Remodeling Basics: Windows, Floors, Walls

Floors, walls, and windows are big-ticket items that can eat up a good chunk of your remodeling budget—and they comprise most of your home’s surface area.

| July/August 2005

To create the greenest home environment, choose sustainable, nontoxic materials instead of synthetics, which pollute indoor air. In addition, the windows you select can reduce your energy bills while boosting your home’s comfort level.


Gorgeous windows are more than a major design feature; most feature technology that makes them more energy efficient than older styles. Though expensive, they ultimately pay for themselves in energy savings. (Although energy-efficient vinyl windows are inexpensive and widely available, Natural Home can’t recommend them because vinyl manufacturing is extremely toxic.) Choose materials and energy-efficiency features appropriate for your geographical area. Certification programs, Internet research, and local advisors can help you pick the best.

Window Tips:

• For energy-efficient info: Efficient Windows Collaborative ( 

• Two labels help you compare: The Energy Star label for certified energy-efficient windows and the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label for energy-efficient specifics. The NFRC label appears on all products certified to NFRC standards and on all Energy Star-qualified windows.

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