Thinking Green When Redesigning Your Home’s Exterior

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When you are redesigning the exterior of your home, you may not think in a totally eco-conscious way. It is easy to choose conventional designs and materials and overlook the green materials and energy-saving designs that you have access to nowadays. By thinking green for the outside of your home, you’re being both eco-conscious AND smart about your own consumption. Even a simple choice like the right roofing materials could mean up to a 30% decrease in your home’s energy needs. Here are some options for ‘greening’ home exterior design.

    • Roofing material.
      From a recycling standpoint, roofs can use plenty of reclaimed material like slate, clay, or rubber. From an energy-saving standpoint, a “cool roof” (a light color such as white) can help keep summer energy costs down by reflecting away much of the sun’s daytime heat. Standing-seam metal roofs and corrugated roofing are options that combine elements of usability, recyclability, and durability.
    • Siding options.
      Reclaimed wood is a beautiful rustic option for homes’ siding, and it has an added advantage of saving some trees. A lower-maintenance and less expensive alternative to wood is fiber-cement composite. Green siding options are still a bit limited, but stucco and cement options that are made with recycled materials and less energy-intensive to create are in development and are options to consider in the near future.
    • Driveway “paving.”
      Driveways can be made out of many recycled materials nowadays, including recycled asphalt or rubber. It’s a great way to re-use rubber that’s tough to recycle otherwise, like that from tires.
    • Solar panel or water collection integration.
      When re-roofing or redesigning large sections of your house, why not consider this a perfect opportunity for integrating savvy and green fixtures like solar panels or a water collection system? Check for restrictions (and perks!) from your HOA, city, or county.
    • Low VOC paints and adhesives.
      If repainting or using adhesives, consider non-toxic and low-VOC options that are more eco-friendly both in production and in use. Your lungs, and the environment, will thank you.
    • Greening your garden spaces.If you’re working on curb appeal anyways, consider creating or updating a garden space with environmental efficiency AND beauty in mind. Choose edible crops, or keep it simple and plant wildflowers and other pretty, sweet-smelling things that benefit local fauna like honeybees. Plan a spot for a compost bin that reduces home food waste and also puts your scraps to good use by making rich soil for your gardens.

Eco-friendly living doesn’t have to stop with the inside of your house or keeping litter picked up outside. ‘Greening’ up your home’s outside is as easy as a little research. If you’re using a professional construction or repair team, ask them about green options they can use for your projects.

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