For Best Remodeling Results, Evolve

By tackling renovation projects wisely, you can have the eco-friendly home you want with a minimum of stress.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to do your part, to upgrade your home’s systems and products, so that it’s less of a burden on the world’s resources. Maybe you bought a fixer-upper; maybe your new “starter” home needs an energy makeover. Or maybe you just decided it’s time to launch your existing home forward into the future. Whatever the scenario, you’re one of the lucky ones: You own a home.

Homeowners Handbook of Green Building & RemodelingLike you, I’ve had good and bad experiences with remodeling projects. Sometimes the money spent hasn’t led to the outcomes I expect. 

For example, when I added super-efficient heat pumps to my home a few years ago, I expected to greatly reduce my heating bill. What I hadn’t considered was how poorly insulated my building was. That leakage ate away at much of my efficiency gains. 

But I learned. And in my years talking to builders, remodelers, and homeowners, I’ve gained similar insights into almost every aspect of home remodeling and construction. 

This is why I wrote the Homeowners Handbook of Green Building and Remodeling for you. 

The aspects of our homes that most affect our future selves happen in the planning and construction phase. But we can’t always control that phase. We might be jumping in at a later “level.” To help, I created a diagram called “The Green Building Pyramid.” 


The premise of the Pyramid is simple: Focus on the lowest cost/big impact aspects of construction first. If you have the chance, use good building science to decide WHERE you build your home. Also think about which way it will face. Select the SITING in relation to the sun. Finally, focus on the SIZE of the floorplan. Smaller is almost always greener. 

Next, move up the Pyramid, building a durable, super-efficient shell, one step at a time. Use the best wall system for your region, the right windows, the most durable siding, and so on. 

If you’re jumping into your home’s pyramid late, other tools can still raise the bar in your home, both in terms of performance and security. Smart sensors, leak detectors, power use monitors, and other technology such as solar panels and inverters have become vastly more effective and useful in recent years. They can help you get a “heads up” display of how your house performs. 

Build as small as you can manage, and spend less time managing and more time living–resilient in the face of anything the world throws at you over the coming years.  

Download your free copy of the Homeowners Handbook of Green Building and Remodeling here. 

Publisher’s Note: This content is made possible by our Today’s Homeowner Campaign Sponsors: Whirlpool, Vivint, myQ, Sonos and Jinko Solar . These companies take sustainability seriously, in both their products and their operations. Learn more about building and buying homes that are more affordable and less resource intensive.