In Austin I’m seeing a trend towards remodeling or renovating rather than selling and purchasing a new home. Austin is blessed with having one of the healthiest real estate markets in the country, yet homes sales in areas outside of central Austin have slowed down and there’s a surplus of homes for sale in central locations. I think renovating is a good idea if you want to stay in your home for at least three more years, want to increase energy efficiency, and you can withstand the stress of having various contractors in your home to do the work. Here in Austin, remodeling using green practices is a great way to get rebates from the city and to increase your energy efficiency.
Ways to incorporate green practices in your remodeling plans include:
- ENERGY STAR windows and skylights
- Formaldehyde-free, high R-value insulation
- Whole-house fan
- Installation of recycled-content flooring
- On-demand hot water heater
- Painting with no-VOC paints
- Landscaping with indigenous plants
- Shade trees according to passive design principles
- High efficiency heating and cooling system
- High efficiency toilets
Now is a great time to “go green” and save money on energy bills, increase your enjoyment of your home and add value to your home.