Eco-Friendly Options to Discuss With Your Home Builder

I live in a house with very little outdoor space, but I still wanted to grow some of my own food, so I started a container garden on my patio a few years ago. The first year was a steep learning curve with a lot of trial and error, but I've learned a lot about growing vegetables in containers and believe it's a valuable skill for everyone to have. I started this blog to share what I've learned and provide tips for making the most of the outdoor space you have. You'll find posts on a range of topics, such as the nutrients required for healthy vegetable plants, how to prepare your soil, companion planting for natural bug control and succession planting to grow more vegetables in the space you have available. I hope you enjoy my blog.

Eco-Friendly Options to Discuss With Your Home Builder

27 February 2017
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

When having a new home built, you would do well to consider all the eco-friendly options possible and discuss these with a home builder. Your home and site will have quite a bit of impact on the environment while the house is being built and then after you take occupancy, so note a few factors to consider and talk over with your builder.

Design the house and lot around the existing trees

Clearing out a lot completely can mean disturbing wildlife, and may even allow for soil erosion. This can be a risk even if you plan on planting new vegetation, as it may take some time for those new roots to get strong and hold moisture in the soil. Large and mature shade trees can also keep your home cool so you use less air conditioning in the summer, and this shade also protects the soil from drying out. Work with your builder and a landscaper to design your new home around as many existing trees as possible to avoid these risks.

Consider your window design

Don't assume that the windows you choose need to be the standard two-section, double hung variety. Casement windows, which have two sections side by side and which open into the home, can allow for more air circulation. These can mean using less electricity for cooling costs during the summer, saving energy and reducing the pollution created by electrical power plants.

Cut down on interior space

You may want a large and spacious home for the open and airy feeling, but the larger the home, the more energy needed to heat and cool it throughout the year. Have just one room of the home open and airy and then reduce the size of other rooms as much as possible. Talk to your builder about hidden storage options such as shelving built into walls, so that you can reduce closet sizes and other storage areas that often just waste your energy consumption.

Recycle the water

A water recycling system is not difficult to install in a residential home; this can capture water from the sinks and showers, filter it, and then use that water for the outdoor sprinklers. The water can also be redirected to the toilet tanks, so you don't use fresh water for flushing toilets. Underground trenches and pipes can also be added to the home's design so that water from the downspouts is then redirected to areas of the lawn that need more water, versus wasting that rainwater and then using fresh water for the home's yard.