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Updated 9-25-2015

Green Remodeling

Bartek Szymanski, LaGrange

    Recently, Illinois passed a law that adopted the newest energy code, and extended the requirements of that code to residential construction. However, the new law lacks an enforcement component leaving it to local governments (Villages and Cities) that have jurisdiction over construction projects. Unfortunately, most local governments still follow codes that are as much as 20 years old. It is up to the homeowner to choose methods and techniques that will be energy saving and environmentally sustainable.

    Except for new construction, most homeowners do not hire an architect to design their bathroom, kitchenbathroom or a basement room. They look for a contractor and they rely on their expertise. Unfortunately, many contractors are not as sensitive to the environment as they should be. Sometimes they lack the necessary expertise to employ energy saving ideas. In today’s economy, the labor and material costs of a traditional project will be comparable to those of a green project. Most of the time, higher cost is a result of the aesthetics and quality of the products used. There are more and more products on the market that are considered to be “Green” and their prices have become more and more competitive.

    The main benefit to owners in applying energy saving improvements to their homes is lower utility costs- electric, gas and water. There are only a few things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your house without making it a big remodeling project. However, when you decide to go ahead and remodel that outdated room in your house, it makes sense to consider using locally produced materials, using more efficient products and improving the energy efficiency of that space. In addition to the operation cost savings, by going green you can significantly improve the air quality of your home.

    Here are some ideas you can use in planning your own remodeling projects:

  • Updating a bathroom
  • Updating your basement

Bartek Szymanski lives in LaGrange and is a licensed Architect with experience in GREEN design and construction. He offers design and build services. He has successfully designed and constructed many GREEN residential and commercial projects. He offers free design consultation and energy analysis with construction services. He can be reached at 708-354-4299 or 

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