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Old 04-15-2007, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,776,220 times
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Anyone else out there trying to do home remodeling frugally and/or in an environmentally concious manner?

We just sold out "starter home," which was a lower-end construction 1987 townhome that had never been updated to a nice looking place with almost nothing original. Now we are moving on to a single family home.

In our first home, we used a lot of Oops paint to save money and did most everything ourselves. Our old cabinets and functioning appliances were donated to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore store. They resell donated construction supplies and use the proceeds to build new homes. We also always checked the ReStore first for supplies before buying new.

As we get ready to move into house #2, I'm trying to come up with some rules we will try to follow. Saving money is our primary goal, but we also like to be as environmentally concious as possible, given our budget and goals.

Here are the rules/goals that we have come up with:
* We will look at salvage and used stores first for supplies (frugal and reuse).
* New supplies are most acceptable when purchased as overstock (frugal), scratch-n-dent (frugal), or when purchased from a non-profit who received the supplies as a donation (socially concious).
* Choose energy-star appliances and heat with bioheat.
* Comparision shop with eco-friendly supplies. Choose the eco-friendly alternative when the cost difference is less than a 10% premium (green).
* Focus on native plant landscaping (except for the veggie garden)
* Use compost piles and rain barrels (green)

Any one else trying to do this? What are your rules/goals? Any critique of mine? Other ideas?
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Old 04-16-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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I would say that your first goal, shopping at salvage places for appliances, is in direct conflict with your 'buy energy star' goal. Newer appliances are much more environmentally friendly then older appliances. I like the idea of recycling however if it costs more and uses more energy to run is a recycled stove really environmentally friendly?
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,776,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I would say that your first goal, shopping at salvage places for appliances, is in direct conflict with your 'buy energy star' goal. Newer appliances are much more environmentally friendly then older appliances. I like the idea of recycling however if it costs more and uses more energy to run is a recycled stove really environmentally friendly?
Good point, although that is why I said the more generic "supplies." Appliances will definitely be new
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:48 AM
 
Location: NC
4 posts, read 10,106 times
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Default trying to find green remodeler for home in Raleigh, NC

Hey Rubytue,

Your ideas are great. There's a green house being build in Raleigh and we are hoping to incorporate some of their ideas. There's also an annual competition for green design you may want to check out. NCSU won it in 2006, I think there's a link from their archtichure/design school page.

We are looking at 3 bath remodels, a garage addition and replacing our water heater and heat pump. Some cosmetic, some needed updates.

When we bought the 1964 home the trouble with the pipes and heating system somehow escaped the inspector's notice. Looking at major repairs we'd like to continue with "green" updates.

We've already begun green landscaping, installed energy efficient windows and an electric tankless waterheater. The last taught us a lesson, that green doesn't always mean useful or safe (serious scald hazard, good thing we don't have kids) and we will have to replace it = $2300 down the drain.

If anyone knows of a green remodeler/contractor in Raleigh we are all ears.
Other green remodeling suggestions?
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:04 AM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
304 posts, read 1,303,481 times
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Try this website for the US Green Building Council (this takes you to the residential portion):

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=147

There is a list of 16 ways to green your home. As far as finding a green contractor, you might try talking to some LEED certified architects at local firms. They might be able to offer suggestions of some "green friendly" contractors. You might also get in touch with someone at your local USGBC chapter. I believe there is contact info on their website.

chapter info:

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=24
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:12 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,362,290 times
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I've heard there are good options for new cabinets and flooring that don't emit chemicals or use toxic glues. Perhaps this site can point you in the right direction: Google Directory - Shopping > Niche > Green Living

Also, there are new photovoltaic solar panels that integrate right in with your roofline so you can gain solar energy without those big ugly solar panels.

Best of luck!!
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,776,220 times
Reputation: 1093
Now that green has its own forum, I found this again and thought I would resurrect it. Here is how we are doing almost a year later:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
1) We will look at salvage and used stores first for supplies (frugal and reuse).
2) New supplies are most acceptable when purchased as overstock (frugal), scratch-n-dent (frugal), or when purchased from a non-profit who received the supplies as a donation (socially concious).
3) Choose energy-star appliances and heat with bioheat.
4) Comparision shop with eco-friendly supplies. Choose the eco-friendly alternative when the cost difference is less than a 10% premium (green).
5) Focus on native plant landscaping (except for the veggie garden)
6) Use compost piles and rain barrels (green)
First, to summarize what we have done: converted a 5'x21' bathroom into two smaller baths (hall and master), removed a wall and rearranged the kitchen a bit, refinished the hardwood floors, and put up a fence. We still have a basement to finish (we demoed it the weekend we moved in b/c it was musty 30-year-old carpet and paneling with no insulation).

1) One bathroom was tiled with tile purchased from Habitat from Humanity ReStore. Our bath sinks were purchased from Second Chance (a charity architectural salvage store). In the kitchen, we were able to reuse the countertop and cabinets for the peninsula.

2)The new kitchen appliances were purchased during a 30% off sale, and the fridge was a closeout, floor model that I got for about 40% off. One bathroom was furnished with closeout stock, but the other was custom :\

3) The fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine are Energy Star. The stove and dryer are electric, so not Energy Star. Gas is not available here. Bioheat (heating oil) is also not delivered in out area, despite having a plant within 90 miles. It just isn't delivered to our area. I keep calling and requesting it, so maybe next winter.

4) Here is where we haven't been good at all. We did not use low-VOC paints or floor refinishing supplies. I wish we could, but the price point is still too high.

5) Haven't done much outside yet. We planted a few things, but mostly herbs, veggies, and annuals. The landscaping is well established, so we haven't had to think about new shrubs. We do have an invasive tree (autumn olive) we have yet to chop down. If it weren't for the invasive tree, I think we would qualify for BayWise.

6) We compost religiously, but our rain barrels are not up and going yet. Its on the list to have finished by mid-April.

*******************
7) Our next big green investment will be flooring. The basement will be done in cork and the kitchen in real linoleum. I hate ceramic tile in the kitchen, and our vinyl is missing spots where we took out the wall and moved the cabinets.

8) We have also been trying to boost the insulation in the attic and have thoroughly researched the best way to insulate the basement walls.

9) We have a programmable thermostat, installed CFL lighting everywhere we don't dim, and every incandecent is on a dimmer - usually at half power.

10) We reuse lumber whenever possible

11) Any fixture we took out that was still moderately usable was posted to freecycle and picked up for reuse.

12) Fall leaves were shredded and used as mulching

Last edited by rubytue; 03-23-2008 at 05:47 PM.. Reason: readability
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