Eco-Friendly Home Renovations That Give You Top ROI

Whether listing your home or making improvements for yourself to enjoy, it's important to make renovations that will give you top ROI, should you decide to sell. ROI is used to measure your return on investment, per Investopedia. For example, when preparing to sell your home, before choosing to add a new deck, you'd need to calculate how much of a profit you'll gain when selling the house with the addition of a deck. If the ROI is low, it may not be worth the renovation, but if it's high, then the new deck is worth the investment. 

As you make decisions about home renovations it's important to not only calculate your ROI but also the impact on the environment your renovations may or may not have. BPC Green Builders writes that environmental issues such as pollution and climate change are no longer something predicted for the future. It's happening now and designing environmentally friendly homes is an area where we can all help. There are choices homeowners can make when renovating to make their homes eco-friendly. In this article, we'll discuss eco-friendly home renovations that give you top ROI. It's the best of both worlds, making wise environmental decisions that will help cut energy costs, as well as give you a positive return on investment.

Install an energy efficient front door

Front doors are like the eyes of a home's soul. They can make a big impact and leave a great first impression. Your front door also plays an important role in how much energy is saved or lost in your home. Choosing the wrong door means higher energy bills. According to Pella, a front door not only adds great curb appeal, which is important when selling, but replacing your front door with a high-quality door made of wood, fiberglass, or steel can lead to improved energy efficiency. 

If you're wondering if a new front door will have a good return, Quality Overhead Door explains that a new entryway door averages an ROI of nearly 75%. That's impressive and makes a new energy-efficient door worth it. Be careful not to go with the least expensive door you can find. Make sure the door makes the front of your home stand out and that it fits securely and is made of high-quality material to prevent drafts and keep your home running efficiently.

Replace old floors with sustainable flooring

One of the best returns on investment you can see is when homeowners install hardwood flooring, according to Flooring Inc. Many people want wood floors; however, it's an expensive investment even if you'll see a decent ROI. Thankfully, any home can have floors that replicate the look of real hardwood flooring, without the same expense. Plus, there are now eco-friendly flooring options. 

Today's new home buyers are seeking greener houses that save money in the long run and are better for the environment, per Destin Property Experts. If you've ever shopped for a new home, you know you paid attention to the flooring. It's one of the first things people notice. To appeal to new buyers, you need eco-friendly flooring. From the Forest suggests using materials such as cork or bamboo as flooring options because they are both excellent renewable sources, growing quickly to replace what's taken away. Bamboo, especially, looks like hardwood.

Update your plumbing

Outdated plumbing wastes water and money. If your home is over a few years old, it may be time to upgrade some or all of the plumbing. If you aren't sure how to judge the plumbing in your home, BTAC recommends you keep an eye on the color of your water. Brown water could be a sign of corroding pipes. Also, if the water pressure is becoming less than desirable, it could be a sign that your plumbing is outdated. Bay Area Plumbing Inc, explains that new plumbing dramatically ramps up a home's value because it's a long-term improvement that protects the home. It may not be cosmetic, but up-to-date plumbing prevents potential health issues, water damage from leaks, and can improve a home's efficiency when choosing eco-friendly options. 

One eco-friendly choice you can make for your home's plumbing is a tankless toilet. Alvarez Plumbing and A/C writes that tankless toilets conserve water by not holding it the way traditional water tanks do. Instead of using three gallons of water every time it flushes, the tankless toilet discriminates between liquid and solids and uses high pressure mixed with a small amount of water to flush, rather than the power of a lot of water (usually about three gallons with regular toilets).

Landscape with native plants

You've heard the term "curb appeal" and it's something to take seriously as you renovate with the purpose of a higher ROI in mind. If you think you can just focus on the interior of the home for the highest ROI, think again. According to Grasshopper Gardens, the right landscaping design can achieve an ROI of 200%-400%. That's impressive and well worth considering. 

Good landscaping requires a well-thought-out plan. As you plan your beautiful yard, consider native plants, meaning plants that are native to where you live, for eco-friendly landscaping that's easier to maintain. Planting with native plants leads to less fertilizer because the plants have adapted to the soil in your area, and it also helps lower the need for pesticides because native plants become resilient to local pests, per Leave No Trace. The less fertilizer and pesticides the better. Our environment is harmed by the chemicals in both. Speak with your local garden store about which plants are native to where you live.

Choose a non-toxic carpet

Sometimes you want a soft area for your feet to land and carpet is the answer. When choosing carpets, look for brands that focus on creating non-toxic carpeting. The American Lung Association explains that some carpets contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are harmful gases that have been linked to cancer. They're also bad for the environment, causing pollutants in the air. You don't want that in your home. Associated Weavers writes that many carpets today now meet new standards with strict criteria, so the carpeting has very low VOCs that disappear after installation. 

If your home has older carpets, you need to replace them for a safer, environmentally friendly home. A new carpet will give you a decent ROI as well. Bill Samuel, a residential real estate developer and real estate agent in Chicago, says, "Having brand new, fresh carpet increases the value of the home because it is the main focal point of the room (along with the paint) that buyers see when they tour a property, per Real Simple. Take a look at your carpet. Is it worn or dirty looking, or maybe several years old? Replace it so it's new and fresh and also eco-friendly.

Replace old windows with energy efficient ones

As air leaks out of your older windows, so does your money. You're A/C and furnace have to work harder to heat and cool when they are competing with cold and hot air either entering the house or escaping it. Energy efficient windows not only save you money on energy bills, but as they save energy, they are helping the environment. Extra energy means more resources to make it happen, and that leads to pollution in the air. 

New windows are a big investment; however, they're worth the cost. Remodeling states in their cost vs value report for 2022 that the average cost for vinyl window replacement on a home is $20,482, and when selling the home with new windows, the resale value increases by $13,822 on average. That's a 67.5% cost recouped. Not only that, but when installing energy-efficient windows, you'll save money on your energy bills while living there and you'll be reducing your carbon footprint, per Nearby Engineers.

Install solar panels to drastically reduce energy costs

As soon as solar panels are installed on a home, the money savings begins. When installed properly, you can immediately say goodbye to your electric bill. And if you decide to sell your home, solar panels are a big draw for buyers. According to the U.S Green Building Council, most home buyers understand the significance of solar panels and their ability to draw power from the sun, so they are more than pleased to see a home that already has the panels installed. 

Using solar energy is an excellent way to create an eco-friendly home. They provide a home with clean energy that is naturally derived from the sun, rather than using electricity which requires the use of fossil fuels and leads to pollution.  If you are at all leaning toward solar panels as a home renovation, you should definitely consider them.

Warm up your feet with radiant floor heat

Do you ever get that dreaded feeling in the winter when you wake up in the morning and know your feet must hit the cold bathroom floor? Imagine looking forward to the warmth of radiant floor heat. Home Depot explains that radiant floor heat utilizes pipes underneath the flooring that carry either hot water or electricity to create heat all throughout the floor. It eliminates the need for heating vents or baseboards. Warmly Yours writes that heated floors are energy efficient because your heat won't have to turn on as often. 

Lower energy bills are always better for your pocketbook and the environment. The less energy used, the better. Even if you only use radiant heat in part of your home it can cut down on energy consumption. They're also a bit of a luxury and that's always good for ROI.

Install a tankless water heater

Water heaters love to use up energy. According to Lowes, the average water heater lasts about eight to 12 years, so if yours is over 10 years old, it's time to replace it. You should also replace your water heater if you see leaks around the base or you notice it's just not working as efficiently anymore. Even if your water heater isn't 10 years old more, you can replace it with a newer, efficient model to decrease your energy bills. 

For ultimate efficiency, consider a tankless water heater. They're an eco-friendly option because they heat water on demand or as needed rather than wasting energy, holding hot water in a tank, per the U.S. Department of Energy. But are they worth the investment? A tankless water heater is initially more expensive than a conventional storage water heater; however, they last longer and use less energy on a daily basis, which lowers energy bills. And here's some more good news. The ROI for a tankless water heater looks pretty good as well. According to Zillow, homes with tankless hot water heaters sell for an average of 4% more than other homes. Today's buyer wants as many "green" options as possible. 

Replace your shingled roof with a metal roof

Metal roofs are becoming commonplace for residential areas and are no longer only considered for industrial use, and there's good reason for that. They're a durable and eco-friendly roofing choice. Metal Sales explains that a metal roof might last up to 70 years, compared to an asphalt shingled roof that lasts about 20 years. That's an automatic high ROI, knowing you won't have to replace the roof for possibly the lifetime of the home. And buyers like a metal roof as well. According to Remodeling, you'll see about a 61% return from your metal roof when you sell. 

Besides excellent ROI, metal roofs are better for the environment than asphalt shingles because metal is 100% recyclable, per Sheffield Metals. Imagine a roof that lasts for nearly the lifetime of a home and in the end, is fully recycled. Asphalt shingles send about 11 million tons of asphalt shingles to landfills every year, just in the U.S. As you consider eco-friendly renovations that increase ROI, add a metal roof to your list, especially if your current roof needs repair or replacement.

Switch out your wood deck for a composite material deck

Decks are a great selling point since they give additional outdoor living space. When looking for eco-friendly renovation options that give you an excellent ROI, replacing your wood deck with composite wood is a smart choice. According to Seiffert Building Supplies, a new composite deck often increases property value by up to 70%. So, how is composite material different than wood? Gambrick explains that composite wood is a material that binds several other materials together, such as pieces of wood, sawdust, and other fibers for a strong, engineered result. It creates a decking material that's maintenance-free and long-lasting. 

Another bonus is the low maintenance. No sanding, staining, painting, or sealing of the deck year after year. That in itself is a cost savings. On top of that, many composite materials used in decking are made from recycled materials, which makes them eco-friendly, per Advance, Inc. Time and cost savings, appealing to buyers, an increase in property value, and environmental friendliness all make composite wood decks well worth it.

Brighten up your home with skylights

Skylights are the best way to bring natural sunlight into your home. They also help to heat and cool your home, which in turn, reduces your energy costs. In the past, skylights have gotten a bad rap and you may have heard complaints about them. The thing is, if you heard complaints, the skylights probably weren't installed properly or the wrong type of skylights were chosen, according to Werner Roofing and Exterior. Proper installation and skylight choice are essential to avoid too much heat during the summer or leaking cold air in the winter. It's important to look for skylights with a low U factor, which means the skylight is energy efficient. A good skylight looks beautiful and is eco-friendly as it gives the furnace and A/C a break. 

But what about buyers? Do they like skylights? SOLATUBE home suggests that since today's buyer wants an environmentally friendly home and skylights contribute to that, then yes, they can possibly increase your home's value by as much as 10%, thanks to the green factor. Dawn Rushton, a real estate agent, tells Homelight, "If the house tends to be dark, then, by all means, I think it's a good investment, especially for kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways." Make your home bright and cheery with eco-friendly skylights and enjoy your return on investment.