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Green Ideas for Building Your Own Home

written by: Darlene Zagata•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 4/14/2009

By utilizing green ideas to build your own home or even to renovate the house you already own, you can save money and increase the efficiency of your living space. Green homeowners are finding that it an eco-friendly way to build a home that will be both cost and energy efficient in the long-run.

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    Conserve Energy

    A green home can help you conserve energy. The home should be made as energy efficient as possible. For example, using solar panels in your home can be cost effective by reducing heating bills. The use of weather stripping and proper insulation can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Windows that are old, loose or cracked should be replaced. Although new windows can be expensive they will prove to be both cost and energy efficient over time. It is also wise to install a programmable thermostat which can be set at the lowest comfortable temperature in the winter.

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    Up on the Roof

    A green roof can be a valuable asset for the green home builder. A green roof can sustain plant life, shrubs, flowers and other greenery which filters the air. Creating a green roof also cuts down on heating and cooling costs. It adds insulation and extends the life of the roof. If a green roof is not for you, consider a metal roof instead. Metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular due to its durability and the fact that it is fire resistant.

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    Green Underfoot

    There are several types of flooring that are eco-friendly and cost effective due to durability. Cork is a good choice of green flooring because it is environmentally friendly and inexpensive. Cork is also fire resistant and it is even resistant to termites. Stone flooring is quite beautiful and incredibly durable. The only drawbacks are that it is expensive and relatively cold in the winter.

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    Green Tips

    Whether you are considering building your own home or are happy with the home you reside in now, there are still ways that you can make your home more energy efficient and cost effective. Seal cracks around windows and doors. Turn the thermostat down. Turn off lights and switch to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. Unplug appliances that are not in use. When purchasing new appliances be sure to buy energy star rated appliances that cost less and are energy efficient. Keep vents clean. Spruce up the green look of your home by adding live plants to your home décor. They also help clean the air in your home as well as add beauty.