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 Drywall

There are a number of options for walls, and we selected good old fashioned drywall.  One consideration is that we used advanced framing and the span between studds was 24 inches vs the traditional and resource intensive 16 inches.  Thus, your builder may want to go with a bit thicker drywall to keep it from bowing over time.

In addition we were going for a clean modern look for our home, and thus for the main rooms we opted for a smooth drywall finish rather than a textured finish (orange peel effect).  While it is counter intuitive, the smooth finish costs more than the orange peel finish because more care/time is needed to cover the joints between drywall sections.  For the bedrooms and bathrooms, we used the orange peel to save a few dollars, but the smooth finish was used for the dining room, entry way, kitchen and great room. 

We specified drywall with recycled content and according to the California Recycled-Content Product Directory the product we used had 100% recycled content of which 4% was post consumer content. 

 

 

Paint ...

 Click Here for More Information on Green Paint Options

Paint manufacturers have made tremendous strides over the past 30 years since lead paint was banned.  Most major manufacturers have a low VOC (volitile organic compound) paint.  VOC is that fresh paint smell that we all grew up with.  It's toxic and can cause health problems, certain while living in a home which has just been painted.

Light colors are the easiest to make with no or low VOC content.  Colors are more problematic.  Thus, tint will add some VOC to the environment, but if the base color is no VOC the smell is significantly reduced.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nine percent of the airborne pollutants that form ground-level ozone—smog—come from the VOCs in paint. The EPA advises caution when using products that contain VOCs because exposure to these compounds can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment.

The easiest way to check get low and no VOC paints, as well as low VOC caulks and sealants, is to ask.  You can check the GreenSeal and GreenGuard certification for the paints your using.  The latter is for VOC and the former covers the entire manufacturing process. 

We used Benjamin Moore's line of EcoSpec brand paint.  This line is both GreenSeal and GreenGuard certified.  It was a bit curious that the store manager did not have this information at hand to confirm certification, and I had to go to the website and do some digging.  Frankly, we went with Benjamin Moore because our interior designer liked the color range.


We welcome your comments on this site.
You can email Christine Garst at
cbgarst@aol.com
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