Building a home and its effect on the environment
Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at 11:21am.
Most things in life are better when you do them yourself. It’s easy to simply buy something, but making it can often be more inexpensive, and even far more gratifying. Building your own home is no exception, even if you don’t take on the whole project by yourself. There are lots of reasons to consider building your own home, but some of the more overlooked reasons are environmental. There is a vast difference between what you might do, versus any of the major companies that would otherwise build your new home.
One thing to consider is that a home development project usually isn’t about just a single building. You, on your own, will just be building your own home, but when a company gets to work, it is on entire neighborhoods. Depending on where you plan on building, local habitats will already have been destroyed when the neighborhood streets were prepped and paved, but the construction of a house will cause even more of an effect on the environment. By just constructing your one home, you’ll already be lowering your impact on things during the building process. However, you are making a large building, and so your impact will not be zero.
During the building process, be sure to do your best to keep track of the waste you are creating and dispose of it properly whenever you get the chance. Most of the material you use will end up in the building itself, but there will still be a lot left over. This can be a substantial amount of waste, and can take up quite a lot of space in a landfill if you let it. You’re going to have a lot of different stuff, so recycle what you can, and dispose of everything else in the best way available to you. If ever there was a time to consider your recycling resolve, it is when you are a building a house. You can also make an effort to use materials that have already been recycled, making your own home environmentally friendly and at the same time helping other homes to do the same. Depending on where you buy, recycled materials can also cost you less than a lot of what you might get that is new. If you can continue to reuse old materials, you can help to take stress off forests and other natural sources for construction materials. If you can’t find the right recycled materials to use, there are also non-toxic avenues you can take to reduce the effect your house will have on the environment both during and after construction. There are a number of locations in Boise and the rest of Treasure Valley that can provide you will the materials you need to get started.
One problem you might run into while constructing your house is all the codes and regulations you’ll need to follow. This will become especially difficult if you intend to construct your home somewhere outside an already developed area. Of course, you’ll find it very hard to build in a national or state park, but an area doesn’t have to have blanket protection from the government to be protected in some way. You may have a good piece of land all picked out to build your home, but find out from the government that you will be unable to build there because the construction and presence of a house would cause too much damage to a nearby endangered species. If you aren’t building anywhere off the beaten path, using environmentally friendly materials can go a long way to meet federal codes. Most of these materials follow Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, and can also be found at a business in Treasure Valley and all over Idaho.
Once construction on your house is complete, there are a number of things you can still do to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are already a classic way of replacing dirtier power generation methods with something much more clean and efficient. They may have an initially steep price associated with them, but over time they will pay for themselves in the reductions you will see on your electricity bill. If regular solar panels won’t work, you might look into a solar roof, created by Tesla. It functions on a similar principle to solar panels but blends in with the rest of the house. A common criticism of solar panels is the way they look, but a solar roof looks just the same as a regular one and might save you even more than regular panels by providing a lot more panel surface area. This is an option to especially consider during the construction of a brand-new house, as you won’t have to worry about the difficulty and expense of replacing an old roof to get the solar roof installed.
If you’re wondering why you should bother worrying about your environmental impact, know that expense and saving aren’t the only benefits that can be reaped when building an environmentally friendly home. These practices can be a benefit to your health as well. You can help contribute to better air and water quality in your community. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to single-handedly cause any great change, but you can help start a trend for the better in your area. Many people don’t consider the ramifications of what their home due to the environment, but your careful planning and efforts can do a lot to change that.
Building your own home can be a very rewarding experience, but it can be even more rewarding to do it while also thinking of what you can do to help the environment. Even if you aren’t doing the building yourself, some of these methods can still be used as long as you ask for them, and work something out with whoever you have contracted or hired to do the job. Of course, there’s always a little money to be saved on the side when you approach the construction with imagination.