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Eco-Friendly Materials when Remodeling

Eco-Friendly Materials when Remodeling

Eco-friendly and sustainable building products are more than just a trend or an overuse of a couple of buzzwords. If you break down the meanings of these terms, implementing their use seems most logical. Eco-friendly is simply something that is not harmful to the environment, and sustainable means to use materials that are able to be maintained or regenerated and not depleted through their use. Today’s eco-friendly and sustainable products and building practices are accessible and bear great quality. When you’re remodeling, we recommend these eco-friendly materials.

Advanced Framing

Photo courtesy of Green Building Advisor

While this one isn’t visible on the surface, it can have a great impact on the overall sustainability and eco-friendliness of your home. This advanced technique is employed by green builders and meets building codes while improving the energy efficiency of your home. Using less wood in the framing process also means using less materials and reducing your labor costs – it’s a win all around. Green Building Advisor has tips on this technique as well as many others.

Reclaimed Wood

Photo courtesy of Mountain Lumber Co.

Reclaimed is a fancy term for recycled and when it comes to wood, it’s an excellent tactic. No new trees need be cut down when you’re using reclaimed wood. You may not achieve any cost savings with reclaimed wood, but the cost will determine the condition of the wood.  The more work that needs to be done to make it look great, the greater the cost. To ensure a truly green floor, though, you’ll want to avoid volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde often found in flooring adhesive. Mountain Lumber Company is a good example of a company with a great deal of history and experience leading the reclaimed movement.

Recycled Glass Countertops

Photo courtesy of Vetrazzo

Available in different varieties including a modern version of terrazzo with recycled glass cast into a concrete slab, recycled glass countertops have the rich appeal of granite, while keeping your home eco-friendly. While there are several creators of these countertops and surfaces, one of our favorites is Vetrazzo. They’ve been creating their products since 1996 and use a proprietary formula combining recycled glass with a binder of additives, pigments and other recycled materials.

Low-E Coated Windows

Photo courtesy of Bowen Windows

More complicated than it sounds, the basic point of having windows with a Low-E coating, is to keep harmful ultraviolet light out of your home while letting in safe light; and, keeping cool air inside your home (or warm air when you want it). Windows are a lot more complicated than they used to be, but that’s a fact from which we all benefit in the name of energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. Available through a variety of manufacturers and vendors, Low-E coated windows are a must for an energy efficient home. Bowen Windows is a great example of a vendor of these windows and their website is an exhaustive resource.

So what steps will you take and what materials will you use during your remodel to make your home more eco-friendly? Or, perhaps you’ve already done it and you can share some tips.

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Juliette Hohnen

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