[Editor's note: The following is a guest post by Wade Myer, a former contractor turned writer.]
The evidence of a recent trend toward green home building and remodeling is undeniable. People have become more aware of their environmental impact along with the potential savings associated with energy efficient housing. However, many are still hesitant to implement green building elements into their homes as they are not convinced that making their houses more green will translate into their being worth more.
Although it may be harder to determine how adding green renovations to your home will impact its resale value, there are some guaranteed fiscal benefits to be had from eco-friendly renovations.
The main reason people decide to integrate green renovations into their homes is to save money on various bills. This is done by making the house more energy efficient through green remodeling applications. For instance, installing energy-efficient windows will help your house save on heating and cooling bills because these types of windows reduce the amount of hot/cold air that is lost through your windows.
Another common green renovation that is guaranteed to save you money in the long run is the practice of installing energy-efficient appliances. These kinds of appliances save money on electric and gas bills, while also being environmentally friendly. An easy way to identify these types of appliances is to look for the blue Energy Star sticker.
Cost of Green Remodeling
While the long-term benefits of green renovations are quite alluring, many people are still deterred by the increase in costs upfront.
As with any remodel, instituting green renovations will cost you money initially. The reason some people are turned off from green remodeling is because it tends to cost even more than a regular remodel. This article from Housingzone.com shows that the majority of homeowners doing remodels believe that making green renovations adds 6% to the cost of the project.
It is already believed that any type of renovation will cost more than the value it adds to your home (according to Barry Katz most renovations add 65%-85% of their cost to the home’s value) and since green renovations have increased costs, people are reluctant to invest in them.
Potential Ways Green Building Can Increase Resale Value
It is widely accepted that green renovations are more expensive than standard renovations. However, there a few different ways that these eco-friendly practices can add value to your home.
As mentioned before, making your house more energy efficient will pay off in the long run. This could increase the home’s value as potential buyers may be willing to spend more on a house that could save them money down the line.
A family with young children may be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly house as they tend to be safer for kids and the family as a whole. This is because green homes incorporate products and materials with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which can cause complications for children with asthma or allergies. This improved air quality within the house is healthier for the entire family.
There are a few things you can do to maximize your chances of getting the most out of your green home when selling. A couple of ways to increase potential buyers’ willingness to spend more is by getting certified by a program like LEED or providing energy audits that show the efficiency of the house. It also always helps to work with a realtor who has experience with selling green homes as they will know how to get the most out of the house’s green features.
Green renovations will make your house more efficient and save you money on bills. However, these types of remodeling projects cost more than their standard counterparts and can be quite costly at first. As with any major renovation to your home, deciding what you want to invest your money in can be a tough decision as you want to get the best return on investment possible. Hopefully, this article will help you make a more informed decision on whether or not you want to invest in eco-friendly renovations.
Wade Myer grew up under the watchful eye his father, a contractor, who taught him the tools of the trade. Even though he can swing a hammer with the best of them, he’s recently turned to writing, where he can frame sentences rather than walls. Currently, he writes on behalf of Steiner Homes LTD. who builds St. John custom homes.