4 ways to use recycled materials in your renovation

Planning is the key to any house renovation, and in the past, it was ‘out with the old and in with the new’. Today, however, we need to be more resourceful and conscious about cutting greenhouse gases and stopping our throwaway culture.

Recycling materials are a viable way we all can contribute to protecting our environment. It’s worth discussing how recycled building elements can be incorporated in your renovation with your builder.

Here are 4 ideas to get you started, all of which are guaranteed to add individual charm and history to your home.

1. Re-cycle bricks

Salvaging bricks from an old house and re-using them is a great way to add some history and create a talking point in your house. Think outside the square. Add an accent wall of exposed bricks in your kitchen or entrance, or for a real industrial vintage feel consider a brick ceiling. It can look amazing in a family room with white walls and neutral décor. Cleaning recycled bricks is fairly labour intensive job, but if you have the time and the energy it can be done.

2. Restore don’t destroy

Usually, old kitchen cabinets are the first to be dispensed with during a renovation but quite often under that shabby exterior they can be in good condition. If the basic structure is sound, get a painting expert to give you a quote. They have the right equipment and skills to give your cabinets a professional finish that would be difficult for a DIY.

3. Recycle timber

In many cases, recycled timber is cheaper than new timber. It is a great renovation option when used in flooring, decking, posts, beams and much more. The best news is each time someone reuses timber it helps to maintain our environment. Check out your local salvage yard. Also, browse online for ideas of the many different ways it can be incorporated into your house.

4. Be smart about the materials you use

In situations where you can’t use recycled materials, consider using natural materials that could potentially be recycled or reused later. Additionally, when using something like natural stone in your renovation, you might find you’ll be charged for a full slab whether you use it or not. So if you’re doing a natural stone kitchen bench, see if you could also use that material in your laundry or bathrooms. Not only does this bring consistency to your house’s décor, it also reduces the chance of any materials going to waste.

Find a freecycling place near you

If you’re struggling to get your hands on the recycled materials you’d like to use in your renovation check out your local freecycling group. Freecycling groups allow people to donate materials they don’t need and find things they do with the aim of reducing landfill. Browse online to find one close to you.

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