remodeling

8 Tips to Make Your Remodel More Energy-Efficient and Your Home Healthier

January 2013 Blog 2

As long as you’re remodeling, why not cut your utility bills and make your home a bit healthier too?
Here are eight tips that can help save energy and create a healthier environment inside your home.

Check for water intrusion, condensation and excess moisture before you begin the project.
Excess moisture encourages mold growth. Fixing those issues during remodeling can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Use the least amount of framing allowed by your building code when adding walls
Not only will you have to pay for less lumber, the contractor will have more room to put insulation in your walls, making your home more energy-efficient.

Resist the urge to splurge on multiple showerheads
Opt for a single low-flow showerhead rather than installing a car wash-style plethora of showerheads.

Add new HVAC ducts to parts of your home that are heated and cooled
Try not to place ducts in a space with unconditioned air (like the attic). If that’s not possible, insulate the ducts. Have an HVAC diagnostician analyze your system to make sure it’s sized correctly and balanced to properly exchange old and new air.

Insulate around recessed lights that protrude into uninsulated attic spaces
These are major sources of air leaks.

If you’re wasting water, you’re wasting energy
Look at high-efficiency or solar water heaters, and insulate your water pipes. If you want hot water faster, move the water heater closer to the faucet or install demand pumps to drive hot water to the fixture.

Install wall-mounted efficiency toggle switch plates
Install wall-mounted efficiency toggle switch plates to make it easy to cut off the power to electronics you’re not using such as your television and computer.

Install a humidistat that automatically turns on the bathroom fan
Reducing bathroom moisture reduces the chances that you’ll have mold.

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Should you stay or should you go?

Whether the initial love has faded or your home just isn’t working for you and your family anymore, deciding between selling your home and remodeling can sometimes be difficult. 

So what you should consider, before making the decision, is — will you be more satisfied with the end result than you are with your home now?

What is the current condition of your home?

If part of the reason your home isn’t working for you or your family anymore is that several areas of the home need updating or improving, then you may want to reconsider selling your home. Often an outdated kitchen and bathroom can have a considerable effect on the resale value of your home, and a renovation of these areas may be necessary anyway to get the maximum profit from your home.

What is it you need from your home?

If you are thinking of selling your home because its current size or the size of your property is no longer working for you, or if the area in which the house is located no longer serves the needs of your family, then selling your home is likely the best choice versus a remodel. Renovations that add additional rooms can be a huge cost and inconvenience, and in most cases will not give you a good return for your investment.

What is your financial situation?

Another thing you need to consider before deciding whether to sell or remodel is your financial situation as well as the financial standing of your home. If the recent downfall in the housing market has made the value of your home less than the outstanding balance of your mortgage, you will definitely not want to sell. Also, if you are thinking of a remodel, you’ll want to be sure it will not put a financial burden on you or your family.

Overall, deciding on whether to sell or remodel depends on a number of factors, and contacting your local Realtor® is always a great way to get the best advice for your particular situation.