Homeowners who go “green” in their remodeling efforts will often see more green in their wallets.
Bamboo and cork flooring are popular flooring options because the source material has the ability to regenerate quickly. Hardwood flooring is another renewable resource, with many eco-conscious remodeling companies only using recycled hardwood or wood certified from the Forest Stewardship Council.
“I’m a big fan of hardwood floors,” said Debbie Reynolds of Reynolds Home Builders in Tallahassee, Fla.
“They stay down, they’re beautiful and they last forever. I recommend people use hardwood versus laminate. You can’t always match laminate (if there’s damage) and you wind up throwing them away.”
Sealing sources of air leaks, adding insulation and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, water heaters, low-emissivity glass for windows and doors will improve the efficiency of a home, making it more comfortable and reducing energy use.
There are many designations for service providers and the products they sell. For products, look for the Green Seal designation and Energy Star ratings for appliances and heating and cooling systems.
If you do a project with certified professionals and products, consider having your home certified based on the rating system of the National Green Building Standard. Some utilities offer rebates and incentives for various levels of certification.
And if you sell your home, you might see an additional return on your investment.