Maybe you bought your home with the intent to enhance it with (more) green features yourself. You may have bought your home well before green initiatives became available and may be considering upgrading your home. Below we compiled some thing you can do when you are renovating green!
Including green features in your home upgrades may give you more cost upfront, but in the end you will have the advantage of lower utility bills, possible fewer allergies and/or better overall health. With the green trend clearly evolving in today’s world, you will also end up adding market resale value to your home. Here is a tip; keep some utility bills before you do the upgrades, so you can compare them later on for yourself and for potential buyers. Overall conclusion: renovating green will most often result in positive returns.
There are three levels of upgrades you can make to your current home:
Renovating green; Retrofitting
Retrofitting refers to lower-level upgrading to improve energy efficiency and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), conserving resources, and meeting other green goals. Retrofitting options include:
- Programmable thermostats
- Lighting controls such as timers, dimmers, and occupancy sensors
- Hot water heater jackets
- ENERGY STAR appliances
- Water filters on faucets
- Low-flow faucets
- Retrofit kits for wood-burning fireplaces
- Duct sealing
- Weather-stripping and caulking
- Rain barrels
Renovating green; Remodeling
Remodeling refers to higher-level options that change the appearance of the home and have a greater impact on energy efficiency, IAQ, and resource conservation. Remodeling options include:
- High efficiency heating and cooling system
- Whole-house fan
- Installation of recycled-content flooring
- On-demand hot water heater
- Painting with no-VOC paints
- ENERGY STAR windows and skylights
- Formaldehyde-free, high R-value insulation
- Landscaping with indigenous plants
- Planting shade trees following passive design principles
Renovating green; Renovating
Renovating refers to the installation of advanced systems, in addition to the retrofitting and remodeling options that substantially change the performance of the home. Renovating options include:
- High efficiency toilets
- Reflective roof
- Energy improvements within walls
- Radiant floor heating
- Photovoltaic system
- Solar water heating
- Home addition that utilizes day lighting
- Other passive design principles
Each level of upgrades will come with certain costs and benefits, and home owners will value some features or options over others. At this stage, we as Green Realtors are here to help you understand how your upgrades will reflect on the real estate market and the home value. You do not have to consider selling your home to contact us regarding these matters. We will answer your questions and help you evaluate the upgrades you are considering in relation to the Calgary real estate market.
Besides writing about renovating green, we also have post about selling green and buying green.
Another good source about green properties is the CMHC.