Home is where you tend to have the most influence. So when your family wants to make a positive impact on the environment it makes sense to start at home. There are all sorts of different Northern Virginia home improvement projects that will help your family go green – ranging in scale from small to large and everywhere in between. Choose an area to focus on and put these positive changes into effect.
Upgrading the plumbing fixtures in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry area is an excellent way to save water. Low flow toilets and water saving taps, faucets and showerheads are all fairly inexpensive to install and over time these upgrades may save you more than the initial cost.
Consider adding pipe wrap to your copper plumbing to cut down on your water heater’s energy requirements. Some of these simple green home improvement projects can be done yourself, but any major replacements or upgrades should be handled by a general contractor or plumbing firm.
New Windows and Doors
Perhaps one of the most effective renovation projects homeowners can do is window and/or door replacement. These areas of your home are some of the main culprits for heat loss (and wasted energy as a result). Upgrades include double or triple paned glass, low E coatings and argon-filled windows that will provide an effective barrier against heat loss all year round.
New doors are also helpful and will provide more security as well as lowering your energy bills. Choose environmentally friendly materials for the frames – including low maintenance vinyl, made from a recyclable product or charming timber, made from a renewable resource.
Take a look at your kitchen and living space. If your traditional flooring is looking worn and tired the best replacements are eco friendly products like bamboo (incredibly strong), cork (durable and dependable) and even salvaged wood flooring (beautiful and completely recycled). Carpet can also be installed, although you should ask about the adhesives used and be sure the off-gases are not harmful to your family.
There are plenty of low maintenance tiles to choose from as well, although these need to be installed by a professional in order to obtain the most durable and attractive finish.
Insulation and Siding
Your heating and cooling bills are the most obvious marker of how green your home is. If the usage is high take steps to lower it (and save money) with new siding and beefed up insulation. Your original wood or aluminum siding may have gaps and holes that are stealing hot air (in winter) and cool air (in summer) from the inside of your home, increasing your energy usage and utility bills. By replacing the siding with attractive, professionally installed vinyl siding you can look forward to less drafts and a better insulated home.
Attic and wall insulation can also be added during a roofing or siding renovation. This will make a significant difference in the comfort level of your home, as well as your heating and cooling bills. Talk to an experienced general contracting firm about doing a combination renovation to be sure that your house is well insulated and sealed up against heat loss.
From minor plumbing upgrades through to window replacements and siding renovations, there are plenty of Northern Virginia home improvement projects that will allow your family to go green. Each of these will offer savings over time as well as reduce your carbon footprint or encourage water conservation. Little steps or major changes, every move makes a difference and shows your family’s commitment to the planet.