Getting a professional’s perspective on any topic can be an eye-opening conversation. We posed some questions to Judy Martin, founder and principal of Green Home Consulting LLC, and found out that going green doesn’t just mean recycling. Going green means you save money in the long run while making a significant impact on the environment at the same time. Check out Judy’s answers to our green questions.
What are some things people can consider when remodeling a kitchen or bathroom if they want to be green conscious?
If remodeling is out to the studs, it’s a great time to add high-performance insulation on perimeter walls. If it is a “bump out”, there also may be opportunities to insulate the ceiling or roof. Insulation is the first priority. Second would be to choose Energy Star appliances. Refrigerators use more electricity than any other appliance in the home. Other energy savings measures include LED lighting. Clients may take the opportunity of a remodeling to add a water purification system. In bathrooms, clients should choose low-flow toilets and possibly install a faucet aerator. There are also many green building materials.
Is there a significant difference in cost that consumers should budget for when building or remodeling green?
Historically, studies showed a 5-6% increase in cost. The differential is less now as more green products and techniques become mainstream. Higher costs also will be offset by savings on other capital costs plus lower operating costs.
What should you look for when hiring contractors who are environmentally focused?
There are not so many contractors who are experienced in green building so I advise clients to hire someone who is not just willing but eager to learn green building. The whole project will go more smoothly if the contractor is not set on his “usual” approach but is willing to try some things that are new to him. This can be hard because he has to take a little risk on something new and he wants to be comfortable guaranteeing his work. Homeowners need to watch out for “greenwash” and look at several examples of completed work.
Is remodeling or building green becoming more widespread or is it still a small niche market?
It’s becoming more widespread but is still a fairly small market. After a winter like the past one, homeowners are more focused than ever on energy efficiency. Certain aspects, like high-efficiency heating and cooling, are fairly standard practice in most homes.
Why is building green important to you? Why do you believe people should consider being green when building?
Even a pale shade of green can make a real difference in both operating costs and comfort in the home. You don’t need to walk around your house in a sweater! You can keep the thermostat low, save money and be comfortable. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable in their home? And the good news is, that while people are helping themselves, they are also helping the environment by conserving resources.
Going green will save the earth with one person at a time, but it will also save you money on energy bills. Judy mentions, watch out for greenwash when hiring for your next remodel. Businesses that greenwash tell you about how green they are when really they don’t minimize their environmental impact as a business.
Do you want to work with Judy? Contact Green Home Consulting:
Green Home Consulting LLC
411 Theodore Fremd Avenue, Suite 206 South
Rye, NY 10580
Or find them on Facebook!