Mike Holmes: Plan ahead for an eco-friendly reno

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Taking that to a larger scale, how can we cut down on construction waste as contractors and homeowners?

Deconstruct, then demolish

If you want an environmentally friendly renovation, you need to plan for that at the very beginning. Before you begin the demolition phase of the project, start with the deconstruction phase.

This is when you’d go through the renovation area and earmark which materials are still in good condition and could be salvaged and reused. Now, you may not want them for your home — but items like cabinets, appliances, and doors can find a new home elsewhere.

The deconstruction phase takes longer than doing a simple demolish, so you have to actively plan to participate in it. It’s worth the extra time — organizations like Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat ReStore can help redistribute your reusable items to families in need.

It’s not just about finding which materials can be reused. A lot of building materials can be safely recycled. I’m talking items like metal, window glass, brick, plastic, concrete and a lot more. Not everything needs to find its final home in the landfill.

Having extra bins on site can keep your recyclable materials separate from your waste. It can make a big difference in the amount of trash that ends up in the landfill. Don’t overlook it.

Eliminating waste during construction

Modluar building is when large portions of the home are built in a factory setting in different modules. These modules are then transported to the final building site of the home and assembled on site to create a home that looks like any traditional site-built home. Once the foundation is poured, often, the home can be fully assembled within a day.

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