Complete Your Green Home Improvement Plans With Beautiful Flooring

Green home improvement schemes have never been more popular than they currently are in the UK – with everyone from politicians to environmental charities to television programmes advising us on the ways we can live a lifestyle that is less damaging to the planet.

And there are plenty of reasons for setting yourself a project that will see you making your home greener – not only will this see you lowering your household’s carbon footprint, but also your annual utility bills.

Indeed, can there be any better feeling than knowing that you are reducing your carbon emissions and helping to preserve the planet for future generations, while also saving some of your hard-earned cash?

No matter what level of DIY expertise you have, you will find a job that is suitable for your skills level.

For example, simply filling in gaps and cracks around doors and windows could save you a few pounds, while it takes no skill at all to turn down the thermostat by one degree – but this could see you lowering your annual heating bills by ten per cent.

However, if you really want to invest in making your property greener, an entire central heating overhaul is one of the best ways to do it.

A household’s boiler makes up 60 per cent of a family’s annual energy bills – meaning that if you are still putting up with an old and unreliable model it is really time to consider a change.

Condensing boilers are among the most popular green options available on the domestic market and more people than ever before are investing in them.

The device is able to convert more of its fuel into usable heat for the home, rather than losing it, meaning that it produces less harmful emissions and also sees you paying less money to power it. In addition, its age means that it poses a reduced risk to your family than an item that is decades-old.

As with all gas appliances, if you have decided to splash out on a new boiler, it is vital that you contact only the correct tradesmen to do the work – all boiler engineers working in England and Wales must by law be members of the Gas Safe Register and boast the necessary qualifications to carry out the job they have been hired to do.

While they are revamping your central heating system with a new boiler, you could also ask these professionals about the benefits of having heating controls installed.

These products allow you to exercise more control over your radiators, choosing when they should come on and in what rooms – another great way to save money.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to giving your property a green overhaul!

Insulation is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon emissions, as it means less heat escapes from your home, so you can have your central heating set to a lower temperature, safe in the knowledge you are not wasting power.

Double glazing and cavity wall insulation are among the most effective ways of achieving a greener home – but every little job can make a difference.

For example, installing insulation under the floor can see you saving as much as £50 every year – and you could add another £20 to that figure by filling in any gaps or cracks you spot.

But, for a floor that is both aesthetically pleasing and good for the planet, there are many options available to you.

If you have decided to go one step further than simply insulating your floor by getting an altogether new one, you will find there is plenty to choose from.

Cork is a popular choice as the tiny air pockets it is full of makes it a great insulator – while it is also springy under foot, making it comfortable to walk on.

Bamboo is another choice – it looks good and is also less damaging to the planet than real wood as it comes from a fast growing grass that can be harvested at a rapid rate.

However if you have your heart set on hardwood floors, this option is still available to you. You could search for some recycled material to fashion into beautiful new floorboards, or choose wood that has come certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Once the work is complete, you are sure to get even more enjoyment from your new floors knowing that not only do they look good but that they are helping the planet too – just one of the brilliant aspects of your new green home.

Green Home Improvements And Property Values – Mutually Exclusive?

The environment has garnered a great deal of attention over the past few years, which has led many homeowners to make improvements on their homes that help reduce their impact on the environment. This shift in focus has led to an unfortunate battle with some Home Owners Associations across the country.

Homeowners’ associations, or HOA’s, are much like mini government entities that oversee the maintenance and the selling of homes in a particular community. These organizations make decisions on behalf of the entire community, and enforce rules that all homeowners in the area must abide by. These rules have been chosen with property values in mind, and if a homeowner refuses to adhere to these guidelines, they can be evicted by the HOA.

Green home improvements are controversial in HOA communities. Green changes such as solar paneling can take away from the aesthetics of a home and therefore drop the property value of that home and the homes around it. Many HOA’s have in fact outlawed solar panels despite their environmental benefit, because of the risk they pose in terms of property value.

Some states, such as California, have reacted by making it illegal for HOA’s to block the use of solar paneling.

Hanging clothes out to dry is one of the most talked about green improvement issues. Many HOA’s around the country have banned the use of outdoor drying racks due to their unsightly nature. Again, if something isn’t attractive, it must be removed, no matter what benefit it offers. Homeowners have been outraged by this, particularly in the southern states, where they don’t want to run their dryer on hot summer days. The extra heat and the wasted electricity are two reasons that this rule is unreasonable, but HOA’s are focused on the bottom line, and on maintaining a certain image for their community.

Even something as small as placing a fan in the front window can be a bone of contention for HOA’s Despite the heat, and despite the effects on the environment, homeowners must use air conditioners to cool themselves down, simply to avoid giving their home a lived-in look.

For owners of historic homes, the battle can be even bigger. Homeowners must get improvements approved of before going ahead, or they face hefty fines and even eviction. HOA’s in historical areas want to keep properties harmonious with each other, and true to their time period. Adding energy efficient window panes or solar paneling to reduce energy bills are simply out of the question. Modern adjustments would reduce the value of the property, so these improvements are actually seen as a detriment to the whole community.

If you want to make green improvements to your home, you must either move to an area where you won’t be dictated to by an HOA, or else fight the powers that be, and try to create a more democratic and environmentally responsible system that all members of the community can live with.