Custom Home Add-On Ideas For The Eco-Friendly Family

Posted on: 17 July 2020

Choosing to raise eco-conscious children to save energy and live off the land is a healthy lifestyle choice. Your sustainable home can also save you money on energy, food, and other household expenses. 

Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to ask your custom builder about eco-friendly custom home add-ons.

Solarium for Sustainable Food Production

Growing your own food locally is one of the best ways to contribute to a sustainable economy. By adding a glass-enclosed, climate-controlled solarium to your home, your family can enjoy fresh garden produce all year round. The heat from the solarium provides warmth to the rest of the home during the winter months. These are some points to discuss with your custom builder:

  • Different from sunrooms, solariums have their own glass roof and walls. The structure can be freestanding, providing more location flexibility.
  • Insulated and tinted glass with high thermal efficiency control heating and cooling and improved energy efficiency.
  • Trees, building structures, and other objects may block the sun. Removing trees and other landscaping changes may be required. 

Solar-Powered Sunroom for Free Energy 

Sunrooms are south-facing to benefit from maximum exposure to the sun. A downside is, unlike your solarium, your ceiling will be solar panels instead of blue skies. The upside is you get low-cost ambient and water heating. Add in the generous government rebates for solar roofs and your new sunroom could pay for itself. Ask your custom home builder about the following:

  • Aesthetics. Translucent, semi-transparent, and sky blue panels are ideal for a sunroom. 
  • Amount of energy required. You may decide to expand your sunroom, and thus solar panel roof area, to generate additional solar power — for floor heating, for example. 

Pantry to Produce and Eat Locally

Back in the day when all families lived off the land, pantries were a staple of the family home. Your homemade canned preserves and sauces and drying herbs need to be stored in a cool, dark place. The ideal placement for pantries has always been between the kitchen and garden door. Fresh produce is easily accessible for the cook of the house. Work closely with your custom home builder to get the details right. 

  • Decide on how much counter space and shelving you will need. Spices, legumes, grains, and other dried goods need to be easily accessible while cooking. 
  • Height. With high shelves, you will need a ladder on wheels. 
  • Floors need to be durable and ideally waterproof.
  • Is there room for an additional fridge, freezer, or wine fridge?

Eco-friendly home additions provide the highest return on investment by reducing energy and other household expenses and improving the home's resale value.

For more information, contact a custom builder in your area.