Nine Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Home Renovation Ideas

Eco-home remodeling effectively achieves a range of global goals, like addressing climate change, creating sustainable and thriving communities, and driving economic growth. Sure, these sound grandiose, but homeowners also have immediate advantages, such as reduced energy bills, tax deductions, and saving the planet. 

Green remodeling may mean an entire home overhaul or simple additions that can make a world of difference. And remember, if you’re on the hunt for an eco-friendly home remodeler, then Zenith Design + Build can help. All you have to do is schedule a consultation with our experts and let them know you’re a green practice enthusiast, so you can get your project estimate and budget your green home transformation.

Meanwhile, here are nine sustainable renovation ideas to inspire healthier and happier living!

What Is a Sustainable Home Renovation?

A sustainable renovation is eco-friendly. It minimizes construction waste while increasing the energy efficiency of a home. Environmentally friendly home building refers to the use of recycled, upcycled, or green construction materials. 

Sustainable home remodeling gives homeowners an active role in protecting against climate change and preserving natural resources for future generations. The average eco-friendly home with solar panels, double-glazed windows, and smart lighting can reduce energy bills by as much as 30%.  

Why Choose a Sustainable Home Renovation?

Did you know that Earth Advantage Study found green-certified homes sold for 8% more than non-certified green homes? Although energy-efficient homes may require a higher upfront investment, homeowners will make up the cost when the time comes to sell, as well as with a noticeable decrease in general operating costs.

Currently, property owners get a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for building floor areas with a new system installed to prove energy savings of at least 50%. Green remodeling reduces carbon, water, energy, and waste. Considering climate change remains the largest existential crisis of our times, it bodes well for the future to invest in eco-friendly homes.

Nine Sustainable Renovation Ideas

Eco-friendly remodeling considers the needs of homeowners and the natural environment. It improves living conditions by eliminating exposure to harmful substances and chemicals while reducing a homeowner’s carbon footprint. There are many ways to achieve a more sustainable home. Below are some sustainable remodeling options.

eco home remodeling

Solar Panels

“Go green” home improvements like solar panels are more efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly. The Investment Tax Credit currently offers homeowners a 26% tax credit for systems installed between 2020 and 2022 and 22% for systems installed in 2023. In most areas in the U.S., solar panels are worth the cost of installation and maintenance, providing a good return on investment and environmental benefits.

Solar panels can heat pools and water, power fans and cooking, provide energy for light, and charge batteries. Installing solar panels immediately reduces electricity. While the Green New Deal remains contentious, there is no doubt the U.S. is moving towards clean energy. Currently, solar power offers the cheapest and most consumer-friendly clean energy option. 

Eco-Friendly Windows 

Fenestration (the arrangement, positioning, and design of windows and doors in a building) accounts for 40% of a home’s energy loss. Well-positioned windows with sound insulation and specialized glass achieve optimal energy efficiency by acting as a thermal seal. Aluminum windows are a good choice due to their durability and recyclability.  Timber windows are also eco-friendly; however, they require more maintenance.

Vacuum double glazing glass is a popular option due to its efficient insulation system that keeps homes warmer or cooler while minimizing energy waste. It consists of two panels of low emissivity glass separated by a vacuum. Heat and sound transmission are greatly reduced, resulting in a warmer, quieter interior.

Induction Cooktops 

If you want to live eco-friendly lifestyle, consider an induction cooktop for your kitchen remodeling. Induction cooking uses electric currents to directly heat pots and pans through magnetic induction instead of using thermal conduction (a gas or electric element transferring heat from a burger to a pot or pan).  As an eco-friendly home improvement option, induction stoves offer numerous advantages. Firstly, they do not release any harmful chemicals.

Secondly, they are 84% energy efficient and can heat water up to 30-50% faster than a gas stove. They offer easy programming and temperature precision. Switching to an induction stove ensures your home has cleaner air. If you’re already powering appliances with solar panels, then your stove’s energy consumption won’t harm the environment at all. 

Low-Flow Fixtures

Federally mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, low-flow plumbing fixtures are designed to achieve water savings by having a lower flow rate of water or a smaller quantity per flush. Faucets, showerheads, and toilets are all available with low-flow rates. As it is, toilets consume up to 30% of the total water used in a home, with some wasting more than 13 liters per flush. 

Zenith Design + Build can help you implement low-flow fixtures as part as bathroom remodeling. If you already have a low-flow model, you can still further reduce water consumption by installing a dual-flush. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, low-flow fixtures sell for around $10-$20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25%-60%. When purchasing, look for WaterSense labeled products.

green home remodeling

Green Roofing

A green roof is a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system installed on top of a flat or slightly sloped roof. This climate-proof construction provides a rainwater buffer, purifies the air, reduces ambient temperature, regulates indoor temperature, saves energy, and encourages biodiversity in urban areas. 

While unfortunately not suitable for every house, this style of roof protects your home’s roofing material from the sun, rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations and doubles or triples the lifespan of your roof up to 60 years or longer. Most homeowners recoup their investments in green roofs within eight to 21 years. 

Reclaimed Furniture

Green home remodeling interior designers often advocate for reclaimed furniture made from wood that was previously used for another purpose. Reclaimed wood creates less waste and fewer watershed toxins. It’s an extremely low-impact manufacturing method because the lumber has already been cut and treated, so less pollution is expelled during treatment. 

There’s a common misconception that reclaimed wood only caters to rustic or Bohemian interiors; however, many innovative furniture companies manufacture beautiful modern furniture designs with recyclable wood. An innovative interior designer will be able to recommend reputable reclaimed furniture brands. 

Energy-Star Rated Appliances

If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, a great way to do so is by switching out your old and tired appliances for Energy-Star Rated appliances. Whether it’s washers and dryers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, or even refrigerators, you can be sure that your home is working at peak energy efficiency, as guaranteed by the Energy Star.

Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats can be set to produce less air conditioning or heat when you’re away or sleeping, reducing energy consumption and fossil fuel reliance. Standard thermostats stress and wear down HVAC systems by overworking air conditioning and heating units because a lot of energy is required to heat or cool a space once you spike a thermostat up or down. 

Eco-home remodeling prefers programmable thermostats because they produce less drastic temperature swings throughout the day and night, also saving money on costly HVAC repairs. There are many brands available on the market that appeal to everyone’s pockets. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10 °F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. 

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are just what they sound like— they can heat water without using a storage tank. Instead, as cold water moves through a heat exchanger within the unit, an electric element or natural gas burner will heat it. With a tankless water heater, you will never run out of hot water.

According to the Department of Energy, for homes that use less than 41 gallons of hot water per day, it can be 24%-34% more efficient than its counterpart. For homes that use more, it is still 8%-14% more energy efficient. Either way, tankless water heaters are a great way to make your house that much greener. 

eco friendly remodeling


There are dozens of small and big ways to reduce your home's carbon footprint. By using natural and/or renewable material, and taking measures to be less reliant on non-renewable energy, you play an important part in reducing greenhouse gasses. Not only that, but you also future-proof your home for the next generation. 

If you’re looking for a custom home builder in Des Moines that can sustain your passion in eco-friendly life-style, provide the best design and customer experience, Zenith Design + Build is the right choice. Our green home renovations focus on creating buildings that are not only good for the environment, but also support happier, healthier, and more productive lives.  Need an expert remodeler to bring your renovation to life? Contact us to discuss your sustainable home remodel project with us today! 


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