Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.
This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.
Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.
Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading →
This article is intended for two types of buyers. Those who favour the resale value of the property they want to buy and those who wish to go green and buy a sustainable and ecological home, usually Gen Y first-time buyers (Millenials).
Who would have thought that we would see the words “ecological” and “profitable” in the same sentence someday? Within the next 20 years, sustainable and ecological homes will see their value increase. They have a good resale potential.
Ecological homes have many characteristics. First off, its size is equivalent to the household’s needs, it contains healthy and sustainable materials, its energy consumption (heating and cooling) is considerably reduced and its materials have a high recycling potential.
According to Écohabitation, metal roofs, made of painted or galvanized steel, have a life expectancy of more than 50 years. They require no maintenance and are 100% recyclable. Wood, composite wood, and EPDM roofs are almost as durable. Other materials are also recommended, but stay away from asphalt shingles! Continue reading →
It’s wrong to say that aesthetics and durability don’t go hand in hand. On the contrary! A green kitchen exudes warmth and cheerfulness, otherwise difficult to obtain. Here is an example.
Imagine a large floor made of natural linoleum, ceramic, wood, concrete or natural stone, like slate or terracotta. Just above are the cabinets made of solid wood, bamboo or wheat board panels. And plenty of natural sunlight is streaming through the windows.
Did you wince when reading the words linoleum and bamboo? You see, times have changed. Today’s linoleum is sold in many different colours and contemporary designs and bamboo comes in many various shades. Take some time to shop around.
The sink is in natural stone or stainless steel. The base of the kitchen island is made of wood, while the countertops of ceramic, waxed concrete, stainless steel or any other material imitating stone. On the wall, copper pans are hanging.
Note that all the surfaces in the kitchen are made of durable, hygienic and easy to maintain materials. Three of the criteria that largely exemplify a green kitchen. Continue reading →
Ceramic is as old as the world. It has been manufactured and used for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were crazy about it. Ceramic is found in every corner of the world.
Clay is the first material used to manufacture ceramic. It is baked at very high temperatures. Clay is abundant in nature, even if manufacturers have been using it for ages. From this aspect, ceramic is definitely an ecological material.
On top of that, ceramic is extremely durable once it is placed on the floor or walls. It can last for almost half a century. And it requires little maintenance, which in itself is a distinguishing feature of a sustainable material.
The surface of ceramic is often vitreous, which means that there is no risk of toxic substances spreading in the air of a home. Even better: more and more manufacturers are resorting to recycled material, such as glass, to manufacture ceramic.
The beauty and richness of carpets and rugs is undeniable. They are a fountain of colours, styles, designs and textures. They can give a room its decorative momentum.
Carpets and rugs have been getting bad press for a few years (read the Green carpets and rugs article), which explains their decline, but that doesn’t affect their role as creator of ambiance. The sumptuous lofts of Chelsea in London or Manhattan in New York do not deprive themselves of carpets.
Walls with neutral colours allow carpets and rugs filled with flamboyant designs to become the centre of attraction, since these textiles have the ability to define the style of a bedroom, a living room or any kind of sitting room. For example, sparkling colours will blend with the warm woodwork of a room, creating a sumptuous decor.
On the contrary, a plain carpet or rug allows you to decorate a room any way you like. Sometimes designs and colours of a carpet or large rug are found elsewhere in the room: bed cover, curtains, a throw rug on a crate, creating an effect of continuity. If everything is rather plain, you get an atmosphere tinted with great intimacy. Continue reading →
Articles on home financing, home decor & renovations