With so many Governments and industries coming to the realising that we only have a finite amount of resources on this planet, many businesses have slowly started to make the shift towards sustainability and renewable resources. Some of these changes are small, such as installing solar panels and some quite large, such as overhauling manufacturing processes, every little bit counts, and is a step in the right direction.
The same type of thinking can be seen in the construction industry, with more and more renewable housing being created. It has become far more common to see examples of fully sustainable housing being designed as can be seen through the likes of shows such as the Apple TV series Home, which have outlined some of the more inventive homes created around the world, which have heavily invested in being ecologically sustainable.
There’s also been a constant shortage of materials of late, which has caused delays in building processes, not to mention driving up the costs of these items. So, if you are considering even a modest renovation, you too can adopt elements of your build that are considerate to our environment and save some money in the process. It just takes a little forethought and a gentle touch when removing old elements to ensure they can be re-used if needed.
Use recycled materials
If you have an older house more often than not many of the materials that were originally used are just as good, if not better than some of the modern-day equivalents. You probably know the saying they don’t make them like they used to, so before you completely demolish a room, check to see if you can re-use benchtops cabinet doors, lighting, handles sinks and so on. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, such as using a shower screen as a kitchen splashback; there are so many ways to repurpose materials, and it can really give you a unique look.
Resurface don’t replace.
Simply sanding back and repainting items will save you a lot of money for minimal effort. This is particularly applicable for kitchen benchtops, cabinet doors and wooden architraves. By cutting back the old wood or paint can reveal some beautiful natural wood grains, or alternatively, these can then be repainted to give a clean modern look. This can also be applicable for tiles and a simple new coat of paint can bring your bathroom to life!
If you’re lucky you might remove your old kitchen tile or lino to find a beautiful hardwood subfloor underneath. If not, there are now many environmentally sustainable flooring options that are budget conscious and look great. Some of these include bamboo, sustainable locally sourced hardwoods, recycled ceramic tiles, or even stone just to name a few. If you do happen to be looking at installing hardwood floors, be sure to look for FSC-certified timber (which is an internationally recognised accreditation program preventing logging of high conservation value forests and ensures timber is from a sustainably managed forest).
Lighting & Electrics.
Rewiring an existing house can be expensive, but not updating old lighting and appliances can be equally expensive. Create a plan on exactly where you need power-points and which lights you want to update. Worth taking help from electrical contractors if you are not sure.
It’s also worth looking at switching over your kitchen appliances to more energy-efficient devices. Modern induction cooktops, convection ovens, dishwashers on so on use significantly less energy and water than older devices. If you do plan to switch these over make sure that your electrical switchboard is able to handle the new devices and that you have wiring in the best locations for them.
Eco-friendly kitchen makeovers are a great chance for you to get that much-needed overhaul that your kitchen requires, but by looking at design ideas out there (of which there are a lot) you might find the perfect solution to your next update, that will save you time and money, and look amazing!