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make your renovations green

Renovations & Repurposing

sometimes it’s easy being green

hello all & happy spring!

It is a refreshing and invigorating time of year! Flowers are blooming and it’s awesome to get outside without layering for every weather scenario.

In this episode, we’re focusing on doing our best for the planet! It’s always a great time to do this – as we know, without the Earth there is no future for us. We get so much from the Earth, animals, and air – I am not too sure we think about that relationship in a super-conscious way. We’re a little removed from nature in our society, which is normal, I think.

modern conveniences

We turn on the faucet and not only is there an abundance of cold, clean water but hot as well! That’s pretty amazing when we think about it! The air here is fresh and clean, and this morning it is crisp and the sun is out. Our windows are open, and the birds are chirping. It’s so lovely to just take a moment and think about all we have. Convenience-wise as well as naturally. I think about these things a lot.

new restoration progress

Right now we are winding up our latest restoration. Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical are done. New roof is on and the foundation is reinforced. Insulation is going in, fresh exterior paint is imminent, and soon there will be walls! Followed by tile, cabinets, and fixtures.

restorations vs flips

Full gut restorations are way different than flips. Flips are swapping out vanities and painting – making what is there fresh for the next owner/tenant. Restorations are absolute overhauls, where nothing can really be saved. Whether it is years of neglect that has let water infiltrate, past fire damage, or basic reconfiguration needed to bring the property up to current standards, restorations are MAJOR work. When we are finished, it is a brand new house. It’s cool!

where does the trash go?

But as cool as it is, I can’t lie – I cringe when we fill these dumpsters. It has to be done, but where does the trash go? I mean really go? We toss the old nasty stuff in there and it gets carted away to be dumped. When will it disappear, though? For some things, the answer is never. This bothers me a lot. It is necessary in these cases, but it is still troubling.

personal home renovations

So, in regards to our personal homes and renovation projects, how much do we truly need to do to freshen and modernize? Magazines tell us our homes should be a showroom, but this is not real life, and definitely not anything to strive for on a regular basis. Everything perfect and sparkling new – no one’s homes are like this.

listing photos vs reality

Listing photos show perfect homes to help sell them. But that isn’t really real life. Staging creates a setting to appeal to prospective owners. The combination of sparkling clean minimalism and artfully arranged furnishings is lovely! But it’s theatre, and unsustainable.

reusing > dumping

All of this to say – please consider re-using, repairing, and/or passing along items you are looking to upgrade. With restorations, we can’t do that because of the condition they’re in. But we definitely do this in our own homes. All of us at the brokerage are in some stage of remodeling/upgrading, and passing along what we are replacing is a huge part of that. Give away your items on local sale groups – it’s so easy to post and have someone come pick up the items you’re replacing. Our kitchen got water in the flooding, so we have been redoing it. Passing along the imperfect cabinets was simple and appreciated. They will be used in a potting shed, and it is so cool to know they won’t be clogging up the landfill.

what is upcycling?

Painting structurally good items, adding trim accents and new pulls are things that have gotten a lot of press in the last few years under the term “upcycling”. Some of the most beautiful spaces I have seen have been made from found pieces craftily repurposed. There is so much online about this, and we love and encourage it!

house envy

I also really want to say this: our homes never have to be movie quality inside. We live there! They need to work for a living, not for photographing. Comparing ourselves with magazines and the house envy they cause, is surely behind a lot of construction debris in the landfill – and it’s not cheap either! Think about saving the cash and the trash, and have some fun getting creative! It’s the best way to personalize and contribute to the health of our environment.

it can be easy, being green

Please consider the Earth. The water, trees, birds, and air. Our food sources and our future here. We owe it to our generous world to minimize waste and work with what we have as much as we can. Please know that no real estate pro I know has a magazine house. They are all works in progress! And that is part of the fun of homeownership. One year that room can be blue, the next it can be yellow! Let’s try to make it more green.

Heavily active in and around my hometown of Charlottesville, as well as beautiful Historic Staunton/Augusta where I currently reside. I'm a huge fan of the enjoyable transaction, and aim for creating them in all aspects of my life.

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