Reusing and upcycling materials from your building project
One person's trash is another
Home renovations will inevitably involve a large skip sitting outside your front door for weeks on end, with builders carting various pieces of ‘rubbish’ out from your home or garden. However, what builders often deem to be rubbish can be treasure for many of us.
Here are our 3 key ways to minimise the environmental impact of your renovation and avoid paying extortionate fees in skip hire.
Could some of the materials could be cleaned up and reused in your renovation?
There is a tendency with builders to assume that if you’re renovating your home that you want everything to be finished with new materials. But maybe those old doors just need stripping and dipping to bring them back to life? Or a piece of panelling that you’ve had to remove to make way for a new doorway could be used elsewhere? During our recent basement conversion we had to stop the builders from throwing away the original stable-style doors. They weren’t much to look at, covered in dirt and grime in a damp environment. But getting them cleaned up and then attaching them to a sliding door track means we’ve kept the original character of the building while having an interesting and unique feature.
Could some of the materials be used to create a unique feature in your home?
The variety of rubbish materials that will be coming out of a renovation is huge. Could the old floor boards be used to make shelves? Could you use the old kitchen sink as a flower bed? Could the pallets that your new Velux windows arrived on be used to make a garden bench? Pinterest is great place to find ideas, as well as following some well-known upcyclers like Max McMurdo.
Our favourite upcycle from our latest renovation are the light fittings that we have made from the old loft rafters that we took out to open the ceiling space.
Could other people could benefit from the materials you’re throwing away?
Freegle and Freecycle are both ways of making sure that things are not going into landfill unnecessarily. However, think about other ways that your rubbish could benefit the local community. We recently donated all sorts of old pipes and guttering as well as offcuts of the new pipes and guttering to our son’s school. They’ve been used to create a water play area for the nursery and reception classes. It’s always worth asking if schools or local community spaces could do with donations.
If you are thinking about renovating your home, or in the middle of a project, and want some help to think creatively about how to reuse materials or simply just want us to make you a light fitting like ours, do get in touch with us here. And don't forget to follow us via Instagram, Facebook and our upcoming blogs.