Home improvement used to be about altering the look of your house to ensure it suited your taste or to add value to it ahead of your next move up the property ladder. But, there is now another common reason for having work undertaken - the environment.
With people increasingly aware of the dangers of climate change and what they can do to help combat it, green home improvement is becoming more and more popular. The motivation for paying a tradesman to undertake this kind of work may be to help the environment, but it can also have more tangible benefits.
Many of the greenest projects will reduce your energy usage significantly and cut your annual utility bills by hundreds of pounds, meaning they pay for themselves within a few years, as well as helping you to feel more comfortable in your own home.
Green home improvement does not only have to be about practicality and helping the environment. With the assistance of the right reputable tradesmen you can also incorporate energy and water saving measures into a home remodelling project, helping to make your property both stylish and environmentally friendly.
Getting started with green home improvements
You do not have to undertake major work on your home to start reducing its carbon footprint and saving you money. A good place to start is with simple home repair tasks.
Among the things to look out for are leaking pipes and damage to the roof, as not only will they have an impact on the amount of water and energy you use, they may also lead to more serious problems which will be expensive to fix. Repairing a leaking pipe should be a straightforward job for a reputable plumber, while a roofer will be able to replace broken tiles or damaged felt.
You should also think carefully about insulation, as around 40 per cent of heat is lost through a house's loft space and walls. Failing to insulate properly is likely to cost you hundreds of pounds a year in unnecessary expenditure on energy.
Insulating a loft is one of the simplest and most effective home improvement projects you can undertake. It is possible to do it as a DIY job, but using a reputable professional installer will not cost you much more.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, fitting loft insulation will reduce the annual heating bill of an average home by £150 and cut carbon emissions by 800kg. It will pay for itself within two years and will not need to be replaced for at least 40 years.
It is also worth considering cavity wall insulation. You will need a professional to undertake the work, but it will pay for itself in a little over two years by cutting your annual energy bills by around £115.
There are lots of green home improvement projects which can help you to cut your carbon emissions and energy bills. Another of the most common is to install energy-efficient windows - something which will also help to reduce draughts, condensation and noise.
If you plan to fit new windows, you will need a reputable window specialist to carry out the work for you. Not only is installing windows a skilled job, you will also need to ensure that the new windows comply with building regulations.
Making sure your home remodelling projects are green
With market conditions meaning the property ladder is no longer so easy to climb, an increasing number of people are choosing to try to add space to their homes.
A loft conversion or extension can provide the additional living space you need and research by Halifax found that they are also among the most cost-effective home improvement projects, as they add more value to a property than the work costs.
Style and practicality are likely to be your priorities when you plan to add rooms to your home, but there is no reason why you cannot incorporate environmentally-friendly features such as insulation and energy-efficient windows into the design. A reputable builder will be able to ensure you do this effectively, as well as helping to make certain your project complies with building regulations.
How can Rated People help with your green home improvements?
Rated People offers you a simple way to find reputable local tradesmen. Simply register with the site and post details of the work you are planning to undertake. Rated People will introduce you to suitable local tradesmen so that you can arrange for them to provide a quote.
You will then be able to make a decision about who to use based on the on-site ratings left by other Rated People users and how much they charge.
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