Building Your California Home? 7 Environmentally Friendly Construction Tips

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The state of California is ideal for building your home from the ground up. With its warm sunny climate, stunning beaches and plenty of trendy things to do and places to eat, California has earned its name as the ‘sunshine state’ and it’s the perfect location for singles, couples, young families and older people whose children have flown the nest. Whether you’re looking to build a home in California to kick start your career, provide a lovely base for your young family to grow, or enjoy your retirement, there are many opportunities that you can take in order to build yourself a home that’s environmentally conscious. 

One of the biggest advantages of building your own home is that you can oversee the construction from the start and make sure that your home is better for the planet compared to older properties. And when building your home, you will also want to make sure that along with being better for the environment, it’s a building that is able to save you money and keep your monthly costs down in the future. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out these top tips we’ve put together to help you build an eco-friendly California property. 
#1. Solar Panel Installation:
Solar panels are growing in popularity not only in California but all over the U.S., and it’s easy to see why. And when you’re living in the sunshine state, it makes sense to take advantage of all that sunlight as much as you can. Solar panels generate energy from your home using the sun, and in addition to protecting and conserving energy resources on the planet, the energy that they generate for your home is also free of charge, meaning that they will start saving you a considerable amount of money on your monthly expenses from the moment that your home is built and ready to live in. 

And, getting your solar panels installed is easier than ever – with companies like offering the best solar power in Los Angeles, with a wide range of options to choose from including top brands like Panasonic, customers can choose from panels manufactured both inside and outside of the U.S., along with a range of design options to choose from. You can choose from traditional solar panels such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels that tend to be the most popular options, or if you want to save money on the initial installation, thin film solar panels can be an ideal alternative. They also offer a range of new solar technologies as the best solar company in Los Angeles and the bay area, including cutting-edge biohybrid solar cells. 

Incorporating solar panels into the build of your home is easier than ever with plenty of opportunities to save money with solar panel financing in Los Angeles, or earn money back with solar tax credit in Los Angeles, the bay area and many other areas of the sunshine state. You will even be able to sell the excess energy that your home generates back to the grid where it can be used to power homes and businesses in your area. 
#2. Invest in Good Windows and Doors:
When building your California home, investing more in high-quality windows and doors is a must that will help you save money in the future. Using cheaper sealants for your doors and windows now might seem like a good cost-saving exercise – but the truth is, over time, the problem with poorly sealed doors and windows is that they allow air to flow in and out of the home, leaving you struggling to keep it warm in the winter months and cool during the summer. As a result, your heating and cooling systems will have to work even harder to keep your home at the right temperature and you will end up using more energy than you need to, and your bank balance will suffer. And in terms of the environment, properly sealed windows and doors will keep your home’s heating and cooling systems working at the correct rate to get the right temperature for your home, so you are using less resources than is absolutely necessary. 

In addition to proper sealing, double or even triple-glazed windows are ideal for your home and the environment as they act as an even stronger shield against the elements. In addition, extra glazing for your windows will keep your home quieter inside, which is ideal if you are living in a busy area. 
#3. Insulation is Important:
Incorporating high quality insulation into your home when building it will ensure that your home is kept at the right temperature in the future and as a result uses up less in terms of renewable energy resources. Poor insulation can cause another heating and cooling issue in your home, and it’s not only important for keeping your property warm during the winter months – the right insulation can also protect your pipes and help to keep your home at the right temperature during the warmer summer months, too. 

Since the insulation that you use is going to be controlling the temperature in your home for years to come, it’s important to make sure that you’re initially investing in high-quality insulation options that you can rely on for a long time. Home builders can be very flexible with the type of products that you require for your home and you may even be able to design your home around the specific type of insulation that you want, so it’s a wise idea to let your contractors know which type of insulation you think will be best. 
#4. Conserve Water:
One of the biggest advantages of building your own home from the ground up is that you can design it in such a way that it uses water efficiently. Water wastage is becoming an increasingly bigger issue when it comes to the environment, and more and more homeowners are looking for ways in which they can use less water throughout the day without making drastic changes to their routine. Sure, you can use old-fashioned, traditional water conservation methods like collecting rainwater in buckets outside to use for gardening, or switching off the faucet when you don’t need it when doing tasks like washing the dishes or brushing your teeth. But when you’re building your home from scratch, you have the perfect opportunity to design it to conserve water from the start. 

According to the World Health Organization, one in three people across the world suffer from water scarcity, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find clean water for domestic use. Building an environmentally California home will ensure that you are only using the water that you need, and there are many features you can add to your new property to encourage this. Modern kitchen and bathroom fixtures are changing to be more environmentally friendly, so it’s worth investing in efficient energy and water saving faucets that allow for the water to only be running when it is needed, or a water-conserving shower head that’s designed to have the same amount of pressure. Dual-flush toilets are also a great option; coming with two flush options that adjust the amount of water needed based on the type of waste that is being flushed away.
#5. Opt for Energy Efficient Lighting:
Lighting is an important feature for your home, but it’s not just the aesthetic value or the amount of light that the fixtures put out that you will need to consider when designing this aspect of your property. Since you’re building your own California home, you have the perfect opportunity to light your home in a way that conserves energy, ensuring that your home is kinder to the environment with a lower carbon footprint – and helping you save money in the meantime. 

Just like many other modern fixtures for your home, there’s a wide range of energy efficient and environmentally friendly light fixtures that you can choose from, especially if you are opting for spot lights, under cupboard lighting and other modern lighting features for your home. 

And, the simplest way to save money and reduce your home’s impact on the environment in terms of lighting is to use energy efficient light bulbs. Energy efficient alternatives can use up to 75% less energy compared to traditional light bulb options while lasting up to 25 times as long. Energy efficient light bulbs can help you save up to $135 over the lifetime of the bulb, which quickly adds up when you are using them for all the light fixtures in your home. 

But, don’t just think about how you can make your lighting more energy efficient – when building your home, consider the way it is designed in terms of how much natural light it is letting in. Larger windows, skylights, and an open outdoor space that light can easily come through and into your home will help you take advantage of the natural light as often as possible, so you can use artificial lighting less and less. 
#6. Use Recycled Material:
When it comes to building your eco-friendly home in the state of California, you can get started with reducing your impact on the environment from the very beginning by giving some careful consideration to where the materials you are building your home are coming from. You can seriously reduce the impact that building your home has on the planet by opting for mainly or exclusively using recycled materials for building your home. 

The good news is that there are now several material options than you can consider for building your home rather than traditional, non-recycled products. Look for materials that are made from recycled products, or repurpose used materials that you can incorporate into the building of your home. Bear in mind that this doesn’t have to be exclusively for building the structure of your home, either – you can utilize a wide range of recycled and upcycled products and materials when it comes to adding features, furnishings and even décor to your new California property. 

Some good examples of recycled materials that you might want to consider for the building of your home include rubber roofing made from recycled products, paper-based kitchen counters made from tree pulp from sustainable forests, carpets and flooring that are made from recycled bottles and other plastic bottles and composite decking made from recycled paper or wood waste. Home builders can be very flexible with the materials that they use, so it’s worth instructing them to get recycled products as often as they can from the beginning. You can consider using eco-friendlier materials to help protect the environment and conserve resources when building your house from the very start by incorporating them into the building designs. 
#7. Grow a Green Garden:
Including space for a garden at your California home will help you make living choices that help and protect the environment. You can use compost for your garden made from food waste, scraps and other organic matter that you’d normally just throw in the trash like fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves and coffee grounds, egg shells, and other food waste – helping your garden to grow and avoiding these items ending up in landfills around the world. 

In addition to providing you with an at-home option for recycling, a garden at home will also help you become kinder to the environment by providing you with a suitable space for growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs which can not only be much cheaper than buying them from the store, but also much gentler to the environment as it does not contribute to mass production. When growing food or plants in your garden, be sure to use natural, organic fertilizing products – like the compost you make – and avoid any chemical-filled, toxic fertilizers and pesticides. 

California is the perfect state to build your own home from the ground up and create the property of your dreams, whether you’re moving there to start a family or enjoy your retirement. And when you’re building your home from scratch, you’re in the perfect position to make it as eco-friendly as possible.

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