Are you renovating your homes with Green building practices?

5 Replies

I would love to hear who is taking their renovations to a green level, and how they accomplished it. 

OR what hurdles are keeping you from going green?  


Cost vs. Return. My buyers love the idea of including green features but few want to pay the higher price to have it.

We are. Green is a long term investment. Are you talking about for renters?  If for renters, we are advertising our green features to attract green-minded tenants.  We have new furnaces, good insulation, and solar PV and hot water. And garden beds in the back. We've attracted great tenants. Low VOC paint and floor finishes.  We use recycled building materials where possible.  It doesn't have to cost a lot more for green renovations.

Or is this for a flip? What's the demand for green real estate in your area? Big demand here in Madison, WI.

There are very simple ways to "green" your remodeling project without having to spend a lot of additional money.  Most people want to build responsibly, but don't want to put forth the additional $ if the green enhancement won't pay for itself.  Here's a few items I thought of that don't cost a lot of money, but show a good effort put forth in green building.

1.  Dumpster service - use a service that does single sort recycling.  You place all your debris in one container, they haul back to their facility and sort out recyclable materials. 

2.  Low flow plumbing fixtures

3.  Low VOC paints / stains

4.  Bamboo and cork flooring

5.  Salvaged cabinets or other materials - you can re-stain or paint many old cabinets/furniture into a nice bath vanity that give it a look of class while being sustainable

6.  Rain barrels for gardens (for small properties)

Uhhh, no.  I mostly deal in rehab-to-retail flips that are blue-collar, first-time-home-buyer kind of houses.  If I put any extra cost into a rehab, I wouldn't get it back out.  The only exception to that is replacement windows.  I did put in low-e windows with Argon gas on one of my houses.

I do green things (Specifically trying to use the least amount of new materials, repurposing what can be salvaged and then high-efficiency heating).

For the most part it's actually a negative factor on my business model. People see repurposing many times as being too cheap to buy new. Additionally others then are concerned with not going all-out on amenities. 

On the other hand, high efficency heating/cooling is a major benefit as people immediately realize it's going to put extra money in their pockets each month.

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