Cost-Efficient, Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Trends for 2017
2017 is upon us and, as we welcome in the New Year, we also welcome in an inevitable plethora of new trends with it. One of the most essential things to consider is how you can live more sustainably. 2016 saw significant campaigns towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. From a further four major cities aiming to ban diesel vehicles by 2025 to long disputes over fracking, there are people and organisations around the world tackling climate change, pollution, and wastefulness in general.
However, it isn’t just corporate organisations and government plans that need to change. How we live our lives has a huge effect on the environment around us. One way we can act more sustainably is in how we manage our home. Many home improvements don’t just limit our carbon footprint, they are also almost always more cost-effective, so there is no reason not to give it serious thought. Here are some home improvement trends we expect to lead2017 and why they are both cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Heat, Energy, and Lighting: Maximizing Natural Light and All-round Window Treatment
One of the most important components of your home are the windows and you should be on the ball when it comes to how your windows are functioning within your home. Windows are an indispensable component of the house, playing an enormous part in not only controlling how much light enters your home but also maintaining temperature.
Natural light is essential for your mental and physical health and if your home is lacking windows it means you’re going to be using more and more electricity on lighting. Home renovations that install glass ceiling or extra windows may seem like a sizeable outgoing but they completely transform a home. The extra light that it brings in brings you closer to the outdoors and has a positive effect on your psychology. But the need for lighting to illuminate every corner of our home can also be reduced. If there are areas of the home where light is just never going to reach, consider investing in CFL or LED bulbs. These use 80% less energy than normal bulbs but also last longer and are consequently more cost-effective.You might opt for the cheaper bulb in the supermarket but, when it comes down to it, it’s not actually cheaper in the long run.
Believe it or not, windows are also the biggest culprits when it comes to excess heat and energy consumption. It’s essential to be on top of windows and window furniture, making sure they’re up to scratch and doing their job effectively. Double glazing may not always be such an enticing prospect but its benefits are simply indisputable. Double glazed, airtight windows provide fantastic insulation, allowing you to keep better control on the heat and energy and making your home a warmer and quieter place. If double glazing isn’t your thing, or if you want to be extra cautious when it comes to heat and energy loss, a good pair of curtains goes a long way. Curtains reduce cold air coming in and warm air going out but they are also a wonderful addition to any room. If you have the space, important rooms like the living room and bedroom should be adorned with thick curtains rather than blinds or curtains of a poor quality.
Water Conservation and Permeable Paving
Water consumption and management is another looming problem for 2017. In recent years, the United States, South America, and the United Kingdom have all been hit by major floods with the United States recording eighteen major flooding events since March 2015. This is partly due to ill-equipped homes and we fully expect sustainable water management home improvements to be a big trend in 2017, if not an essential one.
A fantastic sustainable home improvement comes in the form of permeable paving. Driveways, garden paving, and patios are becoming more common and this means the removal of natural functioning front lawns and gardens leaves homes ill-equipped for unanticipated excess water. Permeable paving offers an efficient solution to this.
While many pave stones are watertight and non-porous, permeable paving allows water to freely move through the surface. Instead of building up and causing flooding, water passes through the pave stones where it lands in the soil or a specially designed sub-base to be filtered or collected and reused. Permeable paving can put a stop to overloading drainage systems that damage your property and surrounding property, cause overflow in sewers and rivers, and limit the urban heat island effect.
Clean, Renewable and Cost-Effective Energy with Solar Panels
If you’re serious about cost-effective, eco-friendly home improvements chances are you’ve already had a look into solar panelling but, if you haven’t, it’s our job to emphasise its excellence.
Solar panels are just about the most cost effective home improvement you can make for 2017 and they aren’t nearly as expensive as you may think. In fact, since 2010, the average cost of a solar panel in the US has dropped by over 60%. Though they may feel like a big investment at first but you’re going to make that money back without a shadow of a doubt. It’s even possible to sell the energy you generate. What’s not to like? Capturing energy from the sun is as clean, renewable, and cost-effective as it gets.