Remodelers Weigh in on Energy Efficiency

Homeowners are showing increased interest in ways to improve energy efficiency when remodeling.  With new advancements, homeowners are experiencing the increased ability to have their home work smarter.  Following are comments from members of the GHBA Remodelers Council.

Kevin Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling mentions that “It’s easier and easier to build an energy efficient home because of the enormous selections that are designed to be energy efficient.  But these blessings of having a vast availability of energy efficient materials can be a curse if the builder, designer or homeowner does not understand the science behind how these products work in concert once they are put into the home.”

John Gillette notes that “Remodeling for energy efficiency is not just about lowering energy costs, it’s also about comfort.  For instance, if you are renovating your kitchen, be sure to upgrade appliances to Energy Star certified ones. Smart design throughout the home can improve energy efficiency by simply paying attention to placement of windows and doors, shading windows, and adding patio covers and front porches to block the heat.  Homeowners are realizing that making the investment in energy efficient features and smart technology, improve comfort, save money and increase the value of their homes.”

Shawn Vacek of Remodelers of Houston notes “If you are planning a larger remodeling project such as a home addition, full home renovation or reconfiguration of your home’s layout, it often necessitates upgrading your home’s heating and cooling system to a high-efficiency model.  When walls, floors and ceilings are removed and space is added to the home, upgrading sooner rather than later will save time and money as well as energy.”

Dan Marshall of Innovative Skylights emphasizes that “Skylights let in more light than windows.  Proper placement may allow for elimination of windows to free up wall space, especially in kitchens. In dark areas, sun tunnel skylights allow for natural light during the day. Old acrylic skylights are energy sink holes and let in noise and air particulates. Replacing with new skylights will increase energy efficiency by 30% or more.”

Larry Abbott of Abbott Contracting reminds homeowners to “Have an energy efficiency audit of your home before embarking on a major remodel.  Check for air leaks, moisture intrusion and roofing issues. Check the foundation for cracks or bulges, attic vents for blockages, plumbing fixtures for corrosion and weather stripping around doors and windows for wear and tear.  Correcting these issues beforehand, not only will increase your energy efficiency but will protect the integrity of your remodeling project.”

Sherry Pruitt of Whodid It Designs and Remodeling and the 2019 President of the GHBA Remodelers Council says, “A good place to start being more energy efficient in your home is to replace all of your current light fixtures and bulbs with LED. Up to 75% of the energy costs can be saved by using these fixtures. It’s a small investment, but you will see the proof on your first energy bill. Numerous clients of mine can attest to these results. And who is going to complain about not having to change out a bulb for 12-20 years? ”

If you are deciding to start a remodeling project, think about energy saving improvements early in the planning stage. The end result will be a more comfortable, healthy and energy friendly home.