6 Great Home Remodeling Uses For Reclaimed Materials

As a homeowner, you’re bound to do some remodeling at some point. Whether it be replacing the windows or doors, swapping the carpet for a newer, spill-free version, or removing outdated drawer pulls and door handles, something will come up eventually.

And with the world-wide surge in environmentally friendly living, what should you do with these materials? Here are a few great ideas.

Cast iron sinks.

Let’s face it- industrial-looking cast iron sinks can be an eyesore. This is especially true when they’re installed in a clean, modern kitchen that has just undergone a facelift.

This is why homeowners who have an older home that includes one of these sinks, often choose to replace them.

The cast iron sink in question doesn’t have to go into the landfill, though. Instead, it can be put to use in the laundry room or garage, if you have one.


When renovating an older home, bricks are one of the first things to be removed.

Should you end up with piles of bricks that are in decent condition, you may be able to use them to make a brand new fireplace or redo a chimney or porch steps.


When carpets are ripped up, they’re often done so because they are old and worn, or simply because their colors are outdated and unwanted.

If you have a basement in your home and are ripping up the carpet in any of the rooms or floors in your home, you could always use your carpet downstairs.

Even if you don’t have a finished basement or basement bedroom, a warm plushy carpet underfoot while doing laundry is always nice.


Wood is one of the most diverse building materials around. It is easy to reclaim and reuse, and looks great used in virtually any project.

Wooden furniture such as old chairs and tables can be up-cycled and transformed into something new, dresser drawers can be turned into planter boxes, while wood beams and slats can simply be removed, touched up, and used as panels for creating a unique “wooden wall”, and pallets can be used to DIY a porch swing or outdoor furniture.

Unpainted lumber can be ground and turned into mulch, which can be used as plant bedding or for erosion control.

Doors and windows.

Although doors and windows lack the versatility that many other materials do, they can still be reused. They can either be fixed up and used for their intended purpose, or they can be used as a piece of vintage decor.

Broken tiles and bricks.

Once tiles and bricks have been broken, they become a lot harder to reuse. However, they can still be salvaged; they can be ground down and turned into gravel.

This gravel can be used for creating driveways and walkways. In addition, porcelain and ceramic pieces that have seen better days can also be ground and used as gravel.

Why it’s always best to hire a local contractor


It is always better to hire a local contractor as you know where their office or business is located. When the job is done you know where to find them if there are any issues; if you hire a contractor that is out of town you may be left on the long finger if problems may arise afterwards. Good contractors that are local always try to maintain a good and professional reputation and treat their clients with the upmost care they can provide.

Your money stays local

If you hire a local contractor, your money and business stays within the community. It is always a good motto to keep business local. Say for instance if you had a storm in your area; it’s important that during the recovery process to get local businesses up and running again while generating cash flow throughout the local community. Local businesses are at the heart of your community and your mind will be at ease hiring a local contractor knowing that your money is going back into the community. Most local contractors are situated in the community or close by and have the same financial interest and genuine love for the local community just like you.


If you hire locally, you will be able to check references with family or friends that may have used the contractor for previous jobs; their reputation etc. In a community people always talk about how they were treated with local business, jobs they got done etc. So you will have a good idea on how your job will be done. It also makes it easier to contact them if you have any queries or problems after the job is finished.

Better service and high quality work

Another point to take on board is that a local contractor will be more concerned about their reputation; than one you may choose that situated miles away from your community. A local contractor will want to maintain a positive image and reputation so that other people within the local community will want to use their business regularly and in the future. This will lead to better service and high quality work. It is always best to hire a local contractor to do the work; while keeping business, money and loyalty within your community.

Hope these tips help you why to choose a local contractor and keep business within the community.

hammer and nails

3 Simple DIY Fixes For Your Home

Are you looking to fix up your home but don’t know where to begin?

Leaks, squeaks and blockages often strike even the best of built houses. Don’t worry this is normal.

A lot of people get overwhelmed about doing manual work on their home. The good news is that many fixes and home improvements are easy to perform with little or no experience. So don’t worry, you can do it! I’ve put together three simple DIY fixes below to help you get started.

3 Simple DIY Fixes You Can Do

  1. Frozen Pipes

With winterly temperature, pipes often freeze or burst, spitting out water into your house. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps to thawing out pipes which are frozen.

Upon discovering a frozen pipe, switch off the main water valve, opening out all water faucets in your house. Apply some heat to that pipe with a hair dryer or heat lamp. Once the ice melts, partially turn on your main’s water and inspect again for leaks. If none, completely turn on your main’s water. If a pipe is ruptured, quickly turn off the main’s water and dial for your plumber!

  1. Clogged Toilet

Over time, toilets can often get blocked for a variety of obvious reasons. If you don’t have a plunger, you can loosen up clogs by pouring some dish soap right into your toilet. Allow the soap to settle in for 5 – 10 minutes. Then follow up with boiling water and multiple flushes.

  1. Scratched Wood Floors

Light scratches on any hardwood floors can be covered over with floor polish or wax. However, these polishes can have a dulling effect on wood if used repeatedly. Revival products for hardwood floors are more effective in wood renewal without the need for prior sanding.

Many more simple fixes…

These are just a handful of what you can do to fix up little areas around your house. Keep an eye on my articles for more tips to follow.

wood siding

Wood siding – How to clean it

Is your wood siding looking aged?


A fresh paint coat can work wonders! Or perhaps, your wooden clapboard, siding shingle or lap simply are in need of a good clean.

Many homeowners choose wood for the unrivalled appearance. Similar to other siding materials, wood requires frequent maintenance. Particularly with wood, the challenge for you is to try to avoid doing any harm in your attempts to maintain your wood.

In any event, to pump a new lease of life into your wood siding, it’s most likely that water alone simply won’t get the job done — you’ll need to also get the elbow grease out and scrub the wood. A multi-featured

attachment for your garden hose might be a good option and would include everything you need to get that beautiful satisfying result.

Below, I have outlined the 5 steps for how you can safely clean wood siding in an effective way, and all using a few simple tools!

5 Steps To Cleaning Your Wood Siding

  1. Preparation

Before you go cleaning your wood siding, protect anything that may be prone to water damage. Safety First! Any light fixtures or power outlets should be covered.

Make note of any particularly bad or dirty areas to return to.

  1. Start spraying

Point your multipurpose hose tool, finger on the trigger and start spraying water to cleanse against the dirt on your wood siding. From the roofline, work downwards.

  1. Tackle that mold

If you encountered old only our initial spraying, you need to get rid of it now. Using a cleanser, treat the mold. Many people use white vinegar as an alternative to a shop-bought product.

  1. Scrub that stubborn dirt

For any stubborn dirt engrained into the wood, use a scrub brush to really lift that dirt out of it. This will get right into the crevices and allow your wood to breathe again.

  1. The finish

Rinse off any wood where you applied a mold treatment. If you only used water throughout the whole clean, then consider yourself complete, once you have sprayed the entire wood exterior.

Finally, remember!

  • Don’t use a pressure washer unless you are very familiar with it’s use and power!
  • If using a pressure washer, allow yourself enough distance not to be too close or you will damage your wood
  • Treat the mold properly as you find it.
  • Rinse down and enjoy a new lease of wood siding life!

4 Ways You Can Improve Your Home

Costs. Dispelling the myth.

Many people think that home improvements are an expensive luxury but they don’t have to be. There are lots of great ways to improve your home, giving it a new lease of life, freshening it up to make it look as good as new and help you feel like you’re in a brand new home. Without needing to re-mortgage your home, you can work with the resources you have to make those desired improvements. I’ve put together four ways that you can get started on improving your home today, that won’t break the bank!


  1. Paint Your Walls And Ceilings

Equipment that you will need:

  • Ladder. You should have a good solid ladder with good rubber grips on its feet. Using a ladder safely is crucial. Depending on the height of your walls and/or ceilings, a short two-step ladder might do or you may need something a little longer to allow you to reach those high corners without over-reaching.
  • Airless paint sprayer. This is a great invention and can dramatically speed up your painting time. If this is your first time to use an airless paint sprayer maybe do some practise sprays beforehand.
  • Paint brushes. Good quality paint brushes are essential for getting a fine finish on cutting in at edges and reaching those places that require finer detail.
  • An old sheet or lots of news paper. Having good protection on your floors is so important or you could end up painting the floor too with little polkadots!
  • Painter’s/decorator’s tape or masking tape. You’ll need to tape down your floor protection mentioned above. This may also be required to prevent paint from getting on your ceiling.

Erica’s Tip: Completely clean the surfaces and let them dry before you start painting.

  1. Give Your Carpets A Good Deep Clean

Equipment you’ll need:

  • You can go over your carpet before giving it a wet clean, in order to remove and big dirt and dust particles.
  • Powdered carpet cleaner or carpet shampoo. You can apply the powder overnight allowing it to do its work, then simply vacuum it up the next morning. For shampoo, use just enough to cover the area. Scrub on the stained areas with a hard bristle brush. Let the carpet dry and then vacuum it.
  • Steam cleaner. This is a more professional grade device and a lot of people probably don’t own one but you can always hire one out for a day or two.

Erica’s Tip: If you are not comfortable cleaning your own carpet or require more professional equipment, you can hire an expert like 580 Carpet Cleaning in Livermore, California. Check out for your carpet cleaning needs.


  1. Retile Your Bathroom

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Electric grinder. You will need this to cut the tiles from the wall or floor. Using this requires some experience and it is very loud so is probably not suitable for night time use!
  • Hammer: Hammering away any bits of tiles and grout will help you clear the surface.
  • Chisels: Chiselling away at the tile adhesive and grout will help you to level off the surface and prepare it for the new adhesive, grout and your lovely new tiles.
  • Grout sealant. This is basically a preventative measure to stop water and liquids from penetrating the grout. This is not needed if you are using an epoxy-based grout.

Erica’s Tip: You should use two coats of grout sealant.

  1. Clear Out Your Storage Rooms and Wardrobes

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Four-wheeled dolly or box dolly: This will save your back! Some of your items may be heavy or bulky so using a dolly to transport stuff is a good idea, especially if you have a lot to move.
  • Storage boxes. Either a strong cardboard box or a plastic storage box would be ideal for storing your belongings. Try to get ones with good handles and don’t pack too much weight into any one box.
  • Suitable transportation vehicle. If you have a van that is great. You might need access to a truck or larger vehicle depending on what you are moving or disposing of. You can minimize your transport to and from your storage location. Hiring a driver to do this might suit you better.

a clean carpet

Erica’s Tip: Sort and create an inventory of your belongings before moving them into storage.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

So there you have it, four cost effective ways to improve your home by using many tools and resources which you may already own. Some of the above may require you to learn new skills or to seek some expert advice or even hiring someone for a more professional job. Remember, if you don’t own some of the tools mentioned and you aren’t sure of what to do, it’s ok to ask for help!

3 DIY Outdoor Home Improvements

The great outdoors

As brighter evenings approach, a lot of you will start planning improvements that you could to with the exterior of your home. These might include your garden, driveway or simply the outer walls or roof of your house. These outdoor improvements can be fun to do. The level of improvements you want to make is really bound by your imagination, budget and time.

I’ve put together three different outdoor home improvements that you can do today.

  1. Tidy up your garden and plant some flowers

Equipment and resources that you will need:

  • Shovel: You can use a shovel to dig any weeds or unwanted wild flowers. You can find a shovel in most good DIY department stores.
  • Sweeping brush. Maybe your paths just need a good sweep after the winter.
  • Rake: Raking your grass to rid it off any stones and leaves is a good starting point when cleaning up your garden.
  • Topsoil and flower/plant seeds. Planting some seeds in a designated area is a nice way to brighten up your garden with flowers and plants.
  • Garden hose. This is something that most people have and is relatively inexpensive. You can use the hose to wash down your garden paths and of course to water your newly planted flowers.

ladder photo

  1. Build a new driveway or refurbish your old one

Equipment and resources that you will need:

  • Rake. You can go over your carpet before giving it a wet clean, in order to remove and big dirt and dust particles.
  • Sweeping brush. Depending on what type of surface you have on your driveway, you can sweep it to clean it up, especially if you are laying down a new surface or power washing it down.
  • Garden hose.
  • New pebble stones. If you have a pebble stoned driveway, you may want to purchase some new stones to lay down to give it that fresh, new stoned look. Over time, stones may wear away from cars, people walking on them and of course the weather. A new bag or two will work wonders for you.
  • Cement. Maybe you need to fill some cracks or your driveway has some pot holes in it. Filling these cracks and holes with cement is a solid solution and mixing cement is quite easy to do.
  • Tar macadam. This is a more professional improvement and will require an expert. Make sure no children are near the tar macadam as it is extremely hot while it is being laid and thereafter until it sets in.
  1. Wash your outer walls or roof

Equipment and resources that you will need:

Over time, roofs can build up fungus and surface dirt from the elements. Roofs would be considered as horizontal flat surfaces and since they usually cover a large area, you will need some more sophisticated gear in order to make your pressure washing job that bit faster and more efficient. Walls are obviously easier to wash with a pressure washer as you are on the ground! So if you have a fear of heights then maybe hiring a professional roof cleaner is the way to go for you.

  • Pressure washer. Roofs would be considered as horizontal flat surfaces and since they usually cover a large area, you will need some more sophisticated gear in order to make your pressure washing job fast and efficient

That’s just the beginning!

So there you go, three great ways to improve the outside of your home. The above are just a taster of what you could do. Some require more experience and involve more health and safety than others but most of them won’t break the bank and the more expensive ones are much longer lasting anyway.