10 Tips for Remodeling “Green”

Exterior-resize-2At Gryphon Builders we have a passion for Houston home remodeling, particularly “green” remodeling but we realize not all homeowners understand what it means or how to do it. There is no denying the importance of doing all we can to impact our environment in a positive way.

The topic of green remodeling and energy efficient building practices has been around for a long time. These 10 tips will help get you past the hype and on your way to “living green.”

1. Start with an existing house. If you want to go green all the way choose to remodel instead of building new. By remodeling, you are creating less waste and using less energy.

2. Be mindful of scale. A well-designed space does not need to be huge to serve your needs. With good/green design you can remodel your existing home to function better and be more beautiful.

3. Think about the future. When improving a home, you should realize you are making a lifestyle investment with the objective of improving the aesthetics and your daily routines for as long as you are in the home.

Green Remodel” = sustainability, the capacity to endure; spaces and systems that remain diverse and productive over time, or long-lived and healthy.

4. Manage light and heat. Remodel your home to take advantage of the sun when you want it and keep it out when you don’t. Adding reflective roof coatings, installing tubular skylights and creating thermal mass are just a few ways to work with the sun.

5. Waste not, want not. Construction and demolition account for roughly a third of all residential and commercial waste, but the majority can be recycled. If you can’t find a use for your construction waste onsite, donate it to an organization like Habitat for Humanity.

6. Watch what you breathe. You should use low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sealers and caulks. Look for products that don’t contain formaldehyde.

Baths and kitchens must have good exhaust fans to reduce carcinogens in the air (mainly in the kitchen) and moisture that can lead to mold (necessary in both the kitchen and bath).

7. Take advantage of incentives. Utilities and the government offer incentives, often in the form of a substantial credit toward the purchase of high-efficiency equipment.

8. Buy local. A green product isn’t so green when it has to be shipped across the world to your house. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that makes for hard, beautiful floors, but if your bamboo floor was shipped from China, a greener option may have been wood floors from your home state.

9. Salvage, salvage, salvage. If you think creatively and leave yourself enough time for the search, you can find the right materials for many aspects of your remodel without buying new. And don’t stereotype salvaged pieces either, they can be used in most home design styles.

10. Make it beautiful. A space that is well designed and well executed with quality materials is much less likely to become “dated” but rather it becomes “timeless.” This doesn’t mean being conservative or stifling your own taste. Something that takes your breath away has the best chance of survival, and the goal of a green remodel is to create something that lasts.

Much has been written about the advantages of, as well as the simple solutions for “getting on board” with the green building movement. Green home remodeling Houston doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to work with a builder that is knowledgeable about green products and systems. If you are looking to do a green remodel, your search will undoubtedly lead you to the Houston industry leader, Gryphon Builders. Our company remodeled the Nation’s First Certified Green Home with an Addition right here in Houston. If you would like to put our extensive experience to work for you, please contact Allen Griffin at (281) 236-8043 – or email gryphoninterests@gmail.com.

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