Whether building from scratch or renovating parts of an existing home many home owners and buyers are looking for greener options in their living spaces than ever before. While most home owners are well aware of the benefits of buying energy efficient appliances, there are some interesting other ways that you can build or renovate with a green focus that you might not have thought of.
Steel framing a home is one way to make your residence greener that many people don’t think about because the studs in your walls are hidden from view. Steel framing is ecologically friendly because steel is such a recyclable material; most of the steel used to make steel framing is recycled from old cars. Steel framework is safe against rotting, pests, earthquakes, and won’t twist, warp or crack like wood framing can.
Another type of eco-friendly building material that might strike you as unusual is natural fibre insulation. Natural fibre insulation can be made from paper or cotton fibres and uses recycled post-consumer paper or post-industrial fabrics respectively. In fact, much of cotton fibre insulation is made from recycled denim. Both of these kinds of insulation are impregnated with a natural fire retardant that also protects it from mold, mildew, and pests. Neither the cellulose or cotton fibre insulation is irritating to the skin, so installation is easier and safer than standard types of insulation.
While less surprising than steel framing or natural fibre insulation, another really good addition to your new home or renovation is eco-friendly flooring. While some types of wood flooring can be considered eco-friendly, there are lots of other options to consider as well. Reclaimed wood floors can be a good option, as no new trees need to be cut down to make them and they give a real rustic flair to a home. Other popular types of green floorings are: ceramic tile, linoleum, cork, and bamboo. Each different type has its own pros and cons but all share one important trait; they’re all smooth floors that do not trap dust, pet dander, or pollution in them to give off later. Many families that have members with allergies prefer a smooth floor over carpeting because of the vastly reduced amount of dust that is found in a house with no carpets.
Whatever options you choose for your new home or your renovation project, be sure to work with a contractor who has experience with the type of materials that you want to use for best results.
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