How to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Bart Beasley Charleston eco-friendly home

Reducing your carbon footprint, while extremely beneficial to the world around you, can be a difficult task, especially when doing so in the process of remodeling your home. Aside from incorporating temperature-regulating walls or solar panels, there are a number of cost-effective strategies you can implement in achieving a truly green home.

Energy-efficient appliances

Refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners certified by Energy Star have proven they meet high levels of energy efficiency. When the need to replace any of these appliances arrives, keep your eye open for that blue label. Not only do these certified products use much less energy, thus reducing their impacts on the environment, but they can drastically decrease your monthly bills as well. Similarly, LED light bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps save a great amount of energy, and last much longer than standard, traditional bulbs.

Programmable thermostats

When the house is empty during the day or all of its residents are asleep, leaving the thermostat on the same temperature throughout these times can dramatically hike up your energy bill. While it may seem easy to simply turn off the air conditioning or heat when nobody’s home, it’s an action that is commonly forgot. Installing programmable thermostats allows you to regulate the temperature of your home without even thinking. By presetting the thermostat to change to specific temperatures throughout the day, you no longer have to worry forgetting to turn the AC or heat off before leaving your home.

Reduced water use

Leaving a sink or shower running for longer than anticipated is a surefire way to increase your monthly payments, as well as waste a decent amount that could otherwise be used for better purposes. An easy solution aside from being mindful when using water is installing low-flow shower heads, or washing your clothes in cold water and allowing them to air-dry. Additionally, faucet aerators create a combination of water and airflow, reducing the amount of water used as well as releasing a smooth, splash-free stream.

Indoor plants

Live plants around your home promote oxygen output, and can act as natural air filters, in addition to providing an aesthetically pleasing environment. Some plants can even absorb harmful toxins in the air, and with the constant dirtying of carpets, couches, or pollutants emitted from chemical products, these can be extremely beneficial. Some of the best indoor greens you can buy include English ivy, aloe plants, a rubber tree, or bamboo palm.

Regardless of how you wish to do your part in environmental conservation, the concept as a whole is important in today’s world, and some of the simplest solutions involve the inner workings of your own home. Consider the above strategies if you wish to do so. An eco-friendly home is not only helping the world around us, but providing a financially sustainable investment that offers many long-term benefits.

How to Build on a Budget

Bart Beasley building on a budget

The process of building your own home can be a fun, yet challenging task. With all the steps involved, it’s no surprise that prices can begin to rise, resulting in very high expenses. Research the industry. Ask questions regarding construction trends, common mistakes, and more to those with experience in this field. Planning ahead is key in order to ease some of the stress that comes with being your own construction manager, as well as help properly budget that which you expect to spend.

Hire a Structural Engineer

While this may seem counterintuitive when attempting to save money, having a professional ensure regulations and safety in the structure of your home is very important. A structural engineer can provide information on factors you may otherwise miss like specific elements that provide stability, environmental concerns, and potentially hidden expenses.

Examine Location

Certain areas may be more expensive to build homes in than others. Once you’ve chosen a location, understand the property’s boundaries, and try not to exceed them, as bigger generally means more expensive.

Eco-Friendly Energy

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that over $19 billion was saved by Americans who employed energy saving measures. This can include things like rechargeable batteries, solar powered products, or the Gota Dishwasher.

Consider Prefabricated Homes

Depending on how large your desired home will be, this isn’t always the cheapest option. However, company-built prefabricated homes can already come with the benefits of energy efficient rooms, while cutting your work time in half.

Stay Organized

Setting a budget beforehand crucial. Unexpected hiccups are bound to happen, and this can lead to additional costs that you hadn’t planned for. Map out how much you plan to spend on specific items, and leave a little room for error.

In addition to organizing your finances, be sure to have a predetermined plan as to the layout of your home. Know where certain pieces of furniture will go and how big you want specific rooms. Changing your mind in the middle of the process can greatly extend your projected time of completion, which, in turn, can lead to even more expenses.

If you’re in the market for a new home, and building said home is the route you wish to take, managing your finances is vital. Though they are just a few of many, consider the above suggestions in order to build the home of your dreams, and not falter when prices begin to rise.