Recent studies show that opting for a green home renovation process can increase your rate of return by close to 20%.
Not only that — green homes are an incredibly popular market trend, especially among millennials.
If you’re thinking of renovating your house, hiring green contractors benefits a lot more than just the environment. It also helps your wallet to pack a serious punch.
Read on to learn more about what you need to look for in your search for reliable, experienced green contractors.
1. Ensure They’re Licensed
While checking for licenses and asking to see a company’s safety management plan is a crucial part of any home renovation, it’s especially important when it comes to working with green contractors.
Often, green renovations require more complicated work than standard ones. This means that finding a contractor with the experience to get the job done right the first time is essential.
A proper license is the first indicator of that experience.
The next one is a solid safety plan and insurance policy. Insist upon getting this in writing to prevent you from being held liable should anything go wrong during the renovation process.
2. Ask For Samples Of Past Work
You’ve likely read studies exposing food companies claiming to be “organic” that are anything but.
Unfortunately, the same thing holds true for shoddy green contractors. There are people out there that will claim to use “green” and “eco-friendly” techniques and designs — without ever having any intention of actually doing so.
However, don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.
Instead, know what to look out for.
Ensure that your contractor has certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. This means that your potential contractor has all the education they need to actually build a green home from the ground up — or renovate an existing home to make it more eco-friendly.
Then, ask the right questions to prove to your contractor you’ve done your research on their due diligence. Ask if they use paints that are low in volatile organic compounds. Also inquire about their use of passive solar design, which helps to ensure that both heat and cool air are spread evenly throughout a home.
If they can’t give you a straight answer, or don’t even know what you’re talking about, it’s time to cut and run.
Another way to ensure your contractor can get the job done right?
By contacting their past customers directly. Ask for both direct referrals as well as portfolios/samples of their past work. If a contractor is unwilling to give you both or either of those things, it’s time to move on — you’ve dodged a bullet.
3. Insist on A Master Builder
The majority of green contractors today will also be certified as “Master Builders” by the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (“EEBA” for short.)
Not only does this designation mean that your contractor will be up-to-date on all the latest technology and development in the world of green construction and design.
It also means that they’ll be able to balance your aesthetic wishes with your green goals. In other words, they’ll give you a house that’s both eco-friendly and fits in with your design concept.
4. Is Your Contractor A Certified Remodeler?
Green renovations are meant to make your home more pleasant and improve your quality of life.
However, a poor remodeling job can have the opposite effect. Not to mention, it can also be an incredible waste of resources.
To avoid a headache and additional expenses, make sure you’ve hired a remodeling contractor that’s been certified by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI.)
5. Ask How They Plan To Conserve Materials
There’s no getting around the fact that, no matter how much effort your contractor puts into your remodeling process, sometimes, a waste of materials can accidentally happen.
What you need to focus on, however, are there concrete plans to reduce the amount of materials they’ll use to complete your project. Fewer materials means less trash — and of course, more financial savings for you.
Another part of this conservation of materials?
How your contractor plans to make the most out of anything that’s left over once your project is complete. Make sure you talk to your contractor about what they plan to do with excess supplies.
Many stores that cater to low-income families accept donations of building materials. This means that they’ll help a family in need to build a home, instead of sitting in a landfill.
Of course, these stores can’t accept everything that you’ll have leftover. So, it’s important to ask your green contractor about how they plan to recycle any leftover materials that can’t be donated.
6. Make Sure Communication Is Consistent
As a homeowner, you have a right to be kept up-to-date about the progress of your renovation project.
Before you get started, make it clear with your contractor about how the two of you plan to stay in touch, and what you expect to be completed by specific dates. As with the insurance policy, also get these dates and commitments in writing if possible.
Remember, if a contractor takes weeks to respond to emails, it’s a pretty good indicator of what the construction process will look like.
Hire Green Contractors For Your Next Remodeling Job
Thanks to these tips, you can confidently begin the search for the perfect green contractor to create or update the sustainable home of your dreams.
Remember, it’s all about asking questions, doing your research, and holding your contractor accountable.
Of course, your home isn’t the only place where you should go green.
Check out our blog for tips on how to lower the environmental impact of your office. We also offer advice on a variety of eco-friendly topics, including achieving environmental wellness and tips on how to handle a pest invasion the green way.
Keep checking back with our site to ensure you’re always up-to-date with the latest green development.