Thinking Green (Without Skimping) on Your Home Renovation

hammering nail into floorWhile some of the most environmentally conscious building tips include salvaging and re-purposing or refinishing existing materials, there are many ways to eliminate needless stress on the environment without sacrificing that shiny new look and feel. What’s more, green building can save you some green, as well, leaving you with more cash to spend on those pricey little “extras” that will set your renovated home apart from others.


As you shop for new appliances, a major consideration should be the level of energy efficiency. Look for the Energy Star logo, for starters. Doing so will help you make a choice that’s not only environmentally sound, but financially sound, as well. Large appliances, and particularly upscale refrigerators, use large amounts of electricity, making the ticket price far from the only cost consideration involved in such a purchase.

dream kitchenIn addition to making sure you use energy efficient appliances, you can also benefit the environment — and your wallet — by looking for pre-owned high-end appliances. Now, hear me out: We’re not talking garage-sale level salvaged materials, here. Some retailers today actually specialize in gently used high-end products like SubZero refrigerators and double ovens. Going for used appliances can save you thousands of dollars — or help you afford higher grade products than you thought possible.

Habitat for Humanity, for instance, has a string of ReStore retail outlets that specialize in selling previously owned appliances, along with other building materials. Of course, this is a great place to donate the unwanted materials you’re getting rid of during your renovation, as well, which is an environmentally responsible choice that can also benefit your community. (The tax write-off can’t hurt, either.)

Insulation and Natural Light

construction worker on roof

High-quality insulation might not get you oohs and aahs, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an area in which you want to skimp. Better insulation adds up to better protection against drastic temperatures, helping you avoid over-taxing your HVAC system. Of course, when your heating and cooling system isn’t working overtime, it will last longer, saving you even more than your monthly power bills let on.

While your choice of light bulbs can lead to less landfill space taken up with burnt-out bulbs, using your lights less is even better. Strategic window placement and skylights can go a long way toward enabling you to utilize the sun’s natural light as much as possible. You can benefit even more from this natural energy source by installing solar panels to help heat your home or even power small appliances.

homeowner with architectLow Voc Paints

Like insulation, paint brand isn’t generally something people notice when they visit your home. However, choosing low voc paints can be a healthier choice for your family and for the earth. Practically odorless, this splatter resistant product is self priming and comes in a variety of colors and finishes. One such product is Benjamin Moore’s Natura Paint, which is reported to emit a lower amount of VOCs than any other national zero-VOC product. Of course, it comes in all Benjamin Moore colors, including many shades of green.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

Hartman Construction, based out of the Gaithersburg, Maryland area, offers residential & commercial construction services to those in Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring, MD as well as those in Washington, D.C. and Fairfax county, Virginia. DRHCI offers home additions, home remodeling, pre-engineered steel buildings, and turn-key build-out renovations of your office, warehouse, or retail store. Call general contractor, Don Hartman, today at (301) 926-9000.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.

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