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10 Questions to Ask Your Green Contractor

What are the benefits of green living?

It's not enough for a contractor to promise that a greener life will be less expensive, more comfortable and healthier. A homeowner can expect specifics.

How will this construction improve health? The contractor should be able to discuss how ridding the air of allergens and dust, reducing mold vulnerability, creating even temperature and preventing insect infestation all promote healthier living environments.

How will green construction improve energy consumption and thereby reduce costs? Contractors specializing in green design and construction understand that saving money is an important factor to a homeowner's decision to go green. The contractor therefore should be able to provide specific estimates. Some green contractors promise up to 70 percent of energy cost savings. Assuming the contractor has been in the green business long enough, he should be able to provide specific examples of savings reported by previous clients.

The contractor may also provide information about lower homeowner's insurance rates and reduced landscaping costs. And, of course, when asked about expected benefits, the contractor should offer examples of how green construction is kinder to the environment.