Value of enviro-friendly updates | DOMAIN

When building a new home, many owners include energy efficient features in their build. However when you purchase a home that was built without these features, you can be up for a substantial spend to retro fit. 

ADDING VALUE: Environmentally friendly equals energy efficient. These modifications are important to keep heat in and cold out in colder climates or keep cold in and heat out in warmer climates, therefore reducing long-term costs.

ADDING VALUE: Environmentally friendly equals energy efficient. These modifications are important to keep heat in and cold out in colder climates or keep cold in and heat out in warmer climates, therefore reducing long-term costs.

Besides the value these modifications add to the environment, it’s important to understand the potential value this may add to your selling price. 

Master Builders Australia suggest a number of ways you can modify your property to make it more environmentally friendly and therefore more energy efficient.

In cold climates they suggest orientating your building/windows to the north as this will make best use of the sun, creating free heating.

Of course shifting a whole building could cause troublesome so other more cost effective methods include the installation of double glazing. Good quality windows prevent air leakage and assist with heat loss or gain. They also suggest you install good window coverings to stop the heat escaping. 

Thermal mass is a great way to maintain a consistent temperature, so a concrete slab or a mass wall will bank the heat. For hot climates, keep direct sunlight off your windows by installing shading for windows.

This could be done with eaves during construction or external shades after construction – stopping the heat before it gets into the house.

You could also install solar panels and wind turbines – wind turbines can be quite small and effective – they don’t have to be gargantuan. 

From a builder's point of view, Master Builder’s Australia believes these modifications are worth the additional cost. Sue Jogever, Principal of Coast Front Realty in Port Macquarie agrees that making energy effecient modifications can make a real difference to the sale price of your home. 

“Due to the increasing energy costs, we are finding stronger buyer appeal for home owners that have modified their properties to be more energy efficient.” Ms Jogever said many of her potential buyers are insisting on purchasing homes with the environmental modifications complete or will negotiate the value of the home down as they see them as a necessary addition.

Keeping up with Australia’s rapidly changing energy landscape, supplier and installer of solar hot water and solar power systems Solahart, which has a store in Bendigo, allows Telsa Powerwall batteries to be retrofitted to existing photovoltaic systems. 

Costs will need to be factored in and some modifications can be out of reach for many homeowners, but there are improvements to energy efficiency to suit all budgets and experts agree, these modifications will add value.

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