners money.
For most homeowners, creating the house of their dreams with green construction methods can feel a bit confusing. There are so many options and methods to use, how can you pick just a few to incorporate into your design?
Here are a few proven tips to help you create your dream house without having to sacrifice your eco-conscious lifestyle.
- Choose a Smaller Footprint
The best way to build an eco-friendly house is to reduce the size of the home you build. The smaller the footprint is, the fewer building materials your contractor will need to build the house. In the end, the smaller square footage will also help you heat and cool your home more efficiently.
The smaller the space is, the less your HVAC system has to work to heat or cool your home. Over time, this will keep your electric bills lower and reduces your carbon footprint month after month.
- Pick the Right Roofing Materials
Believe it or not, your choice in roofing materials can make a huge difference in your home’s energy efficiency. Instead of choosing the cheapest materials on the market, look for ones that are either produced sustainably or will help you keep your energy costs as low as possible.
The best place to start is by expressing your concerns with your contractor or green roof construction professional. They’ll be able to help you find the right roofing materials for your new home.
Some of the most efficient and environmentally friendly options are metal roofing, recycled asphalt shingles, and natural wood shingles. These can be expensive, so make sure you stick with your budget before committing to a specific roof.
- Invest in Solar Panels
The average homeowner spends more than $104 per month on their electric bill alone. Though investing in energy-efficient appliances is always a good idea, it’s not enough to keep your bill low.
Instead, invest in solar panels and integrate the system into your new home. The solar panels will generate electricity to power your appliances when the sun is high in the sky. Once the sun goes down, you have two ways to get steady power: you can either rely on battery storage to provide you with the electricity you need or use traditional electricity from your utility provider.
- Install Smart Plumbing Systems
Water usage is a huge drain on the environment and the fixtures you choose can add to that problem. Instead of going with standard fixtures, look for water-saving options.
Low-flow toilets, showerheads, sinks, and on-demand water heaters are all great options to help you keep your water usage low. Even better, most of them are ultra-affordable and priced comparably to regular-water-use models.
You can also incorporate a water catchment system around your gutters to help you save on landscape watering costs. Remember, the more water you use to keep your plants happy, the higher your water bill will be each month.
- Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Windows
Natural light is the best and most eco-friendly way to keep your home bright and open. However, the more windows you have, the more the outside temperatures can influence your home’s climate control.
Whenever possible, incorporate eco-friendly windows into your green home construction strategy. At a minimum, look for double-pane windows that can block drafts and keep your heating and cooling indoors where it belongs.
- Prioritize Quality in Every Fixture
Ultimately, the more trash your home generates, the less green the property will be. If you’re constantly having to replace fixtures with new models, you’re contributing to overcrowded landfills.
Try to invest in quality fixtures that will last for decades from the very beginning. This way, you won’t have to worry about replacing large appliances and fixtures often and can keep waste out of landfills more easily. Even better, you’ll end up saving money in the long run!
- Make Use of Passive Heating
Believe it or not, you can rely on the sun to heat your home as long as you incorporate passive heating into your green construction plans. Meet with your contractor to discuss your passive heating options before you break ground on your home.
Adding a wall of windows to the south-facing side of your house can make it easier to keep your property warm in the winter. Keep in mind that it can change the look and feel of your floorplan.
If you’re not comfortable with adding more windows to your home, that’s okay. There are other eco-friendly options like geothermal heating or ductless mini-splits.
- Landscape the Right Way
Though landscaping isn’t the focus of most construction projects, it plays a major role in the way your home looks. Adding xeriscape designs and hardscape elements can help you keep your water bills low. Just make sure to think about the types of materials you use.
Look for natural stones and green concrete to incorporate into your landscape design. These will help keep your yard looking great without taking a toll on the environment.
If you’re adding plants to the design, make sure you’re using species that thrive in your area with minimal water. By choosing native plants, you’ll also decrease the amount of work you have to do in your yard each week.
See the Benefits of Green Construction
If you’re building a home for yourself and your family, don’t settle for standard construction. Instead, incorporate these great green construction tips into your design and see the benefits for yourself.
Once you’re moved in and settled, you’ll have lower energy bills for decades to come. As long as you invest in quality fixtures and eco-conscious building materials, you’ll be in good shape.
Looking for more insight into creating the home of your dreams? Check out our latest posts for more helpful tips and tricks.