Home renovating is proving an increasingly popular alternative to buying a second home and First National Real Estate Pope Nitschke has some helpful advice for home owners about to embark on a renovation - incorporate energy smart ideas where possible.
“The impending introduction of the carbon tax and popular reality home renovating TV shows have spurred further interest in this growing trend, so now is the time for would-be renovators to look at how they can make their homes more energy efficient,” David Nitschke, principal First National Real Estate Pope Nitschke said.
“An energy efficient renovation will improve the comfort and economy of the home, and may even push up the sale price to meet the growing demand by home buyers for energy efficient features.
“It can be as simple as ensuring windows and skylights are positioned to capitalise on the sun's warmth and other simple design features are incorporated, especially those that add up to less reliance on electricity and gas to power the home and so reduce energy bills.”
According to David Nitschke, building and design features should consider north-facing living area where possible, to take advantage of the sun which will provide warmth in winter and an abundance of natural light year round.
General design features could include:
- Grouping rooms with similar uses together to create 'zones' in the house, which can be separated by doors so that only occupied areas, can be heated or cooled.
- 'Wet' areas should be placed close together to reduce the need for long water pipes resulting in a more efficient hot water system and lower plumbing costs.
- Ceiling heights kept as low as practicable to reduce heating and cooling costs and increase comfort levels.
- Choose 'Fit-for-purpose' building materials for optimal results
- Window are fitted properly and placed to minimise heat loss in winter and heat gains in summer.
- Curtains or blinds are also a great way to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gains in summer.
- Ceilings, walls and in some cases, floors, should be insulated to their appropriate level with no gaps left.
- Draughtproofing strips and weatherseals fitted to doors and windows leading to the outside to reduce unwanted air leaks and draughts (which can account for up to 25 per cent of heat loss in winter).
- Select energy efficient and cost effective heating and hot water systems.
“By getting some expert advice, a renovation can incorporate energy efficient design principles and improve both the liveability and value of your home,” Mr Nitschke said.