Are you ready to have a new home and want to make it sustainable? Why not start from the moment you acquire one? Instead of knocking down an old yet still standing structure, why not renovate and refurbish it?
Building a green and sustainable building from scratch will not be much of an eco-friendly option if you had to demolish an existing building. Imagine all the wastes from your demolition project that will go to the landfills. Renovations will generate lesser construction and demolition wastes. These wastes include steel products, wood, plaster, clay, brick, concrete, and asphalt shingles, among many others.
In 2017 alone, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that the US generated around 569 million tons of construction and demolition wastes. It was more than double the amount of the municipal solid wastes generated for that year. Imagine all those wastes, going to the landfills, and adding to the world’s solid waste problems.
How Can You Help Reduce Construction and Demolition Wastes?
Here are some ways that you can help reduce this kind of wastes in landfills.
- Source Reduction. While recycling and reusing construction materials can help reduce wastes, one of the best ways to reduce sources of wastes is through the preservation of existing buildings rather than building new structures.
- Salvaging and Reusing Materials. Recover and reuse still valuable and usable materials for future use. Instead of demolishing, carefully deconstructing the old building will allow you to salvage materials that you may still use.
- Recycling of C&D Materials. Some construction materials can be recycled, such as asphalt and concrete, into aggregates.
- Rebuying C&D Materials. Buying used materials can lessen your construction costs and help reduce wastes as well.
Choosing to renovate an existing structure will not only preserve the history and essence of a property, but it also allows you to help in the ever-increasing solid waste problem of the world.
Things to Consider When Renovating an Old House
Instead of knocking down that old house you bought or inherited from your parents, why not give it a new look and a new life? Renovating an existing structure is more economical and eco-friendly.
From making sure the roof is in good shape to hiring air vent cleaning professionals, here are the top things that you should factor in when renovating an existing house.
1. Check the structural foundation of the house
Before you can do any changes to the house, it is important to assess its structural integrity first. A structural engineer can help you assess the integrity of your home and identify possible problem areas that will need repair or replacement. He or she can check if the foundation is solid and is not on the verge of collapse.
The next thing that you should check is the roof if there’s any leak or water problem. Check the doors, windows, and interiors. Check for cracked walls, cracks around window and door frames, uneven flooring, and cabinets that will not close.
2. Check the electrical system
Another thing that you should have checked is the electrical system of the property. Faulty electrical systems are potential fire hazards. Call an electrician to perform a thorough inspection, and repairs and replacements if needed.
3. Check the HVAC system
If the house has an existing HVAC system, call your HVAC professional to perform a complete check and maintenance. You would want your first night in your new home to be comfortably warm and not chilly. Your HVAC pro can perform filter and air vent cleaning, and ensure that your heating and cooling are both working properly and efficiently.
4. Check the plumbing
You do not want to deal with leaking or worse, bursting pipes, a few weeks after you move in. A plumber can help inspect the house’s plumbing for you and do the necessary replacements and repair. If you want to have a new toilet, shower, or kitchen sink, a plumber can also help.
5. Check for any hazardous chemicals
It would be prudent to have your home checked for hazardous chemicals such as lead and asbestos. You would not want your family to be inhaling these toxic chemicals, which can lead to lifelong health problems. If the paint on the walls is peeling, have them repainted. Replace materials that contain asbestos.
Benefits of Buying and Renovating an Existing House
If you are still not convinced why buying an old house is better than building or buying a new one, here are its benefits.
- You can buy them at a lesser price.
- Old homes have history and character.
- Old homes are built to last, with a much solid foundation and structure.
- You are reducing your carbon footprint.
Having a house to live in should not be at the expense of nature. When you go shopping for your home, look for old homes that you can renovate and bring back to life.