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How General Contractors Can Help You Build a Green Home

Modern home designs are often focused on a green floor plan. Environmental friendly construction techniques and building materials come together to make a green home that allows your family to live comfortably while protecting the planet. General contractors are the very best professionals to partner with when you are planning green home renovations or an eco friendly new build.

Why Hire a General Contractor?

General contractors provide homeowners with peace of mind through project management. They will coordinate your job from the design stage through to completion, taking care of every step in an efficient, professional manner.

That level of management is ideal when you are looking to create a green home. Hiring tradesmen and specialized contractors separately will require much more work on your part. In this case you will also be in charge of communicating the overall vision and mission of your project. That can get complicated and you may end up compromising on key issues due to the work and time involved in project management.

General contracting firms have insight and a long list of tradesmen they have worked with before. From landscapers and roofers to flooring installers and painters, general contractors have the connections you need. This will push your project forward faster and creates better synergy between all contractors and trades working at your home.

The investment required when hiring a general contractor is well worth it, considering the level of quality you will receive. A general contractor will save you plenty of headaches as well.

How To Create a Green Home

There are many elements of your home that can be transformed into a greener space. Think about the three R's: recycling, reducing and reliability.

Recycling - It's easier than you think to include recycled materials in your home. From salvaged building materials to recycled glass countertops and recycled asphalt driveways, there are a wide variety of projects and designs that make good use of recycling. Restoration projects are an excellent example of recycled home renovations and often result in green homes and living spaces.

Try to keep waste down by throwing out less during the construction phase. Call around to local salvaging companies and inquire about pick-ups. Many firms will come and remove used building materials such as cabinets, bathroom fixtures, flooring and even bricks or stone. There may be a small charge for this service, but it is well worth it. And the landfill will often charge to dump used building materials as well, meaning you'll spend the money in either case.

Reducing - Concentrate on creating a home that is energy efficient. New windows and doors can go a long way to reducing your energy usage when heating and cooling the living space. Adding insulation also helps, as does repairing exterior walls and eliminating drafts. Upgrade your light fixtures and appliances to high efficiency brands, which will reduce your electricity bill as well as helping the environment.

It also helps to reduce the amount of toxins and VOCs released into your home. Carpets, paint, wallpaper and vinyl products are common sources of VOCs and toxins such as adhesives, lacquers and other chemicals. Investigate your options when designing the renovation. Think about eco friendly paints, carpet-free flooring and replacing vinyl with more natural products. You may be surprised to find out that environmentally friendly products are low maintenance and durable, depending on the brand chosen.

Construction techniques can also be trimmed down to reduce waste and excess. General contractors will be sure to order materials accurately, keeping surplus costs and materials to a minimum. Professional contractors are also adept at working efficiently, making the best use of daylight hours and ensuring your project is completed in the fastest time possible (while still maintaining top quality).

Reliability - One of the best ways homeowners can create a greener home is by investing in quality. When fixtures, finishes and other elements of your home wear out prematurely it creates waste and added expense.

Homeowners can expect to pay for that quality, but the investment will certainly be worth it. It is a better idea to choose an upgraded carpet that will last for twelve years, instead of replacing the less expensive brand in five or six years. Not only does this cost the homeowner more, but it will also result in more waste (the discarded, worn carpet) and a larger overall carbon footprint for your home.

Choosing a Green General Contractor

It pays to research the local general contractors, to find out whether they are reputable and to discover if they have experience in dealing with green renovations. Read up on local buildings that are going green. Many shopping malls, apartment buildings, corporate offices and schools are including green elements on their properties - ask around to gather a list of potential contractors

Browse through the company websites, with an eye out for any mention of green projects and innovations. Do they work with well known green manufacturers? Are they members of contractor's associations that focus on green projects? Has their work won any awards?

Getting recommendations is one of the best ways to handle hiring. Home renovations are expensive and often prolonged projects. You do not want to hire the wrong contractor, since you'll be living with their handiwork for years to come. Take your time working through the hiring process and be sure to compare pricing, experience and communication skills before making your decision.

Reputable general contractors know how to handle green home renovations and eco friendly new homes. They have the experience, connections and expertise necessary to create the ideal environmentally friendly living space for your family. Do your research in the hiring stage and look forward to a comfortable, durable and quality renovation that will be good for your family and the planet.

Posted by: diana
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Great renovations start with a great contractor.

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