When you decide to build your own house you are immediately bombarded with advice and pressure to make that house as green as possible. Unfortunately to make the house completely green you are going to need hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. What if you don’t have that much at your disposal? Here are some things that you can do to make your house as green as possible (but still as livable as possible too):
When it comes to your electric and power needs, make sure that you look into all of the options that are available to you.
Solar panels are much cheaper than they used to be and no longer need to be installed as roofing panels (though that certainly seems to be the easiest). Remember, you don’t have to have your home entirely run on solar energy, even some solar power is better than none!
Consider using natural gas instead of regular electrical lines (or at least as a supplemental power source). Natural gas costs a fraction of what “regular” electricity costs and is better for the environment.
Heating and Cooling
You already know that you need to put in energy efficient windows. Make sure, too, that you install your insulation properly. Insulate the outside walls of your home as well as your attic and basement. This cuts down on air leeching and will drastically reduce your heating and cooling bills.
Consider using water. Piping water through the flooring of your home is another fantastic way of regulating the heating and cooling costs as well as reducing the amount of power that you need to keep your house temperate and comfortable.
Location Location Location
The place you choose to build your home is just as important as the materials you choose for its construction. Try to find a lot that is level and that gets plenty of sun.
You want to build your home in a location that is close to all of the things you need so that you can walk to them. Remember, being green isn’t just about the house itself, it’s about the lifestyle you lead while living in it. The more walking you can do the less driving you need to do.
The Physical House
You don’t need a mansion to lead a comfortable life. In fact, if you want to increase the environmental friendliness of your home, you’ll go smaller, not bigger. Here’s why:
- Less square footage means that you won’t have to heat or cool as much space, lowering your energy bills.
- Less square footage means you won’t be able to put as many energy sucking devices into it, further reducing your power bills.
- Less square footage means more yard space. This extra space can be used for a garden in which you grow fruits, veggies, herbs and spices—saving you money on groceries and trips you need to make to the store (thereby reducing your carbon footprint even more).
- More yard space, particularly if you have a lot that gets light, gives you space to put up a clothes line, which reduces your dependence upon your dryer—using less electricity and saving you money.
These are just some of the things that you can do to improve the environmental friendliness of the house that you want to build. There are others, of course, but these will help you get started.