10 Tips For Planning Home Additions

Plan your dream home addition with these ten valuable tips. Define your goals, set a realistic budget, and consult with EcoBuild+ for expert guidance. Consider energy efficiency, optimize space, and choose quality materials. Get neighbor approval, plan for disruptions, and communicate effectively to ensure a successful and satisfying home addition project.

How to Waterproof A Basement Comprehensive Guide

Protect your home with effective basement waterproofing techniques. Proper drainage systems, gutters, and downspouts are essential for directing water away from the foundation. Explore interior and exterior waterproofing methods, such as French drains, waterproof membranes, and epoxy sealants. Insulating basement walls can prevent condensation and moisture issues. With the help of EcoBuild+, create a dry, healthy, and functional basement environment

The Best Time of Year for Different Types of Home Improvements in Chicago

Home improvements not only enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your living space but can also increase the overall value of your property. However, timing is a crucial factor when it comes to undertaking such projects.

In a city like Chicago, with its distinct seasonal weather patterns, it’s essential to plan your home improvement projects strategically to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and ensure a successful outcome.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a detailed outline of the best times of year to tackle various types of home improvements in Chicago, taking into account factors such as weather conditions, contractor availability, material costs, and personal convenience.

Chicago Home Improvements During Winter (December – February)

During the cold and snowy winter months in Chicago (December to February), it’s best to focus on indoor projects that don’t require exposure to the harsh elements.

These projects can include; interior design, painting and wallpapering, updating lighting fixtures, and installing new flooring.

Additionally, it’s a great time to inspect and maintain your heating system, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

Adding attic insulation to your home can help reduce energy costs and keep you comfortable during the frigid Chicago winters.

Finally, consider installing a fireplace or improving window insulation to further enhance warmth and coziness during this season. Winter is also an excellent time to start planning and scheduling your spring home improvement projects.

Chicago Home Improvements During Spring (March – May)

As the weather warms up and the snow melts away during Chicago’s spring season (March to May), homeowners can shift their focus to outdoor projects and exterior home improvements.

This is the perfect time to start landscaping and gardening tasks, as well as constructing or repairing decks and patios.

Additionally, take advantage of the milder weather to address any roof repairs or replacements, siding issues, and gutter cleaning and maintenance.

Spring is also an ideal time for indoor spring cleaning and organization, making your living space feel refreshed and renewed.

Don’t forget to schedule HVAC maintenance and upgrades during this season, and be sure to inspect your home for any damage caused by Chicago’s winter weather, addressing problems promptly to prevent further issues down the line.

Chicago Home Improvements During Summer (June – August)

Summer in Chicago (June to August) offers longer days and warmer temperatures, making it the prime season for large-scale remodeling projects, such as kitchen and bathroom renovations.

The pleasant weather allows for better ventilation and faster drying times, which can help expedite the remodeling process.

Summer is also an excellent time to tackle exterior painting projects, as the warm, dry conditions ensure proper paint adhesion and curing.

If you’re considering window and door replacements, the moderate temperatures during this season can help minimize the impact on your home’s interior climate.

For homeowners looking to add or maintain a swimming pool, summer is the perfect time to complete these projects and enjoy the results in the warm Chicago sunshine.

Keep in mind that the summer construction season can be quite busy in the city, so it’s essential to plan ahead and secure contractors well in advance.

Chicago Home Improvement During Fall (September – November)

As the leaves begin to change and temperatures drop during Chicago’s fall season (September to November), it’s time to focus on preparing your home for the upcoming harsh winter weather.

Winter preparation projects include weatherproofing, sealing gaps around windows and doors, inspecting and cleaning chimneys, and maintaining gutters to prevent ice dams.

Fall is also an opportune time for HVAC system maintenance to ensure your heating system is ready for the cold months ahead.

Consider upgrading exterior lighting to account for shorter days and increased energy efficienct.

Keep in mind that fall can be a busy time for contractors, so it’s a good idea to schedule your projects early in the season to ensure they’re completed before winter arrives.

Tips for planning your Chicago home improvement projects

When planning your Chicago home improvement projects, there are several key tips to keep in mind for a smooth and successful experience.

  1. First, create a detailed project timeline that outlines each task, its expected duration, and any necessary coordination with contractors or suppliers. This will help you stay organized and ensure that your projects are completed in a timely manner.
  2. Second, establish a realistic budget for your projects, taking into account material costs, labor fees, and any potential contingencies. Research financing options, such as home equity loans or personal loans, if needed.
  3. Third, carefully choose the right Chicago-based contractors like EcoBuild+ by checking their licenses, insurance, references, and reviews to ensure you’re working with qualified professionals.
  4. Finally, be aware of the necessary permits and approvals required for your projects. Consult with your local municipality and your chosen contractor to ensure all permits are obtained, and all relevant building codes and regulations are followed. By carefully planning and executing your home improvement projects, you can maximize your investment and enjoy a beautiful, functional, and comfortable living space in Chicago.


In conclusion, planning and executing home improvement projects in Chicago requires a strategic approach to take full advantage of the city’s distinct seasonal weather patterns.

By focusing on indoor projects during winter, addressing exterior improvements and landscaping in spring, tackling large-scale renovations in summer, and preparing your home for the harsh winter weather in fall, you can optimize efficiency and minimize costs.

Remember to plan ahead, create a realistic budget, choose the right Chicago-based contractors, and obtain the necessary permits and approvals.

With careful preparation and consideration of Chicago’s unique climate, you can successfully enhance the comfort, functionality, and value of your home while enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done.

For expert assistance with your Chicago home remodeling needs, consider hiring EcoBuild+. Our experienced team is dedicated to delivering exceptional results, with a focus on eco-friendly building practices and materials. Contact us today to learn more about our services and let EcoBuild+ help you transform your home into the beautiful, functional, and energy-efficient space you’ve always dreamed of.

Basement Remodeling Chicago

Whether you are in Bucktown, Wicker Park, or even the Chicago suburbs, here we go in-depth on how your should get started with your Chicago basement remodeling project from start to finish.

Importance of Basement Remodeling

A crucial part of home renovation is remodeling the basement because it gives homeowners a low-cost way to add more living space, raise the value of their homes, and make their homes more comfortable and useful.

Homeowners can create a space that meets their specific requirements and wants by making the most of the basement’s available space, whether it’s a media room, home office, bedroom, or wet bar.

Remodeling a basement can also improve a house’s overall energy efficiency, making it more comfortable and saving money on energy. In addition, if the homeowner decides to sell their home in the future, remodeling a basement can also improve the house’s overall aesthetic. In short, remodeling a basement is a significant investment that can provide homeowners with numerous advantages.

Benefits Of Basement Remodeling in Chicago

Remodeling a basement in Chicago has many advantages for homeowners. The most important advantages include:

  1. Greater Living Space: Without having to construct an extension or relocate to a larger property, remodeling your basement lets you add more living space to your home. This is especially helpful for homeowners who want to make a media room, home office, or guest room or for growing families who need more room for their kids.
  2. A rise in property value: A smart investment is remodeling your basement because it can raise your home’s value. If you decide to sell your home in the future, you can increase its appeal to potential buyers by adding more living space.
  3. Energy conservation: Remodeling your basement can make your home more comfortable and save you money on energy bills by increasing its overall energy efficiency. Insulation, air sealing, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, for instance, can help you save money on energy bills and keep your home comfortable year-round.
  4. Enhanced Usability: When you remodel your basement, you can create a space that meets your particular requirements. Remodeling your basement can help you achieve your goals of creating a home office, media room, or workout area.
  5. Aesthetic Attraction: Remodeling your basement can improve the look of your home as a whole and make it more appealing. You can make a space that works and looks good at the same time by using high-quality materials and fixtures.

Having Access to Expert Contractors: Numerous professional basement remodeling contractors reside in Chicago. The work will be completed to a high standard and any issues will be addressed promptly if a professional contractor is hired.

Different Types of Basement Remodeling Projects

From minor cosmetic enhancements to major overhauls, basement remodeling projects can take on any form. Some of the most common basement remodeling projects are as follows:

  • Finishing and decoration: In this kind of project, the basement’s walls and ceiling are finished, flooring is added, and the space is decorated. Examples of this include painting, putting in drywall, adding lighting, and installing window treatments.
  • Media room or home theater: Homeowners can turn their basement into a media room or home theater with a large television, sound system, and comfortable seating.
  • Bedroom and bathroom: The addition of a bedroom and bathroom to the basement is a common remodeling project because it increases the home’s value and provides additional living space.
  • Home Office or Workout Space: A basement can be used as a home office or exercise room by adding desks, filing cabinets, and fitness equipment.
  • Wet bar or kitchen: A common addition to a basement is a kitchenette or wet bar, especially for homeowners who enjoy hosting parties. This kind of project includes putting in a sink, refrigerator, cabinets, and countertop.
  • Game Zone: A basement can also be used to create a game room with a pool table, air hockey table, or other games.
  • Storage Space: Another option for remodeling a basement is to add storage space, cabinets, or shelving.
  • Complete renovation of the basement: Rewiring the electrical and plumbing systems, adding new walls, and making any other necessary upgrades are all part of a comprehensive basement renovation.

These are just a few of the many basement remodeling projects available. The kind of project you choose will be determined by your particular requirements and budget.

Considerations For Basement Remodeling in Chicago

There are a few important things to keep in mind when remodeling a Chicago basement, including:

Permits and Building Standards: Before beginning the renovation of your basement, it is essential to ensure that it complies with all local building codes and regulations and that all necessary permits are obtained.

Waterproofing: Since basements in Chicago are frequently subject to moisture and flooding, it is essential to waterproof your basement to prevent damage.

Ventilation: Because mold and mildew growth can result from a lack of ventilation, it is essential to ensure that your basement has adequate ventilation to maintain a healthy living environment.

Lighting: It’s important to ensure that the basement has enough lighting to make it feel bright and inviting because basements can often be dark and gloomy.

Flooring: Carpet, tile, and concrete are among the flooring options for Chicago basement remodels. It is essential to select a flooring option that is both long-lasting and appropriate for the intended use of the basement.

Plumbing and electrical: When remodeling a basement, new electrical and plumbing systems often need to be installed. It’s important to work with a reputable contractor to make sure these systems are installed correctly and safely.

Space Design: It is essential to ensure that the space is organized in a way that is both useful and effective, taking into account the space’s intended use as well as any requirements for furniture and storage.

Cost: Because basement remodels can be expensive, it’s important to set a realistic budget and work with a contractor to keep costs down.

Basement Layout and Design

The design and layout of the basement is a crucial part of any construction or renovation project. A functional living space can be created in a basement, adding square footage to your home and increasing its overall value. Making the most of the space that is available and designing a layout that is attractive, comfortable, and functional are the keys to a successful basement design.

The intended use of the basement must be taken into consideration when designing the layout. Will the basement be used as a living room, a playroom, a home office, or a home theater? Once you know what the basement will be used for, you can start planning the layout and how to divide the space into areas that are useful.

When designing the layout, it’s also important to take into account the basement’s existing structure. Are there any walls that support loads but cannot be moved or taken down? Are there any electrical or plumbing systems that must be included in the design? By responding to these questions, you will be able to evaluate the viability of various layout options and ensure that your design is both practical and effective.

Lighting plays a crucial role in basement design. Since a basement typically lacks natural light, it is essential to incorporate artificial lighting into the design to create a bright and inviting space. Popular choices include task and recessed lighting, and a few strategically placed lamps can also contribute to the creation of a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Building Codes and Regulations For Basement Remodeling In Chicago

Although remodeling your basement can add valuable living space to your home, it is essential to be aware of the applicable building codes and regulations before beginning any construction. These rules and codes are put in place to make sure that the people who live there and the community around them are safe and happy.

It’s important to check with your local building department for specific requirements in your area because building codes and regulations vary by location. The following are some typical rules and regulations that apply to remodeling a basement:

Windows for exits: Basement living areas must have an emergency escape and rescue opening, like a window, according to building codes. In the event of a fire or other emergency, the window needs to be big enough for someone to get out.

Size of the ceiling: In most basement living areas, the ceiling must be at least 7 feet high. Excavation may be required to raise the ceiling if it is less than 7 feet high.

Systems for plumbing and electricity: A basement remodel’s electrical and plumbing systems must comply with local regulations. This might necessitate putting in brand-new fixtures, electrical wiring, and pipes.

Fire prevention: Smoke and fire alarms are required by building codes in basement living areas. It may be necessary to install sprinkler systems as well, depending on the size of the living area and local regulations.

Ventilation: To prevent mold and mildew, living areas in the basement need to have adequate ventilation. Putting in vents or a ventilation system might be necessary for this.

Structural assistance: Cellar rebuilds should have sufficient underlying scaffolding to guarantee the wellbeing of the living space. Beams, columns, or other structural elements may be required for this.

Before beginning a basement remodel, it may be necessary to comply with zoning regulations and permit requirements in addition to these building codes and regulations. It is essential to collaborate with a reputable contractor who is conversant with the rules and regulations that apply in your area and who can assist in ensuring that your basement remodel satisfies all requirements.

Climate and Weather Conditions For A Basement Remodeling In Chicago

The climate and weather conditions of the area where the home is located must be taken into consideration when working on basement remodeling projects. The basement renovation’s longevity and overall success may be significantly impacted by these elements.

Before beginning the remodeling project, it is essential to address potential water damage issues if the home is in an area with a high water table or a lot of rainfall. To stop water from entering the basement, this might necessitate the installation of a sump pump or other waterproofing system.

The basement can be more comfortable and energy-efficient if it has adequate basement insulation and ventilation in areas with extreme temperatures. This is especially crucial in basement areas where people will live or sleep.

It’s also important to think about the possibility of earthquakes, tornados, and other natural disasters in the area. In the event of these kinds of disasters, building codes may require specific structural upgrades or reinforcements to help protect the basement and the entire house.

Typically contractors like doing basement remodeling projects in the winter as it is something that can fill their schedule and they do not have to rely on great whether in order to get the job done.

Planning Your Basement Remodeling Project in Chicago

A. Creating a Budget The first step in ensuring the success of a Chicago basement remodeling project is creating a budget. You will have a clear understanding of what you can and cannot afford if you have a budget in place, allowing you to make informed decisions throughout the process. You should think about the cost of materials, labor, and any additional costs like permits and inspections before making a budget. It is recommended that you get multiple estimates from contractors and compare them to find the best value for your money to stay within your budget. There are even plenty of home construction financing options.

B. Hiring a Contractor In the process of remodeling a basement, hiring a contractor is an essential step. From design to completion, a competent contractor will be able to direct you and guarantee that the project will be completed on time and within budget. When searching for a contractor, it is essential to conduct background checks, check references, and confirm the contractor’s insurance and license. You should also talk to them about your budget and your timeline, and you should make sure you like how they talk to you and how professional they are.

C. Selecting the Right Materials and Fixtures Another crucial aspect of a basement remodeling project is selecting the right materials and fixtures. Your basement’s overall appearance, as well as its durability and usability, will be determined by the materials and fixtures you select. Consider costs, upkeep, and durability when selecting materials, and select fixtures that complement your overall design and budget.

D. Having a Clear Understanding of the Timeline Last but not least, it is essential to have a thorough comprehension of the timetable for your basement remodeling project. The project’s scope, the availability of labor and materials, and any unanticipated setbacks will all affect the timeline. You should get a detailed timeline from your contractor that includes milestones and deadlines and keeps you informed throughout the process. You can plan your life around the project and ensure that it is completed on time and within budget if you have a clear understanding of the timeline.

Popular Basement Remodeling Ideas in Chicago

The construction of a home theater or media room is one of Chicago’s most popular basement remodeling ideas. Your basement can be a great place to spend time with your family because it provides a cozy setting in which you can watch movies, play video games, or stream content. To create an immersive entertainment experience, you can add a sound system, comfortable seating, and a large-screen television.

The addition of a bedroom and bathroom to your basement is another well-liked plan. If you want to create a separate living area for guests or renters, this could be a great option for families who require more space. When a bathroom is added, a basement bedroom can become even more self-contained and convenient. A basement bedroom can be a cozy and private space.

Another popular basement remodeling idea in Chicago is creating a space for working out or having an office at home. Having a dedicated workspace can be a great way to boost productivity and reduce distractions as more people work from home. Similarly, working out in a basement can be a great way to stay active and stay in shape without having to leave the house.

Lastly, adding a kitchenette or wet bar to your basement can be a great way to host parties and entertain guests. You can easily store and serve drinks and snacks with a sink, refrigerator, and cabinets, as well as create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for your guests. A wet bar or kitchenette can be a great addition to your basement if you want to create a cozy area for your family or a lively entertainment area.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Basement Remodeling Contractor in Chicago

Numerous advantages can be gained from your home renovation project by hiring a Chicago-based professional basement remodeling contractor like EcoBuild Plus.

You will be able to benefit from their knowledge and experience. To finish your basement remodel to a high standard, a professional contractor will have the necessary knowledge and skills. In addition, they will be able to offer helpful insights and suggestions that will assist you in making informed decisions regarding the design and materials that will be used in your renovation.

High-quality fixtures and materials are readily available to professional contractors. They will be able to find products of high quality at reasonable prices, ensuring that your renovation will be long-lasting and attractive. Professional subcontractors can also deal with the intricate building codes and regulations that might be relevant to your renovation project. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about figuring out how to get around the complicated world of building codes and rules on your own.

Last but not least, a guarantee and hiring a skilled basement remodeling contractor will give you peace of mind. You can be sure that the work will be done to a high standard and that any issues will be resolved quickly and effectively when you work with a professional. Additionally, many contractors provide warranty coverage for their work, safeguarding your investment even further.

Let EcoBuild Plus help you with your Chicago basement remodeling project.

Building Your First Custom Home In Chicago

The city of Chicago is one of the most architectural cities in the world, thanks to its various iconic structures. Its home structures and vastly rich culture make it difficult for most people to pass on the idea of living in the dream “Chicagoland.”

However, most people with this dream often have to kill it because of how expensive it is to make it happen. Aside from the cost, building a home can also be too overwhelming and difficult to handle alone.

In light of this, we’ve gathered some information that will be useful for you if you intend to build your first custom home in Chicago. 

What Is A Chicago Custom Home?

A custom house is built to satisfy the design and the exact taste the homeowner wishes for. A custom house usually covers the big and small details of what the homeowner needs. 

Hence, a custom house may include the specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms a homeowner needs. It may also include tiny details like the type of finishing on the kitchen cabinet or wall sockets to equip on the walls. 

The extra here is that you will likely need to work directly with a homebuilder and, sometimes, your architect. You will be involved enough to dictate the design, plan, and select most details of your home’s construction, layout, and finish. 

This makes custom homes an excellent choice for people who want a home that fits their desired details.

Below are some general types of decisions you may make if you intend to build a custom home:

  • You will need to decide on the home plan, which includes the layout of the floor plan. Additionally, you may need to specify the interior and external design, including walls, closets, ceilings, windows, doors, etc.
  • You may need to influence the building materials and finishes you want the contractors to use. Consider hardwood finishing brands and styles, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and many others.

As we hinted earlier, building a custom home will most likely require customers to hire an architect and a contractor. This approach is often expensive and tends to bear some unforeseen circumstances that can affect the timely completion of the building.

As an alternative, you can hire the services of a custom homebuilding company like us at EcoBuild+. We offer aspiring homeowners a variety of architectural styles and options to choose from. If your needs are more specific, we also have design experts who can help you navigate the specific interior and exterior home customization options. 

Choosing the right builder is an important step in building customers, don’t hesitate to contact us at EcoBuild+

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Custom House In Chicago?

The cost to build a custom house in Chicago ranges from $120 to $490 per square foot, depending on the type of construction you want. Though this price range is based on the varying cost price indications from independent market reports, it is not definite.

Since many factors tend to affect the construction of custom homes, the price someone may have to pay may differ. You can reach out to EcoBuild+ to get an accurate estimate of what it will cost you to build your custom house.

Note, however, that the factors we mentioned earlier still play a major role. Generally, these factors are categorized as hard and soft costs, but the detail below will also give you a little understanding of a custom house cost breakdown.

  • For standard-grade construction: $120 – $160 per square foot.
  • For premium-grade construction: $160 – $210 per square foot.
  • For luxury-grade construction: $210 – $260 per square foot.
  • You can simply visit  EcoBuild+ for a more accurate cost quotation for your custom house-building project.

What Is An Eco-Friendly Custom House?

An eco-friendly custom house is a house that is planned and built using environmentally friendly processes. Building an eco-friendly house means considering the effect every aspect of the house would have on the environment. 

The interior and exterior planning of such houses are done with the ultimate goal of minimizing environmental impact. Hence, you can expect an eco-friendly house to prioritize indoor air quality and excellent moisture control. The building materials for eco-friendly houses also consist mostly of sustainable products. 

With an eco-friendly home, you can lead a sustainable lifestyle that helps you save on future fuel and energy bills. You will also be able to live in a healthier space while positively impacting the environment by reducing the carbon footprint on the planet.

To build an eco-friendly house, you can contact EcoBuild+ for help. Depending on your needs, we can help you prioritize the use of sustainable materials or help you enjoy the financial cost-saving benefits of an eco-friendly house. 

What Are The Planning Steps In Building A Custom House In Chicago?

The process of building a custom house requires a lot of planning that needs to begin way before construction even begins. You can enjoy a good construction process if you make adequate plans. 

Here are some things you can do before you start constructing your home.

Plan Your Budget

You should start planning your budget once you decide to build a house. Create a realistic estimate of what you can spend and the cost of building a new home. 

The main goal of the budgeting stage is to strike a balance between your wants and an accurate estimation of your financial capacity.

Choose Your Lot

If you haven’t prepared a building lot for your new house, speak with realtors to get an idea of how much land will cost in the area you want to move to. 

Pick A House Plan

The next thing is to decide on the type of plan you want. You can take inspiration from catalogs or have a builder or an architect assist you in selecting the ideal plan for your requirements.

Choose Your Contractor

You will need the help of professionals like a builder, an excavator, a surveyor, and a home designer or an architect. Instead of going through the stress of gathering these professionals, you can just hire a contractor.

At EcoBuild+, we provide exceptional building services and professional expertise you can count on.

Agree To A Contract

Make sure to work out the specifications of the contractor’s services. Get a written and signed agreement to ensure that you and your contractor are on the same page.

How To Find The Right Custom Home Builder In Chicago?

An ideal custom home building company should have visible ratings based on their awards, client satisfaction, and job quality. They will usually also have a large portfolio of residences they’ve built. 

Additionally, a sign of a good custom home builder is that they are often members of respectable building associations, most notably the National Association of Home Builders and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBA of Greater Chicago) (NAHB). 

One way to get a good builder is by verifying their license with the local licensing board and consulting previous customers.

Contact EcoBuild+

At EcoBuild+, we offer custom home-building services you can depend on. Contact us now at EcoBuild+. Let’s help you build the house of your dreams.

How to Build an Eco-Friendly House

The construction industry is one of the main contributors to pollution, climate change, and the depletion of natural resources. By looking at the building materials used, the energy consumed, and the waste produced, it is easy to see that the construction industry plays a large role in our planet’s present and future. Luckily, there are also ways to minimize your environmental impact when building a new home. How do you go about building an eco-friendly house? The truth is, it’s not as hard as you think. This article will provide some tips on how to build an eco-friendly home.

What Is An Eco-Friendly House?

An eco-friendly house is both sustainable and environmentally conscious. It is made with natural and recycled materials and utilizes solar power and other renewable resources. Energy consumption is minimized, and there are no toxic materials in the house. The house’s interior is clean, uncluttered, and has a minimal environmental impact. Most houses today have a large carbon footprint, producing more carbon dioxide than they should. Some of these houses are not as energy efficient as they could be because they are not well insulated or use outdated technology. An eco-friendly house is a house that is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

How to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly

There are various ways to make your house more eco-friendly, some of which are as simple as changing bulbs. They include:

Switch to LED lightbulbs.

Switching to LED lightbulbs to make your house more eco-friendly is an easy change that can help reduce your electricity bill and protect the environment. These bulbs use less energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which are hazardous to the environment because of the mercury and lead used in their manufacturing process. If you’re looking for ways to save on your electricity bill and the environment, switching to LED lightbulbs is a great place to start.

Use Natural Cleaning Products.

Natural cleaning products are made with fewer chemicals, which can be more harmful to our health than helpful. They also use ingredients that are safe for humans and animals. One of the best natural cleaning products is vinegar. Vinegar is an acid that helps remove stains and kills bacteria, mold, and mildew. It also helps clean surfaces, making it perfect for your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and toilet. You can also try using baking soda as a natural cleaner for your floors, countertops, and furniture.

Stopping Air Leaks

If you need a way to reduce energy bills and make your home more environmentally friendly, you should consider sealing air leaks. By sealing air leaks, you can lower the amount of air leaking out of your home and consequently lower your energy costs.

Designing An Eco Home

How to Design an Eco-Friendly House

To design an eco-friendly house, consider using these strategies:

Passivhaus Design and Construction Techniques

A vital aspect of a Passivhaus design is considering the house’s location. The design should consider the existing climate and utilize natural ventilation. A Passivhaus must take advantage of passive heating and cooling, which means that the design is not dependent on the air conditioning or heating. The energy required for space heating cannot exceed 15 kWh/m2.

Passive Solar Design Requirements for Sustainable Homes

Passive solar design is a way to use natural sunlight to heat and cool your home. It is a design with the windows and doors of the home facing south or east. This design allows the sun to enter the home from the east or south and heat the interior of your home. The sun’s warmth warms the indoor air, rising and flowing through the house. This warmth keeps the interior of your home at an even temperature all day long. Passive solar designs are done in various ways, such as adding windows, sliding doors, and skylights oriented in the south or east direction. Some homes also have flat roofs oriented in the south or east direction.

Eco-Friendly House Building

Although there are many ways to reduce our environmental impact, one of the most important steps is to build your home in a way that does not harm the earth. There are many eco-friendly options for home building, some of which are:

Make It Small

The goal of an eco-friendly system is to create a sustainable house with a small footprint, meaning it would use fewer materials and be easier to maintain. By building your home, you can have a smaller carbon footprint and save on the electricity and water you would normally use.

Make It A Passive House.

A passive house is a new way to build an energy-efficient house that uses natural ventilation, insulation, and solar energy. This type of home will help the environment by reducing the energy used and its impact on the climate.

Build with Sustainable Materials

When building your home, it is important to consider the materials you use. Sustainable materials, such as bamboo or recycled products, are produced with a low environmental impact. When building your home, you will be able to take pride in your decision to use sustainable materials. In addition, using sustainable materials will ensure your home’s lifespan.

Eco-Friendly House Ideas

To simplify your life and reduce your carbon footprint, consider the following ideas:

Simplify Your Yard 

Planting a garden in your yard is a great way to be eco-friendly. If you cannot afford the time or resources to maintain a garden, you can hire a gardener for the summer or even consider renting a plot of land from a local farmer. When it comes to landscaping, it’s important to be eco-friendly.

Consider The Local Environment

It is important to consider the local environment when looking for a new house. It is also important to consider the indoor and outdoor environment and the appliances you use in your home. Installing solar panels and monitoring your energy usage are two simple ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.

Choosing an Eco-Friendly House Builder

What if you could build your dream home and be eco-friendly at the same time? If that sounds appealing, contact us for your eco-friendly house at Ecobuildplus. Our team is committed to building healthy homes for people and the environment. We help you design your perfect home with a green footprint.

7 Things to Consider Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

7 Things to Consider Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

For almost every homeowner, there comes a time when your outdated, run-down kitchen needs a completely fresh start. That doesn’t mean you get out a hammer and start smashing your cabinets like on a home makeover show. Planning a kitchen remodeling Chicago project requires a great team and lots of planning. To best prepare yourself for a successful kitchen renovation, consider your thoughts on these key items.

  • Set Your Budget

First and foremost, and especially before choosing backsplash patterns, you will need to determine your budget. Setting a realistic budget for your project ensures you are adequately covered and will not have to make compromises on quality or design. Additionally, kitchen upgrades have a significant return-on-investment when you go to sell your home (more on that later) so it pays in the long-term to have a proper budget.

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to remodel a kitchen is around $25,000 with the typical range starting at $13,000 and going up to $38,000. The actual cost of a kitchen remodel will vary significantly from region-to-region. Also, keep in mind factors such as inflation, material backorders, and labor shortages that can creep the cost up even higher for your ideal architectural design.

Talk to local design build contractors to see what a realistic budget would be for your project. This will help you determine the exact scope and whether you can include that deluxe 8-burner range or not. If you are concerned about funding your project, there are many different ways to pay for a home renovation. These options include leveraging your home’s equity or taking out a home improvement loan.

  • Evaluate Your Layout

Over the past decade or two, kitchens have become the heart of the home. Not only do you need a functional space for cooking; ideally you can also socialize, host friends, play games, do homework, etc. in this mission control space. There is a good chance your existing layout just isn’t cutting it for all of these functions.

If you choose to work with design build contractors to complete your kitchen remodeling Chicago project, a trained designer will walk you through your layout options. Your home’s optimal kitchen layout should be highly functional and actually ease your day-to-day needs. Here are a few key layout components to think about:

Kitchen Working Triangle

You may have heard of this concept before when it comes to kitchen design. The kitchen working triangle is a recommendation that the location of your sink, stove, and fridge connect in a triangular shape and at a certain distance. In doing so, your kitchen is optimized for efficiently moving between the appliances as you cook. Not all kitchen layouts can accommodate this “rule,” but it is something you and your designer should consider.

Island vs. Peninsula (vs. Neither vs. Both)

Everyone’s dream is to have a big, beautiful island smack dab in the center of their kitchen. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. If you have the floor space, a detached island is a great choice to create a gathering zone in your kitchen. Where floor space is limited, a peninsula, with one side attached to other cabinetry or a wall, can still provide great seating options. In galley kitchens, there is typically no room for either. In very large kitchens, you could accommodate both.

Storage, Storage Everywhere

There are plenty of kitchen remodels out there that look absolutely beautiful, but are not practical when it comes to storage. Talk with your architectural design professional about how you can maximize storage in your space. A wall of cabinets, an oversized pantry, or a unique, hidden storage solution is an ideal solution for all of your random kitchen gadgets. When planning your storage options, keep in mind open shelving only provides about a third of the storage space as a traditional closed cabinet.

  • Do Your Research

While quality design build contractors will walk you through all of the important decisions that need to be made for a kitchen remodeling Chicago project, it is in your best interest to come to the table with some prior knowledge. Complete a little preliminary research in these categories to ensure you have practical expectations before meeting with your design professional:

  • Material Choices – Countertops, backsplashes, cabinets, flooring, paint – oh my! The architectural design of your new kitchen will require lots of decision making. Budget, quality, durability, and style are all factors in choosing the finishes for your space. Consider all of the options available to you and begin to narrow those down to your top picks.
  • Design Style & Color Palette – With hundreds of styles and colors to choose from, landing on the right interior design style for your new kitchen can feel overwhelming. Before meeting with design build contractors, use sites such as Pinterest and Instagram to find the styles and colors best suited for you. Save these photos on your phone so you and your designer can get on the same page.
  • Appliance Brands – Appliances can be a costly line item when budgeting for your kitchen remodel. You can choose budget appliances, luxury models, or anywhere in between. Compare the cost and capabilities of many brands and varieties in order to make an informed purchase decision.
  • Consider Your Needs vs. Wants

Everyone has a picture in their head of what their dream kitchen looks like. Alas, this dream does not always coincide with reality. To keep your budget in check and your architectural design realistic, you should evaluate your needs versus your wants. Typically, this means prioritizing function over style. Consider these questions to determine the needs of your kitchen renovation:

  • How do you use your kitchen day-to-day? How would you like to use it?
  • What do you like about your current kitchen? What do you hate?
  • What is the main reason for renovating your kitchen?
  • What are common issues you run into while cooking, hosting, or cleaning?
  • Are the walkways in and around your kitchen sufficient?

Once you answer these questions, you can start to prioritize and budget for the crucial changes you need to make. Only after functionality factors have been accounted for can you start to consider your wants. Wants are items that won’t necessarily affect your day-to-day, but could be an added bonus. These include high-end appliances, particular material choices, and other designer upgrades.

  • Don’t Forget the Unknowns

In absolutely every kitchen renovation project, an unknown condition will present itself that requires more time and more money to manage. During the demolition phase, your design build contractors may find moisture damage, rotted drywall, lead or asbestos, or faulty plumbing or wiring. It is impossible to know the exact scope and impact of these unknown conditions before starting the project, but it is possible to plan for them with a contingency fund.

What is a Renovation Contingency Fund?

A contingency fund is a portion of your budget that is allocated for these unexpected occurrences. Experts suggest setting aside approximately 10 to 20 percent of your overall budget for these unknown conditions. The more you are able to set aside, the better.

In a best case scenario, these funds are left over at the end of your project and can go back into your savings or be used for supplemental projects items like furniture. In a worst case scenario, a substantial unexpected condition occurs, such as damaged structural elements. Talk with your contractor to determine how this will affect the overall budget.

  • Understand the Return-on-Investment

Your home is an asset that can increase or decrease in value while you own it. Making certain upgrades to your home, such as installing new windows or replacing the roof, can actually increase the value of your home and allow you to recoup some of the cost of the upgrades in the future: a return-on-investment.

What is the ROI for a Kitchen Remodel?

According to Zillow, the national midrange major kitchen remodel ROI is 59 percent. This means for a $50,000 kitchen remodel, you will receive back about $30,000 upon the sale of your home. 

Return-on-investment is an important factor to consider if you plan on selling your home in the next few years. You will want to make upgrades that would appeal to a wide range of buyers and be sure not to over-upgrade. If you plan on staying in your home long-term, it is perfectly acceptable to add those personal touches that may not necessarily wager a return.

  • Know Your Environmental Impact

From the materials you choose to the energy you consume, your kitchen remodeling Chicago project will have some impact on the overall environment. Choosing design build contractors who are also experts in green building and design will allow you to feel confident in your kitchen design decisions as they affect your carbon footprint. Green building and design professionals may incorporate some of the following sustainable ideas into your kitchen project:

  • Low VOC & Solvent-Free Paints and Sealants
  • Energy-Star Rated Windows
  • Recycled or Reclaimed Materials
  • Energy-Efficient Appliances, Lighting, and Fixtures
  • Sustainably-Sourced Materials
  • Green Tech Integrations

Shopping local is another environmentally-friendly green building and design option to consider during your kitchen remodel. Opting for kitchen suppliers that source local materials reduces your project’s overall carbon footprint.

Bringing your dream kitchen to life is a lot easier with the right design build contractors. Working alongside a professional team, such as EcoBuild+ in Chicagoland, ensures you can feel comfortable in your design decisions from day one to day done. At EcoBuild+, we take obsolete, outdated spaces and turn them into functional, eco-friendly showpieces. Let’s discuss your kitchen remodeling project – contact us today for a free consultation!


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