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Remodeling with Repurposed Materials

Summary: When it's time to give your home a facelift with a remodeling project, you might not have to look further than a plastic Coke bottle or a pile of old notebooks for help

Author: Jeff Dickinson

Posted on: 7/4/2011


When it’s time to give your home a facelift with a remodeling project, you might not have to look further than a plastic Coke bottle or a pile of old notebooks for help.

The soda bottle that you throw away today might just be the insulation that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer tomorrow. The pieces of glass at your local dump can turn into new kitchen countertops.

Repurposed or recycled building materials come in all shapes and sizes. In addition to helping keep our environment less polluted, using repurposed materials for home remodeling can actually make your home like Steve Austin, “The Six Million Dollar Man” – bigger, better, faster and stronger.

Countertops Out of What!?

Recycled paper (yes, paper!) is a popular alternative for kitchen countertops. Glass is also combined with cement to create a countertop material that is durable and stain-resistant. The cost for countertops made from recycled material is often lower than traditional materials. Countertops made from composite glass and cement-based materials require more care than traditional wood, though. These countertops must be sealed on a regular basis to protect the surface.

Insulation in a Bottle

Plastic is a staple in every kitchen. Two-liter soda bottles, peanut butter jars and milk cartons are in refrigerators, pantries and kitchen cupboards. Plastic is an excellent repurposed material for home remodeling projects. Plastic bottles that are thrown out of car windows will be littering highways for years to come unless they are picked up. Plastic is durable, which is why it makes a good base for insulation. You can also use plastic is for curtains, furniture covering and piping for plumbing.

Recycle Your Way to a New Landscape

Give your home a facelift by creating a new landscape design. Repurposed lumber – railroad cross ties and treated 2 x 4s and 2 x 10s – makes ideal landscape borders for raised garden beds. Repurposed lumber is also a good source of mulch for adding color and protection to your landscaping beds. Turn scrap metal into garden bed borders or decorative art for your landscaping.

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