Renovating a house is a great project to welcome the new year. But did you know that it’s also among the top sources of waste in Australia?
It affects the environment as well as your budget. And so, I’ve come up with ways to make your renovation project more eco-friendly and less wasteful.
Collaborate with Your Construction Team
If your house renovation involves an architect, engineer and builders, consult them about your waste management plan. The briefing stage should be perfect for this.
Ask them for recommendations on what building products can minimise damage and installation issues. They can give you valuable advice on what can be preserved or recycled when renovating a house.
With this integrated approach, you can avoid expensive errors and wasteful rework.
Choose to Deconstruct than Demolish
Deconstruction means taking the house apart to salvage materials for recycling, repurposing or selling. This process will take time, of course. And it may also add to your expenses.
So, make sure to balance the cost of deconstruction against your savings. Some of the waste materials you can save during house renovating are:
- Cabinetry. You can upcycle house cabinet pieces into extra storage space for your workshop or garage.
- Benchtop. Reuse your old counter into a laundry folding station or planting and potting table.
- Carpeting. Cut it into manageable pieces and turn it into rugs.
- Doors. Glass-paned or solid wood doors are ideal for selling or donating for a second installation.
- Floors. Homeowners typically look for old hardwood flooring for fixing damaged areas around their house. Make sure to remove all nails on the boards for safe transport.
- Window hardware and screens. Salvage them as backup pieces, especially if you still have similar windows in your home. These are perfect for selling or donating, too.
- Switches and outlets. Check the components, then donate or repurpose those still in good condition.
Aim for Longevity
Look for good-quality materials that last long and are low maintenance. Ideally, go for sustainable materials when renovating a house. These can save money and the environment.
Apply this tip when buying fixtures, fittings and appliances, too. Steer clear of cheap items that will break in a few short years. These will only add up to waste and cost.
You’ll also want materials with minimal packaging. That way, your post-renovation cleaning time will be faster.
It’s even better if you can reuse your packing materials. Styrofoam, pallets and cardboard, for example, can be reused.
Wood pallets are perfect for creating vertical gardens. Styrofoam, packing peanuts and cardboard boxes are excellent for people who need to transport items, too.
Go for Reclaimed Materials
The best way to reduce waste when renovating a house is not to buy new materials. So, whenever possible, use second-hand building materials. They’re cheaper and will surely add character to your renovated home.
Try searching online for reclaimed wood to find various salvage yards offering beautiful wooden floorboards.
Apply Techniques that Reduce Waste
One example is to choose building materials that fit your house dimensions. That way, there’ll be less off-cuts wastage. Another technique is to use recyclable materials.
When buying building materials, try the just-in-time ordering system, too. Here, you’ll be planning products and materials to arrive in time for application.
That way, you get to reduce storage time that can potentially damage your supplies and increase the chances of reordering. This technique will also avoid ordering duplicate materials or over-ordering.
Contact Your Local Landfill
After sorting through your renovation junks, it’s time to drop off all unusable items at the landfill. It should be your last resort, though, as landfills can produce toxins that harm our health and the environment.
Landfills typically have designations for large appliances, construction debris and so on. So, make sure to contact them first before pick up. That way, you can sort the building waste accordingly.
Ready to start renovating? Perhaps, these bathroom renovation ideas will spark inspiration!