An eco-friendly makeover for your home is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint—but make sure your approach is a true “green” approach! Your heart and intentions can be in the right place, but it’s easy to make some common mistakes when trying to choose eco-friendly renovations for your home.

In some cases, the wrong “upgrades” can make your house a more significant liability to the environment! However, with careful planning and the right research, you can go green with your home and live comfortably (and responsibly). 

What kind of mistakes can ruin your eco-friendly renovation? Keep reading to find out!

1. A Flawed Plan

Have you heard of “The Butterfly Effect?” It’s a theory that attempts to explain the impact that small changes can make on bigger things. According to the theory, one small change can sometimes have a significant effect on seemingly unrelated things later. 

Whether you subscribe to this theory or not, it’s critical to be aware of the potential impact of every change you make when planning your green home makeover. If your goal is to minimize your CO2 emissions, make sure the changes you make to meet that goal don’t create a separate eco-problem elsewhere in your rebuild. 

When creating your eco-friendly plan, decide on the goal for your green redesign. Research materials and construction methods that help accomplish that goal without causing unintended adverse effects that work against your environmentally-friendly plan. 

2. Starting From Scratch

Most renovations start with demolition. However, you could ruin your green renovation plan if you tear out existing materials and toss them without considering their potential for re-use. 

Your home could already have some environmentally-friendly materials that don’t need to end up in a landfill. As you demo each room, review materials to potentially re-use them within your home or recycle responsibly.

If you can re-use any materials, you reduce the production necessary to start over from scratch. Repurposing wood or other materials from your home is one of the best ways to go green with your rebuild!

3. Using New Materials

As you bring in new materials to rebuild cabinets, add flooring, or add new structures inside your home, be careful about the materials you choose. “New to you” materials don’t need to be brand new or freshly manufactured. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t do the earth any good if you renovate your home with materials manufactured through processes with a large carbon footprint. 

Look for recycled materials and items you can repurpose into your home. Removing waste from landfills can update your home in an eco-friendly way. Choosing sustainable and eco-friendly building materials helps you maintain a green renovation. 

4. Forgetting Water Collection Systems

One of the best ways to improve your home’s eco-friendly functionality is to collect and recycle rainwater. However, without planning for it in the early stages of your rebuild, you could forget about it!

Reducing the water consumption from your city sources is easier with a rain collection system. Using rainwater to care for your lawn and landscaping can have a significant impact on the amount of water you use from less-renewable sources. 

5. Using Non-Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

“Regular” windows and doors look nice, but are they helping to maintain the temperatures inside your home? Are they made from renewable materials? If not, your doors and windows could be offsetting other green updates to your home. 

Manufactured wood products do not contribute to an eco-friendly renovation project. Look for doors made from recycled materials or reclaimed wood. Aged wood can become a gorgeous entry door to make a statement to guests or passersby. 

Replace windows with Energy Star-certified windows, and make sure the installers seal each window properly. These green-friendly windows help reduce energy bills and prevent air from leaking in and out of your home. 

6. Using the Wrong Insulation 

The wrong insulation can be an eco-disaster. Materials like asbestos or fiberglass are not renewable and can be harmful to you and your family. If you’re remodeling an older home, hire professional asbestos testing services and follow their recommendations to remove any asbestos found in your home safely. 

Then, replace old, harmful insulation with greener insulation options to maximize your home’s energy-efficiency and reduce your impact on the environment!

7. Paving the Driveway With Asphalt

A freshly-paved driveway can be a beautiful addition to your remodeled home. However, asphalt is not the best option when considering the eco-friendly plan for your home’s upgrades.

Asphalt doesn’t allow the ground to absorb rainwater or promote natural growth—but we understand that a driveway without any kind of paving can lead to a muddy entrance to your home and plenty of runoff. 

Choose greener methods to cover your driveway as a finishing exterior touch. Gravel, porous concrete, pavers, or crushed stone add a unique look to your driveway while preventing runoff and staying true to a greener home. 

8. Tackling Landscaping Last

Landscaping often comes last when finishing a home remodel. If you’re planning a functional garden or landscape to contribute to your eco-friendly home, saving it to the last step means it won’t be ready for you any time soon. 

Be strategic when planning your foliage. If you’re using shrubs for privacy and drainage, work the planting of these pieces around the renovation activity inside and outside of your house. For a garden that will provide food for your table after the end of the renovation, plant what you can early in the rebuild to enjoy your harvest sooner rather than later. 

Make Good Choices For An Eco-Friendly Renovation

A lot of decisions go into any home remodel. When targeting a green upgrade, make good choices for an eco-friendly renovation. Do your research, take the time to find recycled and sustainable materials, and avoid anything that can offset the impact of your good green decisions. 

Was this information helpful? Use these ideas for your next home remodel, and be sure to browse more of our articles!