A lot of people have a problem when it comes to seeing the full potential behind the unused, old materials that they have lying around their property (or that are accessible from sources nearby). The reason behind this lies in the fact that they’re A) unfamiliar with the physical properties of these materials and B) not willing to start thinking outside-of-the-box.
First, materials like stone, brick and untreated timber can withstand years of wear and tear. As for the latter, decorating your exterior with the use of old materials doesn’t necessarily have to make your home vintage- or rustic-looking (unless this is what you’re aiming for). Not to mention that using these materials also tends to be quite ecofriendly. With that in mind and without further ado, here are five tips you can use when decorating your home’s exterior.
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Front yard landscaping
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to reusing old items from your household is the idea of landscaping. Why? Well, because you can use old wooden panels to make vertical planters. The same goes for glass jars, empty cans and old buckets, all of which can be used as gardening pots. Not to mention that you can use old bricks and even stones to decorate your flower beds. Overall, while this can be applied to both front and back yard of your home, by using demonstrating some of these unique features in your front yard, you’re drastically adding to the curb appeal of the place. This is also known to raise its resale value.
Pressure washing the place
One of the best ways to give your home’s exterior a facelift, without virtually having to make any investment in materials is to pressure wash the façade. By hiring a pressure washer, you can scrub off layers and layers of dirt off the façade in a matter of minutes or hours. Sure, this requires quite a bit of water which is not necessarily eco-friendly, however, when it comes to the alternative of redoing your façade (and using all the necessary materials for such a thing) it’s clear that this method is superior. This is also quite superior (from the standpoint of visuals and budget) to the option of cladding your home.
Pave the way
One of the most interesting ways to enrich your home’s exterior, as well as make it more functional is to make an investment in some basic property infrastructure. Here, we’re talking about backyard pathing. First of all, the choice of material here ranges from frugal pea pebbles, all the way to expensive stone pavers. Perhaps the option that stands out here the most is the idea of making a backyard pathway or a patio with the use of bricks. Still, chances are that your own leftover supply of bricks won’t provide you with a sufficient quantity for such a thing. This is why you might also need to look for some reliable brick suppliers in your area.
Recycling from the construction site
Provided that there’s a construction site somewhere in your vicinity after they wrap up with their work, chances are that they’ll be left with so many materials that they just won’t know what to do with. Items like steel from reinforcing, wires, containers, concrete, aluminum, paper and cardboard, as well as untreated timber can be incredibly useful for your household projects. The reason why we’re mentioning this is due to the fact that you can make a deal with the contractor running the site to get some of these materials at a fairly reasonable price. After all, they would have to discard all of this either way so why not strike a deal that benefits you both.
What’s not safe to reuse
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that not every old material can be just as easily reused. First of all, you have hazardous materials like fluorescent lamps, due to the fact that they contain mercury. Second, you can’t reuse refrigeration equipment, batteries, as well as roof or wall cladding. Previously, we’ve mentioned cladding as one of the most expensive exterior renovation projects in use. Well, there are some who want to do this on a budget by acquiring these materials someplace else (bellow the regular retail price).
In the end, we have to weight in several other factors in order to properly wrap up this topic. First of all, if you have to pay a fortune for these old materials just to haul them in from across the country, you aren’t really making the project any more frugal or eco-friendly. Second, you need to consider the original value of the material, its overall weight and the number of potential contaminants. Without taking these things into consideration, it is really questionable just how much of a value you’re getting from this deal.