More Renovators Seeing Green

Despite the potential of higher costs, Canadians are more likely to choose renovations that include greener options than not when updating their homes, according to a recent Scotiabank poll.

The Scotiabank Home Renovations Poll reports two-thirds of Canadian homeowners are more likely to chose green home renovations over nongreen renovation options, making their homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Albertans considered green renovations 65 per cent of the time.

“If they want to go completely environmentally conscious, it is a more expensive project because there’s time involved,” said Rick Stimpson, project manager for Manor Renovations in Calgary.

Green renovations can include switching to energy efficient light bulbs or toilets, upgrading furnaces and water heaters to reduce energy or water bills, and installing eco-friendly flooring to minimize indoor air pollution and protect forests.

However, green renovations are not just about upgrading products, but also recycling used products instead of sending them to the garbage dump.

“Every one of our projects, people would rather recycle our products rather than put them in the landfill, which is the number one thing we try and do,” said Stimpson. “For example, we always recycle our cabinets unless we absolutely can’t. That goes as far as just posting a sign at the end of the driveway.”

In addition to recycling products, the Home Renovations Poll stated approximately 80 per cent of homeowners are implementing larger green renovations such as installing solar heating.

It’s Encouraging to see Canadians recognize the long-term benefits of green home renovations,” said Kaz Flinn, Scotiabank vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The long-term benefits of green home renovations from those Canadians polled included improving their home’s value, and lowering the operating costs in the long run.

“Whether you are renovating to sell or stay in your home, there is no question that eco-friendly home improvements increase its value while benefitting the environment,” said David Stafford, Scotiabank managing director of Real Estate Secured Lending.

“Green renovations typically lower your overall monthly operating costs which can free up cash to put towards paying down debt such as a line of credit or your mortgage. People tend to think if they are going to pay off debt that it has to be in large chunks, but even putting small amounts towards your line of credit or mortgage makes a big difference in paying it off sooner,” added Stafford.

Although Canadians are acknowledging that green renovations are overall better for the value and longevity of their home, 56 per cent of those polled said their primary barrier to implementing green renovations is the cost.

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