There’s lots of interest in “going green” these days. There’s lots of concern about the long-term health of the planet that we call home. And there’s lots of focus upon human activities that may negatively impact the environment.
No matter where you stand on environmental issues, one thing’s for certain: reducing pollution and waste is a good thing. So an opportunity to reduce waste and pollution without diminishing quality of life is a very good thing.
Home Remodeling isn’t the ‘Greenest’ of Activities
According to the National Association of Realtors, home remodeling projects generate a significant amount of waste and pollution. Home remodeling generates around 136 million tons of waste every year, and that represents about 20% of the waste dumped in landfills annually.
And home construction (including remodeling) is estimated to consume about a quarter of the forest resources that are harvested each year.
Are those reasons to shy away from a home remodeling project? Absolutely not. But are they reasons to approach a remodeling project with an eye toward minimizing the impact upon the environment? Of course – that only makes sense.
And that makes basement remodeling a very sensible project.
2 Reasons Basement Remodeling is ‘Greener’
As home remodeling projects go, remodeling your basement is a very green approach to improving your home. That’s because basement remodeling offers two advantages that no other remodeling project can offer:
Cheap Space. Adding living space to a home is very expensive. And that type of new construction consumes lots of resources. That is, unless you’re adding that new living space in your basement.
It’s because the primary structure for adding that new living space is already in place – walls, floor and ceiling. You might be adding some finishing materials to those primary structures, but you don’t have to build the entire structure from scratch. And that saves lots of building material compared to adding new rooms to your home.
Energy-Efficient Space. A basement, by definition, is built into the ground. Most basements are surrounded by earth on all sides. And earth is a great insulating material. That’s why basements tend to be very temperature-stable compared to the rest of the home. Basements don’t get as cold in the winter, or as hot in the summer.
And that means that heating or cooling the living space you’ll be adding in your basement will take less energy than heating other portions of your home.
Is that a big thing? Probably not.
But every little bit that you can nibble off of that monthly energy bill will help. And all of those little bits magnified on a global scale will add up to a significant amount of relief for the earth’s environment.
In One Sense, Home Remodeling is Very Green…
If you’re less-than-satisfied with your current home, and have been thinking of moving to greener pastures, think about a home remodeling project instead. Because staying where you’re at and improving where you’re at is generally far more cost-effective than selling your home and buying a new home.
Taking that approach to upgrading your living environment will usually save you lots of that green stuff that you’ve worked so hard to earn. And for what it’s worth, remodeling your current home – especially a basement remodel – is a whole lot ‘greener’ in an environmental sense than building an entire new house!