Renovations all over Australia are becoming more popular, with Housing Industry Association’s Renovations Roundup predicting that activity will experience a 4.5 per cent increase this year.
According to the report, the industry in Melbourne in particular has been benefiting because of the strong house price growth.
If you’re thinking about manufactured product equity investing, then making your next project eco-friendly is worth considering. Here are three different ways for you to increase your property’s value through renovations while helping the environment.
1. Soak up the sun
Recently, Google launched Project Sunroof, which lets users type in their address and find out how much they can save by installing solar panels. Analysis of Google’s aerial picture database shows how much exposure to the sun they have.
Unfortunately, it’s only available for a few cities in the USA currently, but all is not lost because locals have access to a similar tool.
Powered by Australia’s Photovoltaic Institute, the Live Solar Potential Tool is free and uses a similar algorithm to figure out how much power a specific rooftop can produce.
Heating water takes up 21 per cent of the average Australian household’s energy and emits the most greenhouse gases, according to the federal Department of Industry and Science.
A solar hot water system can give you savings of $245 a year according to Sustainability Victoria, meaning it could make a great value-adding renovation.
2. Bundle up
Although Australia is usually quite warm, insulation can help as it keeps heat in during winter and out during summer.
Sustainability Victoria says that 30 per cent of insulation installed during renovation is not high enough for thermal efficiency. What’s more, wall insulation is missing in over 60 per cent of cases.
As well as the comfort factor, insulating your home can be a high-quality renovation because it can save up to 45 per cent on your heating costs in Sustainability Victoria’s statistics.
It pays to look at the R value when installing insulation. R values are an indication of how much energy the material can save. A higher R value means it has more energy saving material, with products between R3.5 and R5 the ideal, as suggested by Sustainability Victoria. What’s interesting is that thickness or type of material doesn’t matter if their R values are the same.
Once source a lot of people forget is under-floor insulation. It can slow down the heat transfer right across a home, which is particularly useful when your property has timber floors.
The savings can be pretty spectacular as well, with up to $300 reduced from your power bill according to Sustainability Victoria. What’s more, insulating your home can be a pretty affordable renovation to do.
3. It’s what you’re made of
If you’re considering building an extension or new structure on your property to increase the value of your property, it is worth investigating what materials you will be using.
Some materials are more environmentally friendly than others and can also improve the cost effectiveness of your house. This is why you should choose low maintenance materials that can withstand the elements, especially given Melbourne’s erratic weather.
Just because a material has the word sustainable attached to it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s great for the environment, however. You should look at its manufacturing method as well as its disposal method, in addition to how it will operate when it is installed in your property.
There are a few assessment schemes that can help with these decisions, like Global GreenTag and Ecospecifier Verified which are recommended by the Department of Industry and Science.
This is important because building waste generates around 42 per cent of solid waste, and this could hamper your eco-warrior efforts when carrying out property investment renovations.