How to Use Recycled Materials in Your Home Renovations

Home renovation projects are a great way to spruce up your residence and increase its resale value. When deciding what building materials to use, consider going with eco-friendly options. Recycled materials are an excellent way to make your house unique.

Here are some ways to use repurposed supplies in your next home makeover project.

1. Building a New Deck

Decks are perfect for entertaining or for enjoying a meal with your family on a warm summer day. Adding one will also give you a higher ROI when you sell your house. If you live in a warmer climate, this is a desirable feature for potential buyers.

Composite decking is an eco-friendly option made from salvaged wood and blends natural products and plastics. This material is low maintenance and comes in a variety of colors.

It may be a more costly option than other types of wood, but the added expense may be worth it. The material will not rot, warp or change color after being exposed to the elements.

If you’re looking to add some character to your deck, consider these design ideas:

  • Decorate with plants
  • Use checkered flooring
  • Add a swing chair
  • Incorporate a garden fountain
  • Tie together the area with a rug

Think about how to protect your new deck from the weather too, especially with the amount of rain the Pacific Northwest gets. Consider installing an under-deck drainage system to keep moisture damage and molding at bay. This will ensure that your deck can last longer and stay in good condition for years to come. Make your deck more beautiful and safe at night by adding in some solar-powered post lights as well. This will allow you to reduce energy costs and save yourself the hassle and cost of installing new lighting that requires wiring.

2.  Using Them in Your Landscaping

Adding recycled materials to your backyard is another great way to go green. Placing rocks in your garden is an eco-friendly way to add style, and they require less maintenance than grass.

Another material you should try in your garden is rubberized mulch, which is made from recycled old tires. It may have a higher cost than other mulch products, but once installed, it requires little maintenance and can last for a long time. Rubber mulch also helps to suppress weeds and maintain moisture.

Here are some other tips for making your garden more eco-friendly:

  • Use local materials
  • Conserve water
  • Invest in permeable paving
  • Reduce your use of chemicals
  • Make your own compost

3.  Recycling Wood Into Furniture

The trend of using reclaimed wood in furniture is becoming more popular. It adds character to your home and connects you to the past.

Consider using salvaged wood from your house to update your cabinets — a move that’s increasingly trendy with rustic design enthusiasts while being good for the planet. An old bookshelf or table can be a good source of supplies. You can also find recycled furniture at a thrift store, garage sale or just sitting on the curb to use.

Here are some other ways to keep your furniture looking fresh:

  • Repaint
  • Use removable wallpaper
  • Update your hardware
  • Install sliding shelves
  • Add draw organizers

4.  Incorporating Them in Your Kitchen Remodel

Renovating your kitchen is a great way to freshen things up and make the room more functional. It also increases your home’s overall value. Consider incorporating some reusable materials into your design.

Countertops are an excellent option for recyclable materials. Consider using recycled glass, which is a mix of glass pieces and cement. It can add a colorful look to your space. The material is also durable and easy to maintain. For a more cost-effective option, look into paper-based countertops. These can be durable and are resistant to stains and scratches.

Using recycled supplies isn’t the only way to make your kitchen more eco-friendly. Here are some tips for going green:

  • Run your dishwasher with a full load
  • Use a toaster oven for smaller dishes
  • Keep your refrigerator door closed when not using it
  • Bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store
  • Buy products with less packaging

5.  Laying Down New Tile

Using recycled materials for your tile can add a sense of uniqueness to your home’s design. Architectural salvage stores are great places to find repurposed items. They may offer a wide variety of scrap materials from previous building projects. You could even mix and match styles to create a mosaic for your bathroom.

If you’re looking to make your space cozier, you can add recycled carpet tiles.

Here are some benefits of repurposed carpet tiles to consider:

  • Better indoor air quality
  • Carpet longevity
  • Design flexibility
  • Environmentally friendly

How to Make Your Home Renovation More Eco-Friendly

Home renovation projects can enhance your living space and help you attract potential buyers, but be sure to consider the environment when making design decisions. Using recycled materials is a great way to help the planet while saving a few extra bucks.


Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She covers home and garden advice for a variety of web publications, including National Association of REALTORS®.