How to do an environmentally friendly property renovation
May 31, 2018
Welcome back! If you’ve seen our recent guides on composting, summer parties and avoiding hoarding, you’re going to love this piece on performing an environmentally friendly property renovation.
Part one – Be mindful of your materials
When it comes to an environmentally friendly property renovation, one of the most considerate ways of upgrading the building without causing harm is to take a close and careful look at the materials you use. You should be asking questions like ‘What is this made from?’, ‘Is it new, or reused?’, and ‘Was this imported from the other side of the world, or is it local?.
We are big fans of using reclaimed wood as part of your renovation project. Simply find your local wood recycling yard or business, and they will be more than happy to supply you with the wood you need. Knowing this wood has had a life before will contribute greatly towards your eco-friendly efforts.
Spray foam insulation
There are some awful ways of insulating your home, like asbestos, and fibreglass batts. In fact, they’re not just bad for your home, they’re bad for your health, and for the environment too. Eco-friendly rapidly-expanding spray foam insulation, like BASF of Icynene, will help you insulate your renovation without damaging the environment. These materials have no CFCs or HCFCs, are flame retardant and will support the structure of your renovation due to their strength.
Recycled glass, double and triple glazing
Finding second hand windows should not be too hard, although it could be a challenge to get clean or high quality glass. The most important thing for your renovation is that the windows are at least double glazed, and if you’re willing to go the extra mile or you live somewhere very cold, opt for triple glazed. Great insulation is so important to being environmentally friendly at home.
Second hand materials, refurbished items, antiques, auctions
There’s nothing wrong with second hand items, in fact, if they’ve survived one lifetime, there’s a good chance they’ll survive another. Check out charity shops, antiques sellers and auction houses for some absolute bargains. Furniture in the past used to be made by artisans who really cared, whereas now, with mass production and economy of scale, the same can’t always be said. Furniture should not be flimsy and disposable. The same goes for electronics – refurbished computers which have been repaired and upgraded often run better than cheap new basic models.
Part two – Environmentally friendly property renovation techniques
Dismantle, don’t destroy
It can be very tempting and satisfying to go flying around with a hammer destroying a room that is getting knocked down as part of your renovation, but it might be a little counterproductive. Think of the beams, the tiles, and all of the wonderful and resourceful potential that is held in that room, and try to strip it for its materials before you destroy the lot.
Charities need your help, and one way that you can help them is simply by giving them items that you no longer want. As long as they have some resale value, they can be useful. During your renovation, it’s like that you’re going to find quite a lot of items that you no longer want or need, and so you are presented with a great chance to keep them in use, and out of the bin.
Energy saving light bulbs
It’s perhaps the easiest and most effective switch you can make in the home, immediately reducing energy usage by 90%, but remarkably, some people still haven’t got around to installing LED light bulbs. You should consider doing a total refit of your light bulbs as part of your environmentally friendly property renovation.
Paint your cabinets, reupholster your furniture
Things that look old, but are still functional, often don’t actually need throwing away. They just need a new lease of life! If you’re renovating a kitchen, and all of the cupboards are in great working order, you might want to consider simply painting them, or varnishing them (if they’re wood), in order to freshen up the style and bring the room to the modern day. The same goes for sofas and armchairs – you can get new fabrics designed to fit your furniture, so why spend thousands on a new three piece suite?
Skylights are big winners!
Renovating your property to include a skylight, or even a few skylights, is a great way of harnessing the power of the environment, to help save the environment! Reduce your light energy consumption thanks to natural light, and you’ll save money on your bills over time. Skylights also look great and open up your space in a great way.
Good luck for your property renovation!
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