As the top reason for remodeling a kitchen is to add value to a home, remodeling a kitchen and being environmentally friendly may seem like a contradiction in terms. After all, if you wanted to be kind to the environment, why wouldn’t you just keep the kitchen you have? However, redesigning a kitchen in a green or eco-friendly way can have some great benefits.
Here are the top three reasons to consider using materials and installation techniques that are environmentally friendly.
#1. You can create a healthier living environment.
Improving home value aside, most homeowners want to improve their living space and make their kitchens into multi-function rooms. One aspect of this is ensuring that the materials in your kitchen are safe for you and your family.
Many types of paints, glues and materials can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are hazardous to human health. With a remodel, you could replace older materials with newer, safer ones and make your home healthier. Choose low VOC paint for your walls and ultra-low formaldehyde-emission particleboard for cabinets and countertops. This will be kind on the environment as well as for your family.
#2. You can use higher quality materials.
Unless you have very deep pockets, you are likely to choose common types of wood when you remodel your kitchen. Going green means that you don’t have to settle for cheap pine.
One environmentally friendly approach is to use reclaimed woods from old barns or buildings. Reclamation is the only way to get your hands on rare woods such as long leaf pine. Using reclaimed wood can be better for the environment and can give your kitchen a unique look that may have been unaffordable otherwise.
#3. You can save money.
If the main purpose of remodeling is to save money, the lower your initial outlay, the more value you will add to your home. If remodeling costs $20,000 and only adds $10,000 to the value of your home, where is the benefit?
Many environmentally friendly remodeling techniques can help you save big on your project. Most common of all is cabinet refacing, an alternative to replacing your existing cabinets. Professional firms specializing in refacing will add brand new doors, drawer faces and hardware such as locks, hinges and handles to your existing cabinets. This keeps a lot of waste out of landfill sites and costs roughly fifty percent less than fully replacing cabinets. While there are drawbacks to refacing including that the interior of the cabinets are unaltered and you cannot change the location of the cabinets, refacing is an example of an eco-friendly renovation technique that will help you to be kind to the environment as well as your bank balance.
There is clearly much scope to reduce your costs while being kinder to the environment when you remodel. Don’t be surprised if a green remodeling project inspires you to change your approach to other projects.