How to Make Your Renovation Environmentally and Budget Friendly
To many people, going green is synonymous with expensive. All those fancy new appliances and windows can really add up, but it doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, there are many ways to both save money and reduce the environmental impact of your home renovation.
Just a few examples include:
There’s no debating that modern appliances are more efficient than those of yesterday, and any home renovation wanting to call itself eco-friendly should invest in Energy Star certified equipment. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pay a ton of cash. Search your area for outlet appliance stores. Appliances that have been repaired, refurbished, or dented can’t be sold as brand new even though they work just as well as one still in the plastic. Stores often blow them out at a significantly discounted rate – up to 70% off in some cases – and the appliances may still come with one-year warranties.
Sears has dedicated outlets throughout the U.S., but Lowes and Home Depot also often have clearance sections within their stores.
Flooring can be a huge home reno expense, but by using salvaged materials, you can reduce the cost and the environmental impact. While there are countless independent salvage stores, Habit for Humanity also has locations throughout the U.S. at which they sell not just flooring but also cabinets, appliances, building materials, and much more. Solid wood floors offer unbeatable charm as-is, but they can also be sanded down, stained, and made to look brand new.
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations often have vintage furniture, much of which is higher quality than pieces you’d buy new at the store. However, thrift stores and craigslist.org are also great resources for finding new home furnishings to match your renovation. Look for solid wood furnishings, since these can be sanded down and refinished. Alternately, a coat of paint can completely change the look of a piece, including metal furnishings.
Granite and other types of natural stone are all the rage in today’s home renovations, but they’re also extremely expensive. You can find a deal and cut down on waste by using the leftover pieces from other homes. Many times a homeowner will need to buy an entire slab of stone but only use a portion of it, and you may be able to buy it at a discounted rate just so the stone cutter can clear up space in their warehouse, particularly if you’ll be paying them to cut it to the dimensions you need. Salvage stores also often have stone countertops, but it can be difficult to find a piece that fits the exact layout of your room.
Replacing cabinets isn’t always necessary. In many cases, the cabinet boxes are in perfectly fine shape, and you can reduce your costs as well as the amount of trash generated by your renovation by simply refinishing them. A coat of paint or some new cabinet doors can completely change the look and feel of the cabinetry with very little expense. Again, salvage stores may have cabinets in perfectly fine condition that were taken from another home renovation and are being sold for much less than new ones.
Home renovations can be time consuming, but that doesn’t mean they have to be costly, even if they’re eco-focused. By shopping salvaged and repaired or refurbished items, and repurposing existing ones, you can significantly reduce the expense of your renovation while also cutting down on your carbon footprint.