Extreme Makeover : Home Editions Needs to Build Green

Extreme Home Makeover is a popular ABC show that remodels or builds homes from scratch for struggling families all over the country. The qualified families are often given luxury homes, that go beyond an average family’s needs and are fully furnished with fine furniture. While I like the idea of giving homes to deserving families that have overcome trying times, I believe that the homes should be more realistic. Not only should the homes be adequate for the family to live in, but they should feature green home building to promote more environmentally-friendly home products and renewable energy sources.

Following up on another Extreme Home Makeover article, I was thinking how the show should be using their popularity stage to show the audience that building green is easy, and beneficial to the home owners. Many of the families features are struggling financially, so environmentally-friendly and energy efficient homes would not only show the audience the savings in building green but also help the families in cutting down utility costs.

The show, Extreme Home Makeover, often completely bulldozers down the existing family home and builds from scratch. Meaning that implementing green energy sources in building a new home would make it easier and would give the family the most benefits in going green.

For example, the “guts” of the home can feature a more environmentally-friendly home insulation. There are great alternatives to the “pink itchy stuff” on the market available today. These are spray-foam home insulations that are certified green and have research behind them showing the reduction of up to 50% in home’s electricity and heating bills. Think of the savings a struggling family could have if their new, larger home would cost less to heat in winter months?

I have noticed that often, Extreme Home Makeover, builds cathedral ceilings in the new homes. The cathedral ceilings, while aesthetically pleasing, also lose a lot of heat in winter months and the living rooms take longer and more heat to warm up as the ceilings are so high up. The heat goes up the cathedral ceilings in these larger homes, taking it longer to warm up the actual living room.

A better insulation would help, but they can also consider building a home without the cathedral ceilings so the family is not paying more to heat the living room.

Also, keeping up on topic of the “guts” of the green home, how about installing a waterless style heater instead of the traditional water heater? Waterless tanks are environmentally-friendly and do not waste water or energy warming up stored water. With waterless water heaters you literally cannot run out of water, as it only heats the water you are using at the moment through the faucet.

Another option for water heaters would be a solar water heater. A solar water heater collects solar energy through glass cylinders and heats water through smaller copper pipes inside.

Speaking of solar energy, how great would it be for Extreme Home Makeover to install solar panels on a family’s home? The building of an Extreme Home Makeover home is done by volunteers, local community builders and contractors who donate time, resources and money to build these homes for the show family. I am sure that a local vendor can be found in any state that would donate solar panels for the show to be featured and installed. Even if they installed partial solar panels for the home, it would promote green building and give the family more stable, financial freedom for rising utility bills.

The Extreme Home Makeover show also goes above and beyond to fully decorate the inside of the house. The furnishings are often jaw droopingly beautiful, which is fine. However, I do not think that the homes need 6 plasma and LCD TVs, with all sorts of technology knick knacks. I feel that they waste money, by not featuring environmentally-friendly products inside of the house, and do not use renewable sources and green materials when it comes to places such as kitchens.

For the kitchen counters, for example, they could install recycled glass table tops. Or have the kitchen with bamboo kitchen cabinets. Bamboo is often considered a “trash tree” because it grows like a weed, and it renews itself in a fast amount of time. Using bamboo for kitchen cabinets is considered to be green.

How about green landscaping for the outside of the family home? Smart sprinkler systems can be installed to help conserve water use. Smart sprinklers are favored by green-conscious homeowners, as the system measures rainfall each night and programs itself to water or not water the lawn based on the amounts of rain. This would save money by not wasting water and unnecessarily watering a lawn that is already wet from previous nights rainfall.

These are all simple ideas that can easily be implemented by builders and contractors that are promoting their businesses on Extreme Home Makeover show. The home building market is moving towards the green trend, as homeowners look for money saving techniques, and sustainable long-term solutions. The show has a great platform to feature green building, and promote the benefits of it. Extreme Home Makeover should move towards using green building techniques for the families, as it will save the family money in the long run and give them the necessary financial freedom as well as an environmentally-friendly home.

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