In a recent interview with HomeSavvi, Scott LaBenz, principal with Group Architect, a Seattle architectural firm, and Todd Powell with Powell Custom Homes and Renovations suggest five prime features to include in an upcoming house remodel.
- Dual-flush toilet — The user can opt for a light or heavy flush, depending on the amount of water needed. Although the unit costs more than the traditional kind, homeowners will save in water bills.
- Countertops made out of recycled newspapers — Companies like PaperStone and Richlite are manufacturing attractive and durable countertops for residential and commercial purposes.
- Home automation — Control your lights, heating, air conditioning, audio, and video via remote control or mounted keypad. Some systems will allow homeowners to turn on specific lights or adjust features while they are away from the property.
- Rain water collection systems – Store excess water in fall and winter and use for irrigation in the dry summer months. LaBenz is designing systems that will both store and divert storm water for home sewage.
- LED lighting — Save time and money by switching to LED lights. An LED can illuminate for up to 100,000 hours, compared to the 5,000 hour life span of the traditional incandescent bulb.
Whether you’re planning a small or large scale remodel, consider utilizing emerging technologies that make sense for your household. They will increase both the energy efficiency of the house and its future resale value.