Moving house is an expensive business, and so many people are turning to extending their existing properties to create more space. Additionally, buying a house with extension potential means that you might be able to buy the property at a cheaper price initially, and then spend the money on the building work as and when you have it.
But for those of us who are concerned about the impact our home renovations might have on the planet, it’s not quite as simple as accepting the cheapest quote. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important aspect of building projects, with global temperatures on the rise and the impact of human activity on the planet becoming widely apparent.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have your dream home. The market is adapting to this consumer demand, allowing builders to use a wider range of eco-friendly materials across their projects. Additionally, there are some steps that you can take in the design process to ensure that you’re making the most of the natural resources available to you. Here, we cover a few points to get you started.
Your choice of contractor for your extension will largely inform how big the carbon footprint is for your project. As the client, you have a chance to choose the look and feel of the build, and the items inside, but the day-to-day issues, like reducing waste and vehicle use will be largely down to your contractor. Of course, you can make your preferences clear, but unless it’s part of their mission statement, you’ll likely have to leave them to do the job as they see fit.
If sustainability is really important to you, then consider hunting down a contractor or project manager with established eco-credentials. They should be naturally introducing the measures you would want to see and might be able to give you key stats around the impact of your project.
Insulation is absolutely essential to keeping your home warm and eco-friendly. No matter what boiler you have, if you don’t stop the heat escaping, you’ll be wasting energy and money.
If your home was insulated properly when you bought it, this may not be something that you’ve thought too much about in the past. Even if you have had to consider insulation previously, it’s still worth discussing the most sustainable options available with your building team before you rush out and buy some at a local DIY store.
It can take a lot of work to make a home lighter. Adding windows and skylights isn’t a cheap job, and the work can be disruptive. However, when you’re adding an extension, you have a prime opportunity to ensure that you’re maximising the amount of light you’re letting into the new space.
Talk to your architect, and consider where the sun rises and sets, as well as how the light changes throughout the year before you make any decisions. Not only will this increase the light coming into the extension, but if it’s open plan with the existing property, it can bring light into the main body of the house as well.