Do You Want a Green Stamp of Approval for Your Next Remodeling Project?

Mary Butler

As "being green" has grown in popularity, it seems that every company in the home improvement industry has jumped on the bandwagon. It's getting difficult to find a product not touted for its eco-value: even green praise for petroleum-based vinyl flooring has been sung, if only for the fact that it lasts a long time.

But now the National Association of Home Builders is providing a way to truly separate the green home remodelers from the brown: you can get your remodel green certified.

Green Remodeling: Certification

The NAHB has expanded its building guidelines to include this new certification standard, which includes remodels, as well as new construction ranging from condos to single-family homes. While certification isn't new--the National Association of the Remodeling Industry offers its own stamp--the NAHB says it's program is unique. It's the only one that has garnered a nod from the American National Standards Institute, which "oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector."

Certification requires an inspection from an NAHB-trained verifier, who assigns points for water use, indoor air quality and how energy efficient your home is,among other sustainable attributes. Like commercial projects, residences are ranked based on their scores: bronze, silver, gold, and now also emerald, for the best of the best.

As you might suspect, the whole process is far from free. The NAHB charges $200 for certification, and the inspection generally costs between $300 and $700.

So, you might ask, is it worth the extra $1,000?

Possibly. According to a McGraw-Hill Construction survey, one-third of home buyers said they would be willing to pay up to $20,000 more for a "green" home, with the expectation that they would have lower heating and cooling bills, among other savings.

The good news is you don't have to jump into the process blind. You can get a sense of how well your home would rate, thanks to a free online scoring tool. All you have to do is register on the NAHB site.



About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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