By Mark McLean, TREB President
Buying a fixer- upper is a great way to buy in a desirable neighborhood at an affordable cost. Renovating is a way to build equity in your home. Updates to the kitchen, bathroom or family room can maximize space for your family to grow and add value to your property.
When contemplating how you will update your home, it’s wise to keep in mind going green has big benefits and that which was once old can be made new again.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce
What do donations and renovations have in common? The Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This building supply store accepts and resells quality new and used building materials. Funds support Habitat’s building programs while reducing the amount of used materials in the landfill. Check out ReStores online at: www.habitat.ca/en/community/restores/location
Before you decide to donate or recycle, maybe consider refurbishing old items to make them new again. Like updating a tub, a sink or countertop? Techniques for resurfacing and countertops made of more modern materials like Caesar Stone, recycled glass, concrete, steel, stones, and the myriad of tiles will give you lots of options for upgrading the look without replacing the whole bathroom or kitchen.
Energy efficient lighting, appliances, faucets, toilets and showerheads are a few options for increasing the green factor in your home, not to mention the monetary savings.
When it comes to flooring, cork and bamboo are among the greenest options as they come from renewable sources. Bamboo is also a great choice for cabinets. Another responsible option would be wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada.
When purchasing windows look for low-E argon-filled units with the Energy Star® symbol to achieve the highest thermal efficiency.
Useful tip: Ever wondered how old your thermo-pane windows are? Most are stamped with the year and month they were made on the metal piece between the panes of glass.
Replacing an aging roof may prevent bigger problems from happening in the future. Roof shingles made from a variety of recycled materials are widely available and sometimes the life expectancy of your new roof is worth paying the extra costs. Housing is a long-term investment.
Heating systems and central air conditioning are wise investments for your home for a few reasons. Investing in high-efficiency doesn’t just benefit the environment, but as a homeowner you will experience significant savings for your household when you choose models with the Energy Star® symbol.
While décor may be subject to taste, you will find that energy efficient money saving upgrades have a universal appeal. Keeping these tips in mind can help you increase your home equity, while reducing your carbon footprint. They can also make for great selling features when it’s time to move again.
For more information about greening and renovating your home, or commercial properties talk to a Greater Toronto REALTOR®. Visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com for neighbourhood profiles, open house listings, market updates and more.