The green building movement is far from a fad, with this market expected to hit a worth of almost $100 billion by 2023. Both new builds and renovations are taking on a distinctly green hue, with convertible spaces like attics and garages being the perfect setting for a new, eco-friendlier design plan. If you have an unused garage you are thinking of converting into an abode for a child starting college or for guests, keep the following sustainability-centered tips in mind.
Choosing Natural Materials
One of the hottest trends in design as a whole is biophilia—the use of plants and natural materials to blur the distinction between the beauty of nature and interior living. If you are looking for furniture like desks and coffee tables, aim to obtain pieces made with reclaimed or sustainable wood. For your flooring, consider cork (which comes in a variety of designs, including wood-like panels), bamboo (which is highly sustainable and durable), and sustainable wool carpeting. For a captivating statement wall, consider using recycled glass tiles.
Investing Time in Insulation and Caulking
In order to be sustainable, your reformed garage should be well insulated. This will enable you to save up to 55% of your heating and cooling energy, because insulated acts as a barrier to heat flow. Therefore, it can reduce the amount of heat that escapes in cooler months, and stop hot air from entering your home in the summer. Make sure all windows are well-sealed. The Energy Star program reports that people can save up to 20% of their heating and cooling costs by finding and sealing leaks. A1 Garage reviews report, meanwhile, that broken garages can be one of the most important sources of leaked air in a garage. Your garage door should be sturdy enough to withstand strong winds, so it stands the test of time. Ideally, it should be made of recycled and/or sustainable materials and fit tightly into adjoining walls to add an extra insulation barrier.
Choosing Sustainable Lighting
Garages can be one of the darkest parts of a home but if you are converting yours into a bedroom, consider creating new window space or adding glass features to the main door. You can also save energy by switching from traditional light bulbs to LED lights (which use around 75% less energy). Another choice is Compact Fluorescent Lamps, which save up to 35% more energy than traditional lamps. These provide bright light without the need for incandescent light bulbs.
Opting for an Organic Mattress
Most people spend close to a third of their lives on their bed, which is why investing in an organic, toxin-free mattress is important. Commercial mattresses can contain a toxic cocktail of chemicals and flame retardants, which can emit gas for months and fill your space with an unpleasant scent. Aim to find a mattress made with organic cotton or wool, organic bamboo, and/or natural latex.
If you are thinking of turning your garage into a bedroom, make it a sustainable one. Choose from a wide array of green materials and aim to save energy. Make sure your door and windows are well insulated/sealed so you can save energy and stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.