How to reduce home improvement project waste The home improvement industry has grown considerably over the last several decades, as homeowners increasingly took steps to turn their homes into personal oases. But such projects often produce substantial amounts of waste, negatively impacting the environment as a result. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 170 million tons of building construction, renovation and demolition-derived wastes were generated in 2003, a year when the housing market was thriving and homeowners were not shying away from costly home improvement projects. making improvements to a home. But many more materials can be salvaged. When making renovations to a home, separate materials like lumber, hardware, fixtures, and even appliances that can be salvaged from those materials that must be discarded. Many communities are home to organizations that collect With the housing market once again on the rebound, the home improvement industry figures to benefit once again. There are steps eco-conscious homeowners can take to reduce waste while improving their homes. n SAVE SALVAGEABLE MATERIALS Some materials simply must be discarded when salvageable materials, and these materials can be reused by fellow homeowners or other organizations down the road. n SPEAK TO CONTRACTORS ABOUT RECYCLING Contractors working on a home typically know which materials can be recycled in a given area. When discussing prospective projects with contractors, homeowners can mention their willingness to recycle materials. Wood is a versatile material that can be turned into reclaimed or composite wood products, including decks or other items used around the home. see WASTE pg. 10 Lighting sets stage for outdoor fun Tis the season for making changes in and around the home. The arrival of warmer weather renews homeowners' vigor for various home improvement projects, and many have grand plans for interior and exterior renovations as they prep their living spaces for comfort, beauty and entertaining opportunities. While there are many worthy projects to pursue, adding outdoor lighting to a home can help increase its value and make the home safer and more attractive in the evening hours. According to the American Lighting Association, with a few updates to outside lighting, families can make even better use of their homes at night. Adding outdoor lighting is easier and less expensive than many homeowners may know, allowing them to transform an existing patio, deck or pool area into an enjoyable nighttime retreat. Pool parties, dinners on the patio or barbecues with neighbors become even more memorable when outdoor lighting is added or improved. But homeowners who want to install or upgrade their outdoor lighting should consider the following tips, courtesy of ALA. n Improve navigation. Lighting is typically layered into a room or outdoor space in three ways: overhead, task and ambient. Even outdoors, where there are no typical boundaries and borders, those three layers are necessary. Outdoor overhead lighting should improve visibility on steps, paths and walking surfaces, especially where there's a bend or an intersection. Task lighting can be used around cooking or gardening areas. Ambient light will cast a comforting glow around any outdoor space. n Enhance security. To improve visibility and security, combine a motion detector with a sconce to illuminate dark corners or entryways. Be sure to aim lights away from the door to improve visibility. Lanterns on either side of the door can give a home a warm, welcoming appearance and improve the safety of entryways. n Create outdoor rooms. Outdoor lighting at the borders of a space is a great way to create barriers, both vertically and horizontally. Lights in a tree create something akin to a chandelier hung in the middle of the sky, and even accent lights in the general area of the edge of a patio, deck or porch will shine across the space and provide enough of a comfort level for people to understand where things are. n Reduce glare. Outdoor lighting that casts a glare can be blinding, as can light that's too bright. Lighting along paths should be cast downward, with fixtures that are hooded. see LIGHTS pg. 12 10 l March 2014 The Bartlett Express Home improvement tips learned the hard way Weekend warriors will soon be visiting home supply retailers to buy everything from paint to plywood. There are many advantages to making home improvements on your own, including the opportunity to test your mettle at projects big and small. Many a novice DIYer has learned the ups and downs of home improvement through trial and error. But the following are a handful of lessons first-timers can heed before beginning their maiden voyages into the world of DIY home improvements. 4 Measure twice, cut once. Perhaps this is the best-known mantra of home improvement, yet many still ignore it. Whether you're anxious to get started or simply because you still cannot convert metric to standard formula, you must take the time to measure twice before cutting. Learning that you're a hair too short later will be prove frustrating and time-consuming and often necessitates a last-minute run to the store for more materials. Always measure multiple times before making cuts. 4 Enlist a helper. Having a partner helping with the work is the most efficient way to tackle a project. This person can assist you with heavy lifting or moving things or by holding the ladder or simply passing tools your way. He or she also can manage work while you make another run to the home center for more supplies. Having a helper around also provides companionship during tedious projects. 4 Lighten the load. You run the risk of injury, both to yourself and your belongings, if you attempt to move heavy items on your own. When moving heavy items, take steps to lighten your load. For example, empty or remove drawers from desks and dressers WASTE from pg. 9 Old wood being removed from a home may even work as mulch, which homeowners can spread around their yards to add aesthetic appeal and protect plants on hot summer days. Even asphalt and concrete can be recycled into new products, and homeowners should discuss their wishes to recycle as many materials as possible. n CHOOSE RECYCLED CONTENT BUILDING MATERIALS Another way to reduce home improvement project waste is to make use of other homeowners' discarded materials. Recycled content building materials are products that include materials recycled from previous projects. These once-sparse materials are now commonplace, and labels often include the percentages of postconsumer and recovered materials used in each product. Materials such as drywall, insulation, kitchen countertops, glass tiles, carpeting and carpet padding may include recycled content, and the growing popularity of such products has made them relatively simple for homeowners to find. When working with contractors, homeowners should emphasize their desire to use materials made from recycled content. Such before moving them. Rely on sliding pads when moving furniture so items can be slid into place instead of lifted. Always ask a buddy to help move especially heavy items. 4 Prime before painting. Painting can be a time-consuming task. In an effort to save time, some people will look for painting shortcuts, and these may include skipping the priming portion of painting. Priming helps to cover existing paint color and prevent bleedthrough of stains or darker hues to the next coat of paint. Failure to use a primer could mean having to paint coat after coat, which can become costly and take up a significant amount of time. Always rely on a priming product, or look for a paint that blends a primer within to achieve better coverage. And while you are ensuring a proper paint job, remember to use painter's tape or an edging product to help keep paint off of moldings materials are both pleasing to the eye and the environment. n EMBRACE ADAPTABILITY WHEN DESIGNING A NEW HOME Rarely do homeowners design their homes with renovations in mind. When building a dream home, homeowners do not consider the likelihood that they will one day move out or even outgrow the home. Estimates vary considerably with regard to how long the average homeowner stays in his home, with some suggesting as little as seven years. While data collected from the United States Census Bureau within the last decade suggests that roughly half of all homeowners had lived in their homes for at least 10 years. Homeowners building new homes should expect to one day move, and ensuring their new homes are easily adaptable is both financially sound and eco-friendly. When a home is built with adaptability in mind, prospective buyers won't have to make costly overhauls. In addition, homes built to facilitate future renovations won't produce the same amount of waste as homes that are less easily adapted. Many homeowners embrace home improvement projects as opportunities to turn their homes into private sanctuaries. But those who do so with the environment in mind can significantly reduce waste and still end up living in luxury. see TIPS pg. 12 The Bartlett Express March 2014 l 11 Things to know before building a deck Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau Housing Survey indicate that homeowners annually spend billions of dollars improving outdoor living areas. One of the most popular ways to do just that is to add a deck to a home. Decks are beneficial in many ways. Grillmasters love decks because they make the perfect place to set up a grill and a table and cook for family and friends. Those who simply love being outdoors find decks the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun or idle away the evening hours. But homeowners who want to build a deck should know a few things before that process begins. n Permits are necessary. Unless the deck is going to be especially small, you will likely need a permit to build it. Before buying any materials or consulting any contractors, make certain you know which permits you need and how to get them. If the proper permits are not secured before the project begins, you might have to tear down the whole project and start all over again. n Decks don't have to go on the back of the house. If the back of your house sits in the blazing sun all day, then it's probably best to build the deck elsewhere, and that's perfectly alright. So long as the property and permits allow, decks can be built on the side of a home as well, and putting a deck on the side might be more comfortable. n Decks don't have to be made of wood. It's easy to assume all decks are made of plain wood. However, decks can be made out of a wide variety of materials, natural or synthetic. Lawn & Garden Calendar n Join Master Gardener Julie Morgan at the Germantown Community Library, 1925 Exeter Road, on APRIL 2 at 6:30 p.m. as she discusses the best practices for caring for azaleas. Pre-registration is required. Call 757-7323. n Learn organic vegetable gardening methods on Davies Plantation grounds from 9-11 a.m. on APRIL 5 at 3570 Davieshire Drive. Classes will be in the garden, so dress for the weather and bring a chair. Classes are free but space is limited. So, sign up early by emailing Dianne Parks at [email protected] Topics of discussion will be: 1. Fertilizer - Nancy Brophy 2. Raised Bed Construction - Susan Phillips and G.A. Crosby 3. Cool Weather Gardening - Dianne Parks 4. Container Gardening - Michelle Page 5. Drip System and Irrigation - Jamie Childress and Mary Elizabeth MacDonald 6. Companion Planting - Janet Wehner n The Tipton County UT Extension Master Gardeners is hosting the 7th annual Lawn and Garden Expo at Brighton High School, Highway 51, on APRIL 5 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. It is a free event. The following speakers have been engaged to share their knowledge of unique methods: Carol Reese, Horticulture Specialist, UT Extension Research & Education Center, will be speaking on “Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Stories”. This year’s topic is critically acclaimed as one of Carol’s best talks. Jason Reeves, Horticultural Specialist, UT Research & Education Center - Jackson, Tenn. - topic will be “Friends in the Shade, Keeping your Hosta Company.” Judge and Mrs. Joe Walker, Japanese Maple enthusiasts from Ripley, Tenn. will talk about “Coloring your Landscape with Japanese Maples.” Ken Lansing, owner of Windermere Farm & Apiaries, will enlighten you on organically grown fruits and vegetables. Vendors & Exhibits will include: Plants, yard art, “garden talks,” herb gardening, rain barrels, organic composting, vegetables, and a Master Gardeners area to answer any questions you may have. Children’s Gardening Area: A special garden section will be provided for children activities. Free trees will be handed out to the early birds while they last. There will also be entertainment and door prizes. A special event for this year will be “Testing the pH of your Garden Soil.” Do you want your plants to thrive in your garden? It is important to know the pH levels of your soil. This is a measure of the soil’s acidity or alkalinity. Many plants require different levels. Testing will be done at the Lawn & Garden Expo on April 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1. Collect small portions of soil to a depth of six inches in various locations of your garden area. 2. Bring at least one cup or more of soil in a plastic bag to the Lawn & Garden Expo. 3. Specialists will be on hand to answer your horticultural questions. For information, call UT Extension at 476-0231. n The Town of Collierville, City of Germantown and UT Extension Office will host a Home Landscape Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on APRIL 10 at the Economic & Community Development building at 1920 S. Germantown Road. The event will offer essential steps to a healthy landscape, key strategies to managing soil, turf and mulch, lessons on the use of rain water, rain gardens and rain barrels, and landscape design essentials and curb appeal tips. Participants will receive access to a UT Extension horticultural agent, a workbook and a complimentary lunch. The event is $35 a person and $50 a couple. Advanced registration is required. Call 752-1207 to register or for more information. n The Bartlett City Beautiful Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on APRIL 11 and 12, and from 1-5 p.m. on April 13 at the corner of Stage and Whitten roads. n Discover how slow flow planning and gardening ensures a supply of fresh cut flowers throughout the year with the experts from the Bobby Lanier Farm Park at Germantown Community Library, 1925 Exeter Road, on APRIL 25 at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required and begins April 4. Call 757-7323. Pressure treated wood is perhaps the most popular material for decking because it's not very expensive. But manmade materials that are a mixture of recycled plastic and wood bits or sawdust are also popular because they require no maintenance. But homeowners should know that manmade materials can get hot in the sun, which will require those enjoying the deck to wear shoes. n Expect to do some digging. If you're going to build your own deck, expect to do some serious digging. Local building codes will dictate how deep you will need to dig for the pier footings, which support the deck's weight. Just how deep you'll dig depends on your climate's specific frost line, but it's safe to assume you'll get a workout in when digging. n The deck can have multiple levels. Though many people associate decks with one level, it's possible to have a multi-level deck if you simply don't have enough room to build a deck that will be big enough to meet all of your needs. A multi-level deck can break up those long flights of stairs while ensuring you will always have somewhere to go to escape the sun on a hot day. n You will want to protect the deck. Decks are a costly investment, and you will want to protect that investment. If you're building a wood deck, keep in mind the sun will beat down on the deck for most of the year. You can protect the deck by see DECKS pg. 12 12 l March 2014 The Bartlett Express Does time of year affect roofing jobs? There comes a time in many homeowners' lives when they're faced with the reality that a roof replacement is necessary. A roof can last between 15 and 30 years, and a person who owns an older home may find the lease has expired on the current roof. Is there a particular time of year that is better for having a roof installed? It depends on different factors, including the availability of a roofing contractor. According to the site, The Average Cost of Things, courtesy of the Home Buying Institute, across the country one can expect to spend $18,000 on average to replace a roof with asphalt shingles. Use of other materials, like tile or metal will cost more than this. In general, those living in big cities tend to pay more than those in rural areas. Because a roof replacement is expensive, it is something that some homeowners prefer to put off until it is absolutely necessary. Others are interested in finding the best rate around and hiring reliable roofers for the job. It's important to note that there really is no season where roof replacements are off-limits. Most roofers can do the job effectively unless the temperature is below freezing or if there is significant rain in the forecast. TIPS from pg. 10 and trim. 4 Use the right tools. The right tools make work safer and easier. Think about how much faster you can cut through a tree trunk with a chainsaw rather than a handsaw. Improvising or using the wrong tools for the job can DECKS from pg. 11 painting it. Paint provides sunscreen for the deck, stopping the sun from breaking down the material. Once you've finished painting, apply sealant, whether it's oil- or water-based. n Don't forget fasteners. Fasteners will hide the screws for aesthetic appeal. But not all woods and fasteners are the right fit, as certain woods are only compatible with certain fasteners. Find out which fasteners make the right fit ahead of time. Because fasteners conceal the screws, they also make it possible to go barefoot on the deck. A deck makes a great addition to many homes, but homeowners should learn as much as possible about decks and what goes into building them before making any decking decisions. In fact, planning a roofing job for the middle of the winter actually may work to a homeowner's advantage. This is typically a slow time of year for some roofers, and they may be anxious to get work this time of year and be willing to negotiate on price. There's also a good chance that the roofer will not be bogged down with other jobs, enabling the company to start on a home right away. Some roofers cost you time and increase your risk of injury. 4 Turn electricity off at the panel box. Be especially cautious when working with electricity, turning off the current. This means shutting down the power on the breaker box. A live wire can provide a minor shock or lead to serious injury. Take the extra time to ensure the power is off before working prefer working in the colder weather to sizzling up on a roof under the hot sun at another time of year. Naturally the spring is a prime time of year for roofing projects. After the rainy season, the weather is generally comfortable and homeowners are thinking about the projects they will commence. A busy time of year for home improvement all around, homeowners may find that they have to com- pete with others for a good date to have a roof installed. They also may be paying top dollar for the work and materials that are in high demand. Another thing to consider during the busy season is that a project may be rushed along in order to move on to the next job or one being worked on concurrently. This may lead to corners being cut or less attention to detail. A person may be limited with any exposed wiring. 4 Expect the unexpected. Although many renovation projects go off without a hitch, you never know what you might uncover when you embark on repairs or remodels. Homeowners have come across all sorts of hidden problems when doing seemingly minor repairs. Removal of drywall may uncover insect damage in beams or indications of water infiltration. Some people take down old paneling, only to discover it was covering heavily damaged walls beneath. One repair project can run into another when home improvements are being made. Always leave breathing room in your budget and schedule extra time for unforeseen tasks as well. in their choices of roof installation during the summer. Extreme temperatures can make working on the roof hazardous and uncomfortable for workers. For those who live in a climate where the temperatures generally cause the mercury to soar, choose a cooler time of year. Many homeowners opt to thave a roof replacement in the autumn. The crisp weather and the decline in home-renovation projects overall can make this a prime time to contract with a quality roofer. If the roof is very much damaged, replacing it before the harsh, winter weather sets in can be advantageous. Some homeowners find they can get a discount on a roof installation if they bundle different renovations together. A contractor may offer a special on siding and roofing together. For those who have the funds, this may be the opportunity to get two jobs done at once. A roofing project is no small undertaking, and homeowners are wise to get several referrals and investigate a variety of companies before settling on one. Review sites, such as Angie's List, or simply word-of-mouth appraisals from friends and family members can help make choosing a roofer an easier decision. LIGHTS from pg. 9 A variety of lighting options will create layers, allowing you to add or subtract as necessary. Exteriorsafe dimmers also can provide flexible control over the level of light, as can movable fixtures added to a patio or porch. n Add decorative elements. Just as arbors, pergolas, patios and other outdoor elements help to enhance the style of an outdoor space, so, too, can lighting contribute to a welldesigned landscape. Lighting should play up decorative features of a yard and add the ambience that homeowners desire. Step lights make passage safe while also highlighting molding or trim details. An outdoor chandelier can make for a wonderful accent during dinnertime on the deck or under a pergola. Patio lights provide atmosphere as well as illumination for cooking outside. n Enhance views from inside. Outdoor lighting can make the view from inside pleasant and enjoyable. Use a variety of lights, including spotlights on trees, lights dotted along pathways and accent lights on unique landscape features, to create an idyllic landscape visible from inside the home. Outdoor lighting enhances functionality of yards and landscapes while making such areas safer for homeowners and their guests once the sun has gone down.
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