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Getting Into the Green

Getting Into the Green

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March 6, 2008

(Pg. 1 of 2) 

A look at how to tackle the projects that will yield the most beneficial results for your wallet and your planet 

Owning a home can be a full-time job.  From plumbing to roofing to lawn care, it's always something, especially if you happen to inhabit an older home.  We put a lot of time and money into our homes, and we envision our hard work and hard earned dollars paying off. 

One logical way to add value is to invest in remodeling projects that will have the most impact on your home's worth when it comes time for resale.  The newest projects to the home remodeling scene is green remodeling, an approach you can take to help you put your good where it will do the most.  "Green" remodeling and building has evolved into a buzz word lately and for good reason, the return on investment pays off for homeowners in many ways.  Green remodeling projects allow homeowners to add value to their homes, recoup some of their remodeling costs in the form of energy savings and reduce resource consumption. 

Adding Value by Adding Green

One of the biggest hurdles homeowners face when approaching the idea of green remodeling projects is the initial investment.  Many green building materials and projects can be purchased at a discount and frequently can come with a tax incentive.  The important thing to remember about green remodeling is that, like your home itself, your remodeling projects are a long term investment and that's where green approaches have paid off for homeowners. 

By nature, green remodeling materials are more durable and sustainable, leading to longer product lifespan and reduced maintenance. Green remodeling projects are also generally cheaper to maintain, can help you save money, again helping to offset that initial expenditure. 

There are many inexpensive ways to start when considering your green remodeling project.  Like any budget conscious home remodel, evaluate where you can do the most good with the least amount of effort:

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Some of the most environmentally offensive rooms in your home include the kitchen and bathroom.  These are big hitters in traditional remodeling projects because of their ability to make or break potential sales.  Kitchen contractors know better than anyone the high water consumption perpetrated by kitchens everywhere.  Your appliances are generally to blame.  Dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, all of them are not so secretly sucking energy, and therefore money, from your wallet.  This is where consulting kitchen contractors can be very handy.  You can look around the web to access specialty green kitchen contractors in your area who can help you evaluate how best to approach refitting your kitchen with more energy efficient appliances. 

If you're looking for an even cheaper place to start going green, a small place that can yield huge results is your light fixtures.  Making the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs means you can start saving immediately.  These energy conscious lighting innovations use less electricity and last longer than incandescent bulbs. If you'd like to make an even bigger impact on your electric bill seek out a qualified window contractor who can install a skylight for you.  Skylights can not only make a room feel more open, they also translate into energy savings by allowing you to take advantage of natural light more frequently. 

PART TWO: Learn Easy Ways to Green Your Kitchen and Bathroom>>

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