Poor man - he's been copping an eco-earful of late. Solar power, stainless steel water tanks (plastics leach) bush tanks off the greenhouse, AquaPonics set up, Rent-A-Chook chooks, goats... and now an eco-reno.
We don't do think by halves at our place! ;-)
No, not to wreak havoc or stir the pot but to find every bit of building material we need either second hand, trashed or upcycled from some other purpose.
That is that challenge I have set myself this time!
Chatting with my father about it the night before last, as he was our family’s Reno-King even down to reusing nails by hammering them straight when they were taken from gyprock or timber joists. We were VERY tight on funds and reused EVERYTHING in our former-red-light-brothel-home on the mid-north Coast of NSW.
If my parents could do it with 4 kids, I could do it with one… and 2 businesses… right?
Then I got to thinking – is going EARTHSHIP better? What is the better option? Raiding demolition yards and scavenging what we need that would otherwise BECOME landfill or using actual landfill itself?
Why not do both?
So far, my plan is:
· Start scavenging and stockpiling reusable timber beams and joists from demolition yards – hopefully some hard wood beams like iron bark from some older style homes that have been demolished.
· Purchase of second hand French Glass doors (our home is a cottage style with one set of reused French doors already so we’ll keep with that theme but avoid buying new ones)
· Using the bottoms of 2 wine bottles which have been cut and joined together as “glass bricks” for lighting in the downstairs excavation we are planning
· Sourcing second hand and used besser block bricks for our retaining walls
· Using the clay based earth we have to dig out to fill in the retaining walls and ramming it so it creates a solid filled wall.
· Sourcing steel beam offcuts from industrial sites for underpinning the extension and joists – we found these in Penrith and did a little happy dance!
· Sourcing an old full length bath and having it dipped instead of buying a new one
· We have a second hand kitchen we have bought and hung onto for another house we didn’t end up buying – have convinced DH to use that for our kitchen and cut the cupboards down to fit.
· We are using bamboo bench tops because its durable, sustainable and cheap for growers to produce (unlike other timbers that require years)
Scavenging does make the project take longer but that’s the beauty of DIY - you can take as long as you like!
What DIY projects have you done at home where you’ve scavenged and pilfered to make up your materials?
Got any tips for another Eco Mum about the embark on the journey?
Love and sawdust,
The Eco Mum xo