How to reduce home improvement project waste

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
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
industry figures to
benefit once again.
There are steps
homeowners can
take to reduce
waste while
improving their
Some materials
simply must be
discarded when
salvageable materials, and these
materials can be reused by fellow
homeowners or other organizations
down the road.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Those who simply love being
outdoors find decks the perfect
place to relax and soak up some
sun or idle away the evening
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
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
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
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
3. Specialists will be on hand to
answer your horticultural questions.
For information, call UT Extension at
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
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
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
Local building codes
will dictate how deep you
will need to dig for the pier footings, which support the deck's
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.