Although some still see it as a passing fad, green living continues to grow in popularity. More and more homeowners are realizing that the onus is on them to protect the planet. That said, most of us don’t want to give up convenience or comfort in the process. There are many home upgrades that can make eco-friendly living a lot more feasible, but many of those construction projects are performed in ways that damage the environment in the process. The solution? Hire general contracting companies that are serious about reducing their ecological impact. But how can you make sure that your general contractors are serious about going green? These tips will help you to discern whether your home construction contractors are truly eco-friendly or are just eco-fake.
Do Your Own Research
In general, it’s not a great strategy to rely on your contractors to educate you on green practices. While some may be extremely knowledgeable, others may not be quite so honest about their environmental know-how. The more you personally know about the cause, the better. Although you don’t have to be an expert, you should at least understand basic eco-friendly principles and ask detailed questions about the practices they follow before hiring a given company.
Look Out For “Greenwashing”
Don’t be afraid to be skeptical. Some companies are looking to make money in a dishonest way by marketing themselves as “green” or “earth-friendly” when they really aren’t. They may claim to utilize such practices but in an incredibly vague way; in many cases, this may be just be a tactic to charge more. In some ways, it’s sort of like misleading labels on processed foods that contain now-meaningless buzzwords. If a company labels itself as eco-friendly, they need to have the experience to back it up. Be wary of any company that uses these phrases but offers no further explanation as to how they’re putting them into practice. It’s not enough to take a company at their word; they need to show that they care about these practices and that they aren’t scamming clients.
Make Sure They Walk The Walk
Like we mentioned, talking the talk isn’t sufficient. These general contracting companies need to walk the walk, too. While green may be subjective, depending on the company, getting a thorough explanation of their certifications and their practices is key. Double-check that these general contracting companies are licensed and certified by reputable green organizations (like LEED certification or certifications from the National Association of Home Builders or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry).
You should also ensure they can answer your questions thoroughly and accurately pertaining to green practices and even the benefits of the green services they offer. For instance, residential and commercial properties that converted to solar energy by the end of 2016 were subject to a federal solar Investment Tax Credit of 30%. Your solar roofer or contractor should be able to explain these types of incentives to you and walk you through the eco-friendly practices they follow. They should also be upfront about what they may not do. It may not be what you want to hear, but it shows a company has integrity!
Although green living is prevalent these days, that doesn’t always mean that everyone is doing it correctly. That concept applies to contracting services, too. It’s not always easy to find a contracting company that strives to make a positive environmental impact, but by following these tips, you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed decision.