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Where to spend (and where to save) when renovating your home sustainably

  • 21 Jan 2022

Renovating your home can be costly. But, if you’re aiming to create an eco, energy-efficient home, then you may find yourself saving money long-term! Not only that, but there are several ways to sustainably renovate your home too, which could save you money in the process. 

With costs set to rise in construction and building, ​​there are so many things to consider when planning a home renovation. So, it’s never been a better time to look for cost-effective and sustainable ways to help in your renovation journey. 

This article outlines the areas to invest, and where you can make smart sustainable swaps, when renovating your home; from top (roofing) to toe (flooring) and everything in between!

SPEND – Invest in Insulation 

With more people working from home over the past two years, and the likely future of hybrid or flexible working, energy use in homes is set to increase. Especially during colder months, when heating is used throughout the day. 

But, as much as 40 percent of a home’s heat loss is down to a lack of insulation! There are so many smart innovations in garden offices and overall home insulation as a result, from roof sheeting with insulation  built in, to clever cavity wall and loft solutions. 

Upgrading your insulation can really help lower your carbon footprint and can help to reduce your heating consumption in the long run. 

SPEND on Solar Panelling

Adding a solar panel system to your property can help to generate electricity or even produce hot water for your home! Think there’s no point getting panels for your north facing house? Think again! Solar Panels don’t need direct sunlight to generate power, and can even work on cloudy days. 

Renovate

You can install solar to slanted or flat roofs, or even to walls. Although it can seem like a large upfront cost, don’t forget to consider the on-going savings it will provide, and it could even add value to your property when you come to sell in future. 

SAVE on materials by recycling, upcycling or sourcing second-hand 

Find ways to reclaim, recycle, repurpose or reuse materials where you can! This could be in flooring, worksurfaces or in decorative finishes throughout. 

Start out by looking at the materials you already have within your home. Instead of demolishing completely, salvage what you can and repurpose or reuse these in your new plans. 

Otherwise, go directly to construction or demolition companies, or try scrapyards. Always try to find materials that already exist, rather than opting for new ones straight away, as it’s better for the environment, and could give you a unique finish to your final home. 

SPEND on underfloor heating

If you’re planning on getting new flooring as part of your renovation, why not install underfloor heating too?

Though it may seem counterproductive, to heat your home more when you’re trying to save energy, underfloor heating is easier to link with solar thermal energy outputs. It may also reduce your overall heating use, as it can be a more effective way to heat your space. 

SAVE on electricity with LED lighting and letting in natural light 

Maximise natural light by planning large windows where possible – think skylights on flat roofs, or even sun tunnels in windowless rooms! In decoration and finishing touches, use mirrors and reflective surfaces to bounce light into darker corners. 

For any artificial light you do need, switch to LED bulbs that require lower power and are overall, a much more sustainable source of artificial light. 

Final thoughts 

Whether you’re planning a total redo of your home, or just want to make your property a little more energy efficient and sustainable, there are many ways that you can make a difference.

From solar panels to insulation, lighting to flooring, factoring in sustainable options into your renovation is a really great way to save money while you also help to save the planet. Investing in economical and eco-friendly materials and systems throughout your renovation, while having some initial upfront costs, could result in ongoing savings to the running of your home. Even better, with sustainability on everyone’s minds, it could help if and when you choose to sell in the future!

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