Renovations and additions are always done in order to improve the liveability and sustainability of your home. It should be done with careful planning and thoughtful design and not in a spur of a moment.
Renovations can be big like adding an extra room, remodelling the existing layout etc. or small like changing the paintings, moving the furniture or probably throwing in some new rugs or cushions. Whatever it is, big or small, it increases the value of your house not in monetary terms always. Sometimes, it is just to increase the content quotient of the inhabitants. You can add significant value to a property through relatively minor changes if you choose the kind of renovations carefully. Carrying out unnecessary work or getting it done without any planning and research can sometimes incur huge expenses while adding little value or no value.
There are a lot of articles on renovation available on the internet that tells you how to improve the sale value of your house or how to make your home aesthetically more appealing. Let’s now focus on those aspects of renovation, which can improve the environmental performance of your home without raising the need for any structural changes.
- Windows and Glazing:If you are staying in a cool place install heavy drapes touching the floor and the walls on each side. This helps in preventing convective heat losses. Use high-performance units for glazing according to the climate of the place. You can get polycarbonate films with magnetic attachments. These can be used in winters and can be removed in summers to be used again when climate turns cold.
- Insulation: The value that insulation adds to your home cannot be overstated. Not having insulation today, in fact, creates a perception of unhealthy home. Seal the openings and replace insulations over them. Use environment-friendly LED lights. Refrain from using halogen downlights.
- Energy Efficiency:Install an active solar heating system. If you are living in a cool place, consider removing carpet and replacing it with polished concrete spaces as these polished surfaces are known to soak up the heat of sunlight. Prune those trees that block the solar access to north facing glass of your home. This will also improve the natural lighting in the house, thereby reducing the need to use artificial light during daytime. These minor changes will also help you retain some warmth of the sun. Using highest energy rating appliances will bring down your energy bills, so replace the old ones with the highly rated ones. You can also install solar panels on the rooftop and use that solar energy for geysers and lighting. Making use of solar energy will not only reduce your energy bills, but also will make you feel good since you will reduce your carbon footprints.
- Water Efficiency: Renovations can be done to improve water efficiency as well. Water is scarce and we need to preserve every possible drop so that it lasts long. Install flow restrictors on taps. This ensures that less water flows in hand basins, sinks etc. Get rain harvesting system installed in your home and give your contribution towards recharging ground water. Plant native trees; this reduces water consumption because they are adapted to the climatic conditions of the surrounding geography. Use grey water for plants and treated water for the toilets. Make provisions for that.
- Renovating Kitchen: Kitchen is an integral part of a home. Let us see how we can renovate it to aid the environment. Never place the refrigerator close to heat source as it will lead to it using more power to maintain the coolness. Again replace your old appliances with energy efficient ones. Make provisions for recycling and composting. Don’t close or obstruct the window as it helps in ventilation. This, in turn, helps in reducing the mould and mildew.
- Painting the House: Painting the house changes the overall look and feel drastically. Try using low or no emission paints. Place some house plants that are known for their properties to absorb toxins and volatile organic compounds.
- 7. Renovating Bathroom: Again replace your old fittings with highest star ratings. Use water saving showers and taps. Make optimum use of space by adding cupboards and clamps.
We can always change the décor of the house by making optimum and judicious use of accessories, redesigning the furniture layout, adding a gallery wall with family photos etc. Apart from doing all these, which adds to the aesthetic value, we should consider renovating our homes keeping the environment performance in mind too.