Many times I am asked about the costs of going Green. If you look at only the purchase price of certain products, it can be deceptive. A natural or authentic item often requires a larger initial investment than a copy or an artificial product. But True Cost to Own takes into account the long term investment. If you can wait and purchase the real-deal, then you can make a better long term investment.
For example, when someone shops for flooring, they often look at the Price per Square Foot. The next thing to consider is the cost of installation. Is this something that requires the proper tools and experience, or can it be a weekend Do-It-Yourself project? And then another question is about durability. How will your choice of flooring stand up to your lifestyle? Are you putting it in a bedroom or a high traffic location? Is it in an area with moisture like a bathroom? Do you have children or pets in your household? Does the flooring require maintenance? How long is it projected to last under normal conditions?
The new products have marketing campaigns that tout the benefits of easy installation or maintenance. Because of their affordability you don’t need to save up for a larger investment and you can afford to change your finishes each decade to fit the latest trend. Hardwood has been replaced by laminate floors. Wool carpets have been replaced by plastics. Natural linoleum flooring has been replaced by Vinyl. But classic finishes like natural stone and solid hardwood last for centuries and good quality is always in style.
But then there are the hidden costs of ownership. Many of the more affordable options for home finishing products are imitations of a natural product. The largest danger from these products is the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) which off-gas once they are installed in the home and the chemicals begin to evaporate. These indoor air pollutants are found not only in the product itself, but in the adhesives, the substrates, the sealants and caulks. As these chemicals Off-Gas in your home they affect your Indoor Air Quality. The affects are strongest in the first few months, but they actually can last for years.
Breathing these indoor air toxins leads to a number of health problems including allergies and asthma, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. But they also lead to increases in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, birth defects and behavioral health issues.
So when you add up the true cost of ownership, you need to factor in the lost productivity at work and school and the cost of medications and medical care.
This becomes much more complicated than a simple Price per Square Foot! And that is why I am here for you, to help you weigh the pros and cons of these options before you make a large investment in your home. And the last thing that you want is to make a large investment, and then find that it is making you and your family sick.
Call me to set up your Healthy Home Consultation and we can work together to find a solution to fit your needs and your budget.