When a new home is first constructed? The latest materials of the era are generally used; however, as decades pass by, plumbing and electrical fixtures, appliances, building materials, HVAC systems, and other components of the home can become outdated or reach the end of their service life. There are many reasons why homeowners consider remodeling their homes. Their reasons are typically based on the functionality of the space, the aesthetics of an interior room or the exterior, and improving energy-efficiency.
Regardless of the reason, when your walls are exposed to bare studs? This is a great time to inspect the condition of the electrical wires, insulation, and plumbing inside of the wall cavities before you cover it back up. It can also be a prime opportunity to install wiring and plumbing for new features of your remodel and to upgrade your insulation to make your home more energy-efficient.
Tips on Saving Energy
Tip #1 Proper Insulation: Having your home properly insulated in key areas is the best way to save energy.
Tip #2 Windows & Doors: Replace outdated windows and entry doors with more modern and energy-efficient products to save money on energy costs.
Tip #3 Roofing Materials: Since most asphalt shingles have a service life between 15 and 25 years, replacing your roofing materials with energy-efficient materials is a wise investment and can lower your utility bills.
Tip #4 Ventilation: Proper ventilation in your attic and eaves may sound mundane; however, it plays a vital role in saving energy.
Ways to Save Energy During Hot/Cold Times of the Year
There are several ways to save energy during different temperatures throughout the year. Gaps and cracks around windows and doors are the number one culprit for heating/cooling loss. Filling gaps with spray foam insulation and caulking the smaller cracks will increase your energy efficiency and keep your HVAC system from running more than it should. Other ways to save energy in your home include:
- Check the heating system’s efficiency
- Consider a programmable thermostat
- Cover drafty windows
- Take advantage of sunlight
- Replace air filters
- Reduce water heating costs
- Consider adding a ductless mini-split heating system
- Have a home energy audit conducted
Different Types of Insulation
The most common type of insulation used in modern construction today is roll insulation for wall cavities and for attics. Other applications include loose or blown-in insulation, rigid foam boards, and polyurethane spray foam. While roll insulation and rigid foam boards can be a DIY project, other applications require specialized equipment and professional installation. Houses that are properly insulated and ventilated offer the most energy-efficiency.
Green Building Materials
Green building materials are not only energy-efficient, but they’re also sustainable and eco-friendly. The goal of using green construction materials is to build a more energy-efficient structure and improving energy-efficiency for home remodels.
Below is a list of the most popular green building materials currently being used in residential construction:
- Insulated Concrete Forms
- Fiber Cement
- Straw Bale
- Slate/Stone Roofing
- Straw Bale
It’s always a good idea to do your homework before taking on any type of remodeling project. A good tip to get the best price is to obtain multiple quotes from different contractors. This allows you to choose the best contractor within your budget. It’s also wise to discuss green building materials with potential candidates during the interview and written estimate process.
You can also save money by purchasing the materials yourself and only pay for professional installation. There’s a myriad of sources online for buying your materials as well as paying attention to special sales being conducted at your local home improvement store.
Final Thoughts for Home Remodeling Projects
When it comes to remodeling, there are a lot of things the average homeowner can do on their own to save money on the installation fees; however, for certain insulation applications, roofing, electrical, and plumbing projects? It’s always safer and better to hire a professional contractor.