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Green renovations save money, add value

If you’re thinking of remodeling or updating your home, consider choices that are environmentally friendly.

In addition to saving homeowners’ money and resources, “renovating with green materials and appliances will be a key selling point down the road if they choose to list their home,” says Lisa Von Domek, a GREEN Realtor and Certified Green Building Professional.

In Lisa’s blog on, she has several suggestions for green-minded homeowners:

  • Consider using bamboo, cork or eucalyptus flooring products in place of more traditional flooring materials. They mature in roughly half the time of hardwoods. They also are an affordable and durable option.
  • Use wood alternatives or FSC-certified wood products in your cabinetry materials.
  • Use locally produced products when possible to reduce carbon emissions during transportation.
  • Install low-flow toilets and faucets to reduce water usage throughout the home.
  • When shopping for appliances, look for the Energy Star label. Homeowners might be surprised at the growing number of appliances that now carry the label, and how much energy and money they can save.
  • Use eco-friendly paints, stains and finishes that aren’t made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds “give you that woozy feeling after painting” and contribute to pollution. If you aren’t sure if the paints you’re considering fit the bill, ask the supplier to assist you in finding the paint that is environmentally friendly.

Lisa’s final suggestion: Reuse scraps. “If you have leftover flooring, cabinetry or countertop material, keep it around. You never know where or how you could reuse these materials in the future,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, OmahaAmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln would like to add to that suggestion: check out the ReStore run by Habitat for Humanity in Omaha. The stores sell paint, wallpaper, light fixtures, cabinets and other items for renovation. These items have been donated by citizens, contractors and builders.

ReStore now has two locations. The West Maple Habitat ReStore is located at 10910 Emmet Street, Omaha. It is open Monday through Saturday from  9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The original store, the South Habitat ReStore, is located at 1003 South 24th Street, Omaha. It is open  Monday through Saturday from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Lincoln ReStore is located at 47th and Y streets. It is open  Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to shopping for materials for your renovation, you can also donate the materials you remove from your home. Check their donation guidelines for details. This recycles your old materials, keeping them out of landfills.

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