A home extension can be an excellent way to give you and your family room to grow. You could use the chance to make extra living space, more bedrooms, a home office or a hobby room. Extending a rural home can give you more options, particularly if you live a decent distance from your nearest neighbours. You could build a large extension, adding multiple rooms to your property if you have the right amount of land.
You’ll need the right funding to ensure that your extension is as eco-friendly as possible, as some of the most eco-friendly options are also higher in cost. Fortunately, using eco-friendly methods for building works is typically an excellent way to ensure the extension is built to a higher quality.
1. Use As Many Sustainable Materials As Possible
The first thing to consider when building an eco-friendly extension is the material you will use during construction. It is important to choose sustainable options, which will make the entire project more eco-friendly.
You could consider things like pre-cast concrete, which is concrete that is poured and cured off-site, and brought in to be assembled. This can be much more eco-friendly than pouring cement on site. There are also great options like bamboo and wood that can be used for various parts of construction.
2. Reclaim Less Sustainable Materials
For materials that aren’t sustainable but are still required for construction, you could consider using reclaimed materials. These are materials that have been used in other constructions and have been saved for reuse after deconstruction, making them far better for the environment than new materials. Some people are wary of using reclaimed construction materials, but strict rules are in place to ensure that the reclaimed materials are still of excellent quality.
3. Fit Plenty Of Eco-Friendly Insulation
Insulation is an excellent way to ensure that your home extension is energy efficient and, therefore, more eco-friendly. You should include insulation in every gap, crawl space, wall cavity and the attic. If you want a sustainable insulation option, then sheep’s wool and straw are both excellent and sustainable insulation options.
4. Have LED Lights Throughout
LEDs are a great sustainable addition to the home, lasting years longer than traditional bulbs while using a fraction of the energy. You should use LEDs in all areas of the house, including your new extension. The cost of LEDs is a little higher than old-fashioned bulbs, but given that they can last upwards of a decade, the price is well worth the investment.
5. Get The Right Ecological Surveys
Ecological surveys are crucial for any work that may impact local wildlife. There are various types of environmental surveys, and to ensure a minimal impact on the local environment, you should be as comprehensive as possible with surveying. In addition, some surveys will be a mandatory requirement for receiving planning permission for your extension.
As a rural homeowner, you will also need to survey for protected species like badgers to ensure that the work does not disrupt their habitat. Arbtech offers a range of high-quality arboricultural and ecological surveys aimed towards helping gain planning permission, ideal for anyone looking to extend their rural home.
6. Consider A Green Roof
A green roof can have a range of eco-friendly benefits for your home. Green roofs are covered in vegetation and an underlayer of waterproofing to create a beautiful and unique green rooftop. The benefits of a green roof include reduced rainwater runoff and waste, providing a habitat for local flora and fauna, and boosting biodiversity. The amount of maintenance needed will rely on the type and extensiveness of the green roof.
7. Find The Best Quality Doors And Windows
Doors and windows play a vital role in keeping our homes warm and secure from the elements. Faulty doors or windows can let in drafts and moisture, which will make heating the house less efficient. You could choose the highest quality doors and windows possible, ensuring they are well-fitted and checking for damage regularly. Triple-glazed windows can be an excellent investment, as they offer even better insulation than traditional double-glazing.
8. Install Skylights
Skylights are an excellent way to maximise natural light in your home, which can cut down your use of electricity. There are many types of skylights which can be beneficial to different areas of the house, so it is worth doing some research and consulting your architect to decide which lights will be best suited to your home.
9. Choose Non-Toxic Paints And Cleaning Products
Anything you use in the home can have a run-on impact on the environment. This is particularly true with paints and cleaning products, which may release toxins into your home and local environment. There are plenty of paints and paint products available to choose from, so make sure to read any labels on paints you’re considering to find out how ecologically sound they are.
For cleaning materials, it is best to avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. These can end up in the drainage system, which can cause damage to habitats and wildlife. Instead, use natural cleaning products which are usually perfect for cleaning typical household messes. Natural options like white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice can be used to make quality natural cleaning solutions.
10. Invest In Solar Panels
Adding solar panels to the roof of your extension can be an excellent way to improve sustainability. This can be particularly beneficial on south-facing roofs, which will get sunlight throughout the day. You can then use the electricity generated to power your home and even sell any surplus to the National Grid.
Being eco-friendly when building your rural home extension is critical to reducing your impact on the planet. There are many ways you can achieve your eco goals, and it is always important to look at the bigger picture when making any decisions for construction. It may also help to hire an architect and construction company with experience in providing eco-friendly solutions. They will be able to help you design and build your extension to the best possible eco standards.
Article Submitted By Community Writer