Your next remodeling project can do more than just wake up the "wow factor" in your home. When you add in earth-friendly renovations, you’ll help the planet and save money on utility bills, create a safer, healthier environment for your family, and even boost your home’s appeal at resale.
You also could get discounts on your PEMCO home insurance if you’re remodeling to add fire-resistant materials or an alarm system for security, fire, or water leaks.
What eco-friendly renovations offer the most benefits?
A home brokerage company in Portland notes that, depending on where you live, “green” can be a deciding factor for up to half of buyers. Green construction has gone so mainstream that it’s a priority for PEMCO partner Habitat for Humanity when it rebuilds or rehabilitates homes.
Consider these five areas to green up your next project:
Energy savings. Changes like installing a programmable thermostat and replacing old appliances with Energy-Star-rated models can significantly reduce your energy consumption and save you money in the long run. Upgrading to double-pane windows and adding insulation to meet recommended r-values are good solutions to keep heat in or out (depending on the season). As a bonus, you’ll enjoy a quieter home, too.
Sustainable options. Materials such as bamboo, cork, or recycled wood reduce the environmental impact of your home renovation project. Explore options for green roofs or solar panels in your area. Even in gray coastal climates, making energy-smart use of your home’s roof can pay off.
Indoor air quality. Choosing non-toxic paint and finishes minimizes the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released into your home’s air. Installing an efficient ventilation system can also help remove pollutants and allergens from the air, promoting better health for you and your family.
Fire safety. You may be able to reduce your homeowners insurance premium when you replace flammable surfaces like untreated cedar shake roofs with Class A fire-resistant material like fiberglass-asphalt shingles, thanks to PEMCO’s fire-resistive construction materials discount. You’ll also get a protective device discount when you add fire-, gas-, and theft-detection devices that have alarms, are self and centrally monitored, or have an automatic shutoff.
Water conservation. Installing low-flow toilets and faucets, using water-efficient landscaping, and fixing leaks will reduce water consumption and help prevent water damage in your home. Adding a tankless water heater, for example, can save up to $95 a year, according to Energy Star, compared to old-school models that heat and store gallons of hot water. An added bonus: There’s no tank to corrode and potentially flood your home. Make sure to install a water-leak detector near all fixtures and appliances to receive a protective device discount.
While it may be tempting to tackle a renovation project on your own, anything that’s structural, requires a permit, or takes some artistic talent is worthy of hiring a professional. They’ll ensure the project is done correctly and can offer valuable advice on eco-friendly materials and designs that enhance your living space and improve your home’s value.
Here are some tips PEMCO shared on FOX13 on when to DIY and when to hire a pro.
How can remodeling affect your insurance?
Don’t be among the one-third of homeowners who forget to tell their insurer about a remodeling project. That’s because, while almost all homes start out with the right amount of coverage, upgrades that boost your home’s value beyond what’s being replaced could leave you underinsured.
If the project is big enough to require a loan, your lender will insist that you notify your insurance, but multiple small projects can creep up on you (things like upgrading from builder-grade appliances, adding decks, etc.).
You also could be leaving money on the table if your upgrades help you qualify for a discount on your PEMCO policy premiums.
If you’re planning to remodel and wonder if your policy’s limits could fall short, check the “Coverage A” amount found on your latest renewal. If it seems too low or you’re just not sure, call your local PEMCO agent or 1-800-GO-PEMCO for a complimentary review. While no one knows your home better than you do, you don’t have to go it alone when determining the right amount of coverage.
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