4 Sustainable Home Upgrades That Will Stand the Test of Time
When renovating a property, you don’t want to have to do it all again in a short space of time. So, using materials that last and doing the job properly will mean you are less likely to need to redo anything in the short-term.
There are, obviously, exceptions to this rule, with the lifespan of certain items meaning they will naturally need replacing after a few years. But, there are several actions you can take that will have an established longevity, to make your home more sustainable—both in terms of being better for the environment and being long-lasting.
Not all of us have the money to spend on updating our properties, but it is one area where spending some can actually increase the value of your house, so you are fundamentally making money and improving your long-term financial situation.
How to Fund Your Renovations
If you are serious about renovating your home to make it more sustainable, you might want to look into the option of taking on a bridging loan or releasing some of the current equity in your property. “Bridging finance is widely used by developers looking to secure a property for renovation.” says Online Mortage Advisor. “Cash can be released fast, and it allows you to buy dilapidated or unmortgageable properties such as non-standard constructions or properties with no kitchen, no bathroom and no running water.”
Companies will often look favorably on money being used for home improvements, as they recognise it can be a surprisingly lucrative occupation.
Upgrade Windows and Doors
Replacing windows and doors is a relatively easy job, with myriad companies who can measure, manufacture and install your new products. This may be down to the glazing and its surrounds being old and no longer fit for purpose, or perhaps you want to install triple glazing for extra energy-efficiency or open up the space by incorporating things like bifold doors.
Even something as simple as replacing a front door can make a huge difference to the curb appeal of the property and ensure heat doesn’t escape through a doorway. Whether you go for a wooden option, a glazed UPVC style or a composite, your front door can say a lot about your home. An upgraded front door is also better for security purposes. So, it is a win-win all round.
Replace Your Flooring
Changing your home’s flooring—by either stripping back to its original wood or laying a stone floor—will make it hardier and more resistant to wear and tear. Natural materials are far more sustainable than carpets.
Carpet fibers go through a lot of processes, including washing and dyeing before they are able to be fitted into your home, and this uses up huge amounts of water as well as being particularly bad for chemical gas emissions. Not only that, but even when they are sent to a landfill, they can emit toxic gases, so they are best avoided.
Update the Roof
Making your roof more energy efficient and use environmentally friendly materials. Slate tiles, shingles and even metal roofs are widely considered to be the most sustainable options. If you don’t want to replace your whole roof, you can add reflective coatings to tiles that are already established, while the air under the tiles flows to release the heat they have absorbed.
Metal naturally reflects and absorbs the sun and makes the roof warmer, which will harness heat into your home. This could reduce your bills by up to 40% in the summer. Alternatively, add solar panels to your roof—there are still some incentive grants available to do this—and reap the rewards. If you create enough electricity, you can even sell it back to the National Grid, thereby doing your part for the sustainability of your home and for others.
Manufacturers are now creating shingles that contain solar-reflecting granules that not only increase the solar reflectance index (SRI) value of your roof but can also extend the longevity of your roof, as it keeps it outwardly cool, whatever the weather.
Reconfigure Kitchens and Bathrooms
Choosing to reconfigure the layout of a kitchen or bathroom that isn’t working for you is the perfect opportunity to upgrade appliances and install more sustainable features. A good layout will enable you to keep your kitchen for many years, perhaps only choosing to change cabinetry and countertops as fashions change or after natural wear and tear.
Kitchen countertops, such as those made of solid wood, will likely last you for many years. However, if you choose wisely at the renovation stage, you can opt for eco-friendly materials.
Creating plenty of storage in your kitchen is a must, as you don’t want to outgrow the space and feel the need for more, potentially resulting in a whole new renovation. This is something to bear in mind for your bathroom, and even your bedroom, too.
Updating the existing plumbing system will probably enable you to see immediate benefits. Water will get hotter more quickly, the pressure is likely to increase, and using sustainable fittings will decrease chemical emissions. Upgrade your heater at the same time, for an energy-efficient model, and your energy bills will be lowered too.