22 Sep 5 Steps To a Greener Home Extension or Renovation Project
Are you thinking of renovating your North East home?
Do you want to do this in a sustainable and energy efficient way?
These five steps will help you on the way to doing this…
We are all aware that we need to make some changes to the way we treat our planet. You wouldn’t be here, reading this, if you weren’t interested in making some changes. Developing eco homes is a key step to becoming a low carbon nation. Retrofitting our homes is a crucial part of this and it may not be as expensive or time consuming as you think.
With new grants planned to assist homeowners in ‘greening up’ their homes, now is the perfect time to make these plans.
1. Insulation and glazing
This Money Saving Expert article explains the government’s new Green Homes Grant really clearly. You can get up to £5,000 to make your home more energy efficient from September. If you are considering a home extension or renovation, now seems like a really good time to make those other upgrades and benefit from this grant.
Rishi Sunak outlines his plans to offer this grant to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes and we are so relieved! If your home is poorly insulated, you are wasting hundreds of pounds and loads of energy heating your street. 40% of your home’s heat could be lost due to lack of decent insulation.
It is usually pretty simple to insulate your loft or cavity walls. You could use loads of sustainable materials too, one of my favourites is recycled denim (the idea of someone’s 90’s jeans keeping me cosy is strangely enjoyable). Insulating better could save you more than £150 in energy bills!
The government Green Homes Grant also applies to glazing; replacing single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazed windows will reduce heat loss. They are also great for noise reduction of course.
2. Reuse water
Harvesting the thousands of litres of rainfall from your roof each year to fill washing machines, water gardens and flush toilets is a great start. Systems are becoming more and more available which collect rainfall, filter leaves and debris and store the rainwater in a tank for use as required.
A low-flush toilet and low-flow showerhead will significantly reduce your water waste too! If you are considering extending your home to add a bathroom, including these in your extension budget would have a great long-term impact.
3. Upgrade your thermostat
A wireless system typically costs around £250 and is easy enough to install in your home. When planning an extension or refurbishment, this would be a great time to ensure you are not wasting energy heating your new space. A one degree drop in the temperature of your thermostat equates to a 10% energy saving. Around 60% of the energy used in your home is most likely used to heat your space so getting the temperature right will reduce your monthly bill while improving the environmental impact.
4. Use eco-friendly decoration
Eco friendly paints are now widely available and these are water-soluble using plant oils and resins. You could consider using sustainable wallpapers, wood varnishes and waxes and preparation equipment in your home extension too!
Natural materials for your walls and floors are also a fantastic way to green up. Lime and clay plasters are a natural, breathable alternative for example. Natural wood flooring also happens to be super on trend, so it is an all-round win.
5. Install renewable heating systems
Naturally heating your home is such a clever and exciting approach. If you are already doing major work by building an extension, it could be the perfect time to install. Our article here goes in to some serious detail on ground source heat pumps. Essentially, this system uses buried pipes to harvest heat from the earth to use for your home’s heating and hot water needs. Air source heat pumps, wood-fuelled systems (burning pellets or logs to generate heat) and standalone stoves are also fantastic options and well worth researching.
There are so many more ways to ‘green up’ your extension or home renovation project and we’d love to help you do it!
We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.