29 Aug 2019

 

Image: Pixabay

 

Sustainability is a buzzword that is permeating everything from the energy sector to the fashion industry, with home design also following suit. Paloma Harrington-Griffin indicates how sustainability is currently the top interior design trend of 2019, with many designers looking at how their choices in décor can be more environmentally-friendly. 

Moreover, many would also like to go beyond design and take it a step further to see how every aspect of the home can be more sustainable. For the real estate industry, taking note of this trend is becoming more important for attracting potential buyers. 

This article will aim to look at five renovations you can do to make your house more attractive to homeowners looking for sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions.  


Choose eco-friendly building materials

When building home extensions like a garage or an extra room, consider using sustainable materials. Homebuilding & Renovatingfeatures various sustainably-made homes that used materials like repurposed beech wood from a sports hall and grills from a local diesel factory, for interior and exterior flooring. Not only were they able to repurpose materials that were supposed to be thrown away, this also improved the ventilation and heat recovery of the buildings. 

Using eco-friendly materials for building projects will not only reduce the ecological footprint of the home, but also increase its value with 82% of UK homeowners willing pay more for an eco-friendly property. 


Install solar panels

nstalling solar panels on the roof is also a plus for many potential homeowners interested in sustainability. Residents with solar panels can create renewable energy for their everyday use. If they’re able to produce more electricity than they need, this energy can then be sold back to the grid. While installing solar panels increases the value of the home, sustainable-minded homeowners need to understand the cost. 

The Guardian explains how most homeowners can only use the electricity immediately, as those who want to store it for future use will need to pay for an expensive battery. This is why most homeowners sell it back. 

The good news is that a lot of money can be saved with one couple earning £600 annually from selling the electricity back. As there is a greater drive towards harnessing renewable energy, more property buyers will be interested in homes that come with solar panels. 


Update your fireplace

In older properties, consider swapping an old coal and wood-burning fireplace for a more sustainable model. Various eco-friendly fireplaces include bio-ethanol hearths, which use ethyl alcohol derived from agricultural products like corn. 

Another alternative to a wood-burning fireplace is to find designs that can burn wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and other lumber by-products. Gas fireplaces are also a good alternative compared to a coal or wood-burning fireplace. While they do burn fossil fuel they still have considerably lower emissions compared to traditional fireplaces. 

The widespread use of gas fires means that there are many different designs that can cater for every type of interior design. Screwfix’s collection of gas fires demonstrates how many models replicate the style of a traditional coal burning fireplace. This allows homeowners to have a smaller ecological footprint, without compromising the aesthetics of a home. They are still able to achieve the warm homey look that fireplaces exude. 


Invest in insulation

Blue and Green Tomorrow recommend investing in eco-friendly insulation as this will reduce the amount of energy used to heat the home. Investing in good insulation in the roof and the walls of the home helps retain the heat better, ensuring that you don’t need to use energy all the time to reheat your home during the cold season. 

A cost effective way to save heat is through rugs, which stop cold air escaping through wooden floors.  


Install larger windows

These days, large open windows are all the rage. On top of their aesthetic value, they also help a home become more sustainable. 

Large windows help homes become energy-efficient by letting more natural light in during the daytime. This helps residents save on energy they would have used for lighting. If the budget is available, invest in energy efficient windows, which prevent hot or cold air escaping from the house. It serves as a way to increase insulation during the colder months while keeping cool air in during the warmer months. 

These double paned windows increase a home’s property value as well. If you are organising a viewing, highlighting the homes sustainable features will likely attract more potential buyers. As the above examples show, every part of the home can become eco-friendly.

 


 

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