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Live Better with Homestar - 5 home improvement steps

Is your home a healthy home? A healthy home is one that’s warm, comfortable, cost efficient to run – and good for the environment too.

Let’s be honest, we all want to live in warm, comfortable homes that are cost efficient to run without compromising lifestyle. However, many of us don’t know what we need to do to get our home into shape, or how it stacks up when compared to other New Zealand homes. If you’re a homeowner you want to know that the investment you make on improving your home will not only save on running costs, but could add capital value in the long run, and help safeguard the environment for future generations.

The free online Homestar test, together with help from a Homestar Professional and our product partners can guide you about design, construction and maintenance of a healthier, more naturally comfortable and eco-friendly home.

Homestar’s FIVE STEPS to home improvement.

STEP 1: TEST

Head to homestar.org.nz and take the free online questionnaire to rate your home’s health. It takes just 20 minutes to complete and only requires you to make a few simple measurements around your house.

At the end of the test you will be given a Homestar rating between 1 and 10 (1 being poor home sustainability and 10 being world class) and sent a Recommendations Report. If your rating is low, don’t worry. Given the age and style of many New Zealand homes, and Kiwi’s love of making homes look good rather than prioritising other important factors, many homeowners will be in the same position.

Step 2: Recommendations

Check out your improvement options in the Recommendations Report and decide how you want to prioritise the work. We’ll let you know which changes are likely to have the biggest impact on your Homestar rating and their likely cost.

If you need help interpreting the Recommendations Report find a Homestar Professional in your area at www.homestar.org.nz/services.

Find out how you can improve your home at www.homestar.org.nz or at www.facebook.com/HomestarNZ

Step 3: PlAN

Now it’s time to make an action plan of the work you want to tackle first.

Print the recommendations report and highlight the parts that are important to you. You can use it when you go shopping for home improvements items or when you talk to your builder.

Step 4: ACTION

To get help in implementing your action plan contact a Homestar Product Partner, and/or a Homestar Practitioner. A Homestar Practitioner can help you with the design or materials selection for a new home, or major renovation if you want to improve your home’s current Homestar rating.

Then complete the work and get a new Homestar rating.

Step 5: ASSESSMENT

Finally, instruct a Homestar Assessor to independently rate and certify your home. You’ll be provided with a Homestar certificate you can use to help promote and sell your home.