Using Reclaimed Materials in Your Home & Yard

Using Reclaimed Materials in Your Home & Yard

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When most of us consider landfills, we consider rotting disposable diapers, apple cores, and outdated clothes. Our ideas don’t often flip to discarded development supplies. However, the U.S. generated 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste in 2018, in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s greater than double the quantity of municipal solid waste generated yearly.

A variety of wooden, concrete, bricks, glass, asphalt, and plastic are going to landfills as an alternative of being recycled or reused. This creates an enormous alternative for enchancment. Repurposing supplies is an effective way to cut back the ecological impression of a mission. Demolition waste could be artfully repurposed in dwelling transforming, development, and landscaping initiatives, including magnificence and appeal. Reclaiming waste additionally helps you get monetary savings, as many individuals go into debt when setting up and transforming properties.

Here are some simple methods that will help you get began.

Plan Ahead

Reclaiming supplies sometimes takes extra time than simply shopping for new gadgets. And it requires extra planning.

It is difficult to take a cookie-cutter strategy to salvaged supplies. When setting up or transforming your property, it’s possible you’ll must customise it to the out there supplies. One technique is to research what supplies can be found after which plan your mission design accordingly. The reverse strategy is to design your mission after which accumulate the wanted reclaimed supplies. When taking the latter strategy, it’s useful to depend on salvaged supplies which can be extra generally out there.

Regardless, planning forward and having loads of space for storing is useful.

used bricks on a pallet
Salvaged supplies not solely add character to your development and landscaping initiatives — they will prevent cash. Image: Adobe Stock

Find Good Sources of Salvaged Materials

One of the simplest methods to seek out free supplies and to forestall them from going to landfills is to go to demolition websites. This is usually a nice supply of home windows, doorways, woodwork, fixtures, and even home equipment. Construction websites could be wonderful sources of surplus or barely broken supplies and provides. Construction dumpsters are sometimes full of helpful supplies.

It is important to talk with the foreman to get permission earlier than taking any supplies. If you’re searching for one thing particular, ask the contractors working on-site if they’ve discovered that window or door you need. They may be prepared to set supplies apart for you. But once more, ask for permission first.

Antique malls, architectural salvage shops, and residential enchancment donation facilities are good sources of something from home windows and doorways to {hardware}, tile, and plumbing fixtures.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is one other invaluable supply of recent and used constructing supplies, and the proceeds profit trigger. There can also be a wide range of web sites that may be helpful, together with Reusewood, Craigslist, Freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace. Some individuals even buy properties with reclaiming the supplies in thoughts. For instance, outdated barns are full of beautiful weathered lumber that may be deconstructed and repurposed.

building demolition site
Demolition websites is usually a good supply of free supplies. Be certain to ask permission first. Photo: Sarah Lozanova

Utilize Repurposed Materials

Beautify your property with reclaimed and repurposed wooden beams and ceramic tiles.

Use cleaned-up bricks recovered from development particles to create patios, pizza ovens, and pathways, and different engaging options in your new dwelling.

Repurpose shipping containers to make storage sheds. Or stack them to make multi-tiered buildings, like a visitor room.

Use crushed concrete as combination for walkways and driveways.

Sinks, vanities, bathtubs, cupboards, bathe stalls, lighting fixtures, and even bathrooms could be repurposed.

Find Supplies with Recycled Materials

There are additionally some development supplies out there in the marketplace comprised of recycled supplies.

Plastic bottles are recycled to make composite lumber or bricks, and recycled glass is made into tile and countertops. Old newspapers or blue denims are made into insulation products, and cork bottle stoppers could make flooring and panels. Purchasing these supplies may not be as economical nevertheless it does preserve sources.

Using salvaged supplies in development and renovation initiatives provides character and is an effective way to cut back waste. And having an eye fixed for reuse helps preserve valuable sources and defend the atmosphere.

Originally printed on October 3, 2019, this text was up to date in July 2021.