Kitchen remodels can accomplish much more than getting rid of your outdated cabinets. They can also be a way to make your home greener, or more environmentally friendly in the long run. With sustainable kitchen remodels, you can feel good about decreasing your impact on the environment and even better about the lower monthly utility bills that will follow. In this article, we’re explaining five of our favorite eco-friendly kitchen renovation ideas in Utah and how you can work them into your upcoming kitchen remodel project.
How Greener Renovations Increase the ROI of Your Kitchen Remodel
The Home Depot reports that minor kitchen remodels (think painting cabinets, installing a new countertop, and giving your space a fresh coat of paint), come in at around $24,000 on average in the United States. Major remodels (including semi-custom cabinets, new appliances, and custom lighting), average at about $69,000. And for those upscale remodels (bringing in features like natural stone countertops, custom cabinets, and water filtration systems), $136,000 was the average cost for homeowners.
Even those these prices can seem steep, this money is often one of the smartest investments for your home. Remodeling Magazine found that minor kitchen remodels have some of the highest ROIs of all home renovations, with about 92.9 percent of costs being returned in the final sale price of the home.
So, if you’re a number-cruncher — and are interested in finding even more ways to improve your remodel’s ROI — here’s an idea you may not have thought of. Eco-conscious kitchen renovations can bring even more value to your home, not only to resale but to your monthly living expenses. Environmentally-friendly home renovations have become more and more popular as green solutions are now widely accessible to the average homeowner.
Let’s explore some of the most popular eco-friendly kitchen design upgrades in Utah.
5 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Ideas to Consider
1. Switch out old appliances for ENERGY STAR appliances.
Your home’s appliances, including your kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven, are responsible for 20 percent of your home’s total electricity usage. To reduce that number, look for energy-efficient appliances labeled with the ENERGY STAR logo — a certification from the U.S. Department of Energy.
An ENERGY STAR-certified appliance uses 10 to 50 percent less energy annually than a standard new appliance. When compared to older appliances (like a 20-year-old refrigerator that may be in your kitchen currently), the energy savings are even greater. When multiplied over 10 to 15 years, or the life of the appliance, energy-efficient appliances can drastically reduce your long-term power consumption.
2. Choose sustainable materials for flooring, cabinets, and more.
Sustainable building materials are created, harvested, manufactured, and recycled in a way that benefits the environment rather than hurting it. Examples of sustainable kitchen materials could be reclaimed wood, bamboo, concrete, linoleum, and cork.
View some sustainable kitchens countertop materials to see just how advanced these solutions have become. With fashionable patterns and shades along with low maintenance upkeep, no one would even suspect these surfaces are completely eco-friendly.
For flooring, finished concrete can offer an ultra-modern, high-end look, while bamboo gives a warm look and superior comfort underfoot to any kitchen space.
3. Slow the flow on your kitchen faucet.
Some estimates show that kitchen sink faucets let out up to 5 gallons of water every minute. To reduce water waste without losing water pressure, try a water aerator — sometimes called a low-flow faucet. An aerator is a tiny attachment that’s installed at the end (or just inside) of your faucet tap to save water by mixing the stream with air as it comes out. The result is the sensation of strong water pressure, with less water needing to be used. This type of faucet or faucet attachment can reduce your daily water use by 30 percent or more. In a dry, arid climate like much of Utah, these water-saving upgrades can be hugely beneficial for not just your home but your entire community, too.
4. Use VOC-free paints, stains, and finishes.
VOC, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that evaporate at normal room temperature. Acetone, ethanol, or even formaldehyde are all known VOCs. That “new paint smell” we’re all familiar with is the most well-known evidence of these VOCs, but chemicals can continue to leak into the air days, months, or potentially even years after that smell is gone. Wood stain, protective finishes, and even fabrics also contain VOCs.
The EPA reports that VOCs can cause negative health effects for some people; possibly causing headaches, breathing issues, or even cancer. If an eco-friendly home is important to you, eliminating VOCs is a great first step, as it can also improve the overall health of your home, too. When painting your kitchen cabinets, restaining your floors, or giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, look for products specifically labeled as “non” or “low” VOC. ECOS paint and Benjamin Moore Natura brand are a good place to start.
5. Reuse materials when possible.
One of the best ways to reduce waste is to find ways to work with what you already have. Reducing your need for new materials by reusing those you already have in your kitchen is about as eco-friendly as you can be. While you may desperately need new floors, maybe your appliances are still in good shape. Or, maybe you need new light fixtures, but your cabinets just need a fresh coat of paint. Finding ways to reuse benefits the environment and your wallet. An experienced contractor can help you determine what’s salvageable in your kitchen remodel project, by helping you imagine the new design and offering creative solutions to maintain what you have.
Start Your Sustainable Kitchen Renovations in Utah with Aspire
If you’ve been itching to remodel your kitchen, stop and consider some environmentally-friendly ways to improve your kitchen before you start demolition. A few select choices can give you the kitchen of your dreams while also giving you confidence your home is doing more to protect our environment.
For eco-friendly kitchen design remodels in Utah, choose Aspire Construction. Our Utah general contractors are the experienced team trusted by so many homeowners in the Salt Lake City area. Our extensive experience in kitchen remodels gives us the perspective that benefits you. No matter what your goals are in your remodel, we’re here to make it happen. Contact us today at (801) 316-8764.