Tips for Redesigning and Renovating Your Home Sustainably

The decision to renovate your home is pro-environment. Instead of constructing a new home, homeowners can reuse materials already present in their homes. A recent study found that buildings consume 40% of global materials and energy. Remodeling with sustainability in mind can help conserve natural materials and energy. This explains why most developers and cash homebuyers, such as, prefer renovating old homes to constructing new ones.

Renovating with sustainability in mind reduces the harmful effects of remodeling, such as depletion of natural resources, off-gassing toxins, and increasing the amount of landfill waste from renovation. An eco-friendly home also improves your quality of life in innumerable ways. Below are the tips for renovating your home with sustainability.

1. Choose Refreshing Over Replacing

The easiest way to remodel with sustainability in mind is by reusing materials instead of purchasing them. This also saves on renovation costs. Recycling is a primary concept of the green lifestyle, and you should consider repurposing several materials to avoid additional purchases. Besides saving costs, doing this saves on natural resources and
reduces the emission of toxic gasses during manufacturing and transportation.

2. Hire Eco-friendly Contractors

Unless you can DIY the renovation project, you should hire a renovation expert well-versed in green building practices. Unfortunately, greenwashing, falsely inflating environmentally friendly practices, is common in the construction industry. Ask for portfolios and credentials, follow up on references, and read the contractors’ online
reviews before hiring.

While most states don’t have official regulatory agencies that license green contractors, you can use several resources to verify your prospective contractors’ claims. For instance, the Energy Star website lists builders qualified to construct energy-star rated homes. You should also ask for specific certifications, such as Green Credentials from LEED, Green Builder Certifications from Green Advantage, and Certified Green Professional certification from the NAH.

3. Focus on Energy Efficiency

There are endless ways of making your home energy efficient, and you should implement these changes when remodeling. Besides being eco-friendly, these changes also save on energy bills. Depending on your planned renovation project, you should consider the following energy-efficient upgrades:

– Insulation – Poor insulation accounts for up to 40% of heat loss at home. Consider making insulation upgrades on the walls, windows, and roofs that can reduce heat loss.

– Energy-efficient lighting and household appliances – If your renovation involves upgrading household appliances, ensure all are Energy-Star certified. Simple lighting changes, such as using LED lights and installing a smart lighting system, can make your home energy-efficient.

– Think of renewable energy sources – If your remodel budget allows, consider installing solar panels, upgrading to air source heat pump systems, and other renewable energy sources.

4. Eco-friendly Painting

You should also choose eco-friendly paint for your renovation. This typically means paint with low or no volatile organic compounds. VOCs are chemical compounds that evaporate into the atmosphere, polluting indoor air. VOICs in the paint can cause eye and lung irritation. Always check to ensure that you buy paint with less than 5g/l VOCs.


Home renovation allows homeowners to improve their home's functionality and aesthetic appeal. However, you can use this chance to make your home sustainable. Doing so makes your home sustainable, energy-efficient, and makes you eligible for various green remodeling incentives.

- by Matt Watts