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  • Writer's pictureWayne Holmes

Waste not, want not

I find renovating houses very rewarding. However, one of the downsides of this process is the resulting waste generated from demolition. The amount of rubbish created and the limited availability of recycling can be quite disappointing, not to mention the ever increasing cost to both the project budget and the environment.

While I'm still eagerly awaiting someone in our region to offer a solution to recycling construction and demolition waste, I have found one small way to reduce the amount of waste I send to landfill. A way that can be both good for the environment and my clients.

Renovations are very different to new builds. Renovations require a certain sensitivity to the original building. They need to feel like they belong and haven't just been dropped in. One way to do this is by reusing some of the materials that have been removed. In particular, timber.

So much of the timber that comes out of older New Zealand homes is native timber. Mostly rimu which is a beautiful timber to work with and has stood the test of time. Once the old timbers have been removed and denailed they can be milled and recrafted back into the renovation as bench tops, finishing trims, light switch blocks or shelving. There are endless ways to enhance a renovation and reduce waste at the same time.

It's often the case when a bathroom or kitchen renovation has been completed that the thing people pick up on most, is not all the new product that's gone in… but the old.

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