4 green renovation ideas to boost your home's value

If you’re thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, there are many good reasons to do it. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint and lowering your utility bills, completing eco-friendly renovations can even raise your home’s value. Here are four green renovation ideas that could increase the value of your home.

1. Let the sunlight in.

The sun is a natural source of light, heat and energy. Take advantage of this resource by adding skylights, windows or solar panels to reduce both your carbon footprint and your utility bills. Increasing natural light can reduce your need for electricity during the day, while solar panels and even some skylights can convert energy from the sun into energy you can use to power your home.

Don’t be deterred by the expense—you may be able to recoup most, if not all, of the costs. As Consumer Affairs notes, items such as solar-powered blinds can boost your home’s energy performance by as much as 45 percent, and multiple studies have shown that potential buyers will pay more for energy-efficient homes. In addition, going solar could have tax benefits.

2. Replace old windows and doors.

New doors and windows can make your home more energy-efficient by creating a better seal to block out the outside weather, leading to lower heating and cooling costs and improved curb appeal. In addition, some purchases may be eligible for rebates and tax incentives. Replacing an old wooden front door with a new, stainless steel door can yield one of the highest rates of ROI of any home renovation project—as much as 102 percent of your investment. And Energy Star-rated windows can save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating and cooling costs.

3. Upgrade appliances.

Appliances contribute to an estimated 15 percent of your energy usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can reduce your energy consumption by upgrading to appliances that are more energy-efficient. Before upgrading, remember to look at kilowatt-hour usage: Compare your current stove, refrigerator and dishwasher to the newer options to ensure you’re getting a more efficient model. Some utility companies offer rebates and discounts when you upgrade to energy-efficient models, so be sure to find out if you’re eligible. Don’t forget to recycle your old appliances.

4. Refresh and upcycle.

Fresh, updated interiors can greatly improve the value of your home. HGTV estimates that a kitchen remodel can yield more than a 100 percent return, while a remodeled bathroom could recoup nearly double its cost at resale. Keep your remodel green and economical by sourcing used or reclaimed materials. Built-in shelving made from reclaimed barn wood, kitchen islands made from repurposed antique furniture and upcycled hardwood flooring can reduce your carbon footprint and add character to your home. Look for materials such as recycled glass and stone for beautiful countertops, and give kitchen cabinets a fresh look with low-VOC paint.

Learn how to do a green kitchen remodel.

Learn your current home value with the Home Estimate tool from Owners.com.