Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Questions to Ask Your Green Contractor

What about materials?

All professionals on the green team, from the plumber to the interior decorator, have a number of choices when it comes to the materials they plan to use for a project.

The plumber, for example, will evaluate environmental attributes that dictate traits the material needs to have. Other plumbing material considerations will include fire safety, aesthetics and longevity. Once the requirements are understood, the plumber can find suitable materials for the job [source: Spiegel].

Green interior designers tend to use eco-friendly recycled (and recyclable) or raw materials in their designs. Furniture, flooring, partitions and cabinetry may be constructed of recycled wood or natural materials. An interior designer will help select appliances that were manufactured in a green facility, are energy efficient and still add to the aesthetics of the home. The green designer will also determine which carpet and drapes work best for the specific climate and select materials that are allergen-free.

Importantly, these same people should also be able to detail what they plan to do with materials they remove from the home. Will they recycle?