What To Do With All The Old Stuff?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Used-Stuff2

Used Items Ready To Be Reused or Recycled

We have been talking about remodeling our homes, new Kitchens, Bathrooms, Additions, Basements, etc.

All of this remodeling generates some debris; however, it also generates some materials that are reusable.

Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious items that can be saved and reused.

1.       Lighting Fixtures

These are things that we don’t give a lot of thought to throwing in the trash. Our thinking is usually, “who would want this old thing?” When, in reality, there are plenty of people who not only want these fixtures, but need them as well. Some of your “old fixtures” may actually be the perfect fit for someone else’s décor.

2.       Plumbing Fixtures

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” This also applies to the plumbing fixtures that you are replacing in your Bathroom or Kitchen. You are tired of the lime green toilet or the mustard yellow bathtub, but it might be just what someone else is looking for. You would be surprised. Also, think of places that it may be convenient to have that extra sink, the Garage, the Basement, an outdoor herb/potting shed. You may not want it inside your house anymore, but it may still be useful.

3.       Cabinetry

Sometimes we don’t think about saving the cabinetry until it’s too late. So before the carpenters smash the cabinets to fit them into the dumpster or load them into their trailer to sell or give to someone else, take a walk around the house and see if there is a place that needs more storage space or could benefit from an additional wall cabinet or two. Places like the Laundry Room, the Garage, the Basement, the Attic or the shed. Even a walk-in closet could be made more usable with the addition of a cabinet for storing off season stuff.

4.       Countertops

Again, we need to think about what we might gain if we install the old countertops somewhere else in the house. Most tops that are being replaced are made of laminate materials. These materials are very durable and can be used in areas that have a need for easy clean up and maintenance. Garages, Basements, craft rooms, potting sheds. And they don’t need to follow the cabinetry either. Countertops can be modified to fit most any space that you may have. Even older Corian® tops can be modified to fit your needs.

5.       Appliances

The refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove, etc. are probably the easiest things to get rid of. Who doesn’t know of an Aunt, Uncle, niece or cousin who needs an appliance? What about a neighbor, brother or sister or coworker whose refrigerator just when on the fritz? The hardest thing about this is getting help moving the items to their new locations.

With the advent of Craig’s List, Ebay and the like, the playing field has been infinitely expanded. And access to all kinds of persons, with every level of interest and need, makes reusing household items as practical as it has ever been.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… A Call For Questions

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Moving to the Outside

Living greener may be as easy as spending more time outside. And spending more time outside may be as easy installing a new patio or deck or remodeling an existing outdoor space.

Creating New Space

If you are looking out your back door and you cannot think of any possibilities for expanding your usable space…think again. Think of it this way; if your home is 2,500 SF and you add a 250 SF patio or deck, you have just expanded your usable space by 10%! 250 square feet is 10’x25’, 12’x21’, 14’x18’; these are very workable sizes for either a new deck or patio. Who could not use 10% more entertainment space or 10% more seating area at parties? This type of expansion is not out of the question.

Start your planning by making a list of essentials. What are the priorities? Seating, grilling, hot tub, access, socializing, these are some common areas of concern that drive the overall design of an outdoor space. I suggest that you write the important components down and then prioritize them so if you need to adjust because of size or budget you can start eliminating from the bottom up.

You do not have to limit yourself what your neighbors have done or what your Uncle Lewis said he could do for you on a month of Saturdays.

Look around, collect ideas and do your “home work”. The options are limitless when it comes to the configuration, the usage, the materials and the colors of your new outdoor space. 

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Recreating Outdoor Spaces

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Green Family Rooms

Giving Your Family Room the Green Touch

    1. Consider Renewable Flooring:  Products such as bamboo flooring is becoming the poster child for green flooring because of its clean, classy, and natural look and renewable properties. Bamboo is so solid that it can handle nicks and spills that come with child’s play or pets.  Cork is another great choice, but only if you don’t have cats or dogs.
   2.  Let There Be Light: We’re all guilty of leaving the lights on.  If you and your family tend to be forgetful in this area, consider remote lighting systems where the lights turn on when you walk in and turn off when you leave.  Knowing that the lights will be off when they’re supposed to be will save you money.  Consider using compact-fluorescent lights (CFL’s), light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, lighter or brighter-colored lights, or dimmers to save on energy while the lights are on.
    3. Saving Space is Very Green: Making the most of your space without cluttering it up with large items will allow you to create more room for what is most important to you.  There are many streamlined products on the market, such as flat-screen plasma TV’s, more compact audio systems, and speakers that can be built into the walls.  Cabinetry using recycled wood and finishes, and painted with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints, can be built to size around your home theater system.
    4. Cool It Down with Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans are a great investment, and can help reduce your energy bill. Use one that is the appropriate size for your room.  Be sure to install an energy efficient bulb if your fan has a light fixture in it.
    5. Get Air Tight with Energy Efficient Windows and Doors: You don’t want to ignore this area, especially if your room is in your Basement and you have a walk-out Basement.  Always choose double-paned windows and consider having them glazed with Low E coating to moderate the amount of heat that enters your home during both hot and cold weather extremes. 

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Organizing Spaces

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Built-in Green Life Practices

With our busy lives, it can be challenging to make outdoor living a natural part of our day. Why not make intentional use of your outside space so that it becomes second-nature to go outside? Front porches are great for enjoying your surrounding the old-fashioned way. Multi-tiered decks and patios can be used for entertaining and relaxing. Arbors and pergolas create shade with class and style. Dress up your space with mini-landscape vignettes or streaming ponds, and you’re on your way to creating that perfect outdoor living space.

Even though we spend our days busy with work, or engaging in kids activities, be sure to take a few minutes out of your day just to observe and enjoy the outdoor beauty around you. There is so much beauty in nature to see and when we get too busy we miss out on nature’s gifts to us.

Greening Your Outdoor Space…

There’s always an opportunity to go green, especially when it comes to the great outdoors! Enjoy a greener outdoor space with the following tips.

1. Being Outside is Living Green – When you’re outside, there’s no need for TV, video games, or a room full of lights. Set some intentions on how an outdoor living space can serve as an extension of your indoor space and how it can functional for your family’s needs. Take note of how you see yourself and your family cooking, eating, playing, working, gardening, pursuing hobbies, or performing tasks such as bill paying or menu planning all in the backdrop of your outdoor space. Share these ideas with your remodeling consultant.

2. Use Natural Stones – Brick, ceramic, concrete, and slate are the most natural of materials for pathways and walkways. They are long-lasting, low maintenance, cost-effective, and made from renewable sources. Purchasing these materials locally could help keep your costs down and help you support your local community as well.

3. Get Decked Out with Recycled Alternatives – Recycled wood as well as recycled plastic lumber eliminates the need to drown regular lumber with chemical finishes. Both products are easy to maintain, require no sealing, staining, water- or insect-proofing, and it’s totally rot-resistant.

4. A Brush of Green – Until recently, the variety of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in paints were considered were essential to the performance of the paint. Consider using low VOC paints and finishes which release lower levels of toxic emissions into the air for years after application. They work well on decks, arbors, and trellises.

5. Choose Native Plants – Native and indigenous plants are easy to grow and maintain because they adjust to the climate in which they habitat. They require less fertilizer and water.

Who would have ever thought you could make the green outdoors greener?

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Family Room Design and Function

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Greening the Outdoors

Remember those years where our lawns resembled hay bales instead of luscious green fields? It makes us appreciate the rain we’ve been getting over the last several years because now when we drive around we see the beauty of the color green. The summer time is a great time to enjoy the green around us. Even though we spend our days busy with work, or engaging in kids activities, be sure to take a few minutes out of your day just to observe and enjoy the outdoor beauty around you. There is so much beauty in nature to see and when we get too busy, we miss out on the gift that it is to us.

Remodeling does not always mean doing things in and to your house. Sometimes you can do things outside to make your environment a better place to live.

Take care of your outdoor living spaces and make an easy, greener impact as well. Here are some ways you can make a greener difference.

1. Detoxic your Soil – Forgo the pesticides, weed killers, and chemical fertilizers to keep your lawn in shape. Consider non-toxic products that are safer for the eco-system, especially for young children and pets.

2. Turn Kitchen Scraps into Nutrient-Rich Soil – Aside from saying no to more landfill waste, using composted soil stimulates healthy root development, and improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention. Try www.recycle.org for some beginner’s composting tips.

3. Choose Native Plants – Native and indigenous plants are easy to grow and maintain because they adjust to the climate in which they habitat. They require less fertilizer and water.

4. Maximize your Water Use – Water your lawn during sunrise or sunset. Use mulch or compost to help your soil retain water and cut down evaporation. Consider soaker hoses or drip irrigation and cut your water use by 50 percent. Seeking out a barrel to harvest rainwater will allow you to take advantage of water free of charge, free of chlorine. Use it to water lawns, yards, and gardens, as well as washing cars or rinsing windows.

5. Rethink, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Rebuy. Yes, that’s quite a mouthful, but take the time to think about how you can reduce your output of waste, use what you have efficiently, and purchase needed items that are environmentally friendly.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Green Life Practices

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

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