Renovation season gets underway each year as soon as spring’s tulips begin to peek out of gardens across the city. In a previous post, I had suggested that if eco-minded homeowners are not quite ready for a complete overhaul, smaller scale changes should be implemented slowly to ensure their effectiveness, after all the tortoise did win the race.
Observing this spring’s rebuild season has lead me to believe that not only are more homes receiving environmental improvements, but that homeowners are more frequently jumping in with both feet. During my explorations of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, I have noticed an increase in lawn signage denoting eco-renovation projects that are underway. Some are complete demolition-and-start-from-scratch ventures while others maintain their roof and walls and are simply gutted.
I have been observing an undertaking by Eco-Green Homes over the past little while. The company’s website states: “focus has been on ecologically responsible building methods, use of energy saving and the health-enhancing design principles, and the use of innovative methods and materials”. Keeping this in mind, the project that I mentioned above as well as photos on the website show that quality is not necessarily compromised in favour of a shrinking footprint (a common fear among would-be renovators I have spoken to).
Whether the reasons lie in the environmentally conscious realm or if homeowners simply wish to reduce their utility bills or increase resale value (I am the proud owner of an engineered cork floor thanks to the previous owner who installed it), the rise of the eco-renovation does suggest that people are beginning to make drastic changes to their living spaces. If the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ neighbourhood clause rings true, we will be seeing a continued increase in these alternative renovation practices.
Jesse Fleming is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Email Jesse
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Shrinking Your Environmental Footprint as a Home Owner
Shrinking Your Environmental Footprint as a Home Owner - Part 2
May 29, 2008City |