Want to make your home feel brand new and help the environment? Instead of looking to indoor renovations, you should also consider a few outdoor remodeling projects. Residents of mild climate areas enjoy great weather for much of the year, so there’s very little excuse to forego a few exterior upgrades.
Here are a few fun tips for not only renovating the backyard but also bringing positive benefits long after construction ends.
Don’t Just Remodel, Recycle
One of the most eco-friendly approaches to home renovations is recycling. Too often homeowners think of recycling as just the environmentally conscious way in which they sort items they intend to throw away. For example, broken glass can be used to create a pleasing backyard mosaic.
When remodeling your backyard, make the eco-friendly — and economical — decision to pass on brand new outdoor furniture. A couple of sensible alternatives include hitting up garage/yard sales or visiting a secondhand store. You can also repair and repurpose old indoor furniture.
Treehouses: Not Just For Kids
As with coloring books, treehouses are no longer a “kid’s only” pastime. Although if you have children, building a treehouse could be an amazing outdoor, memorable project. The cost of remodeling your yard to include a treehouse can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of thousands of dollars.
Whatever your budget, We Are Wilderness suggests contacting an arborist to determine what type of tree is right for your project. Increase the eco-friendly benefits of your treehouse by using as many recycled materials, such as wood pallets and wood scraps, as possible.
Before You Plant, Plan
Adding plant life to your backyard is a practical, obvious way to help the environment. Earth911 suggests choosing local plants over exotic choices. If your home already has non-native plant life, consider them with “non-native grass with wildflowers or shrubs.” A well-placed tree can provide the right amount of shade to even reduce energy spending.
Before you simply plant local and go, be sure your plants will help, rather than hurt, the local ecosystem. You may be surprised to know that some plants, although beautiful, have a very bad reputation. For instance, purple loosestrife, once a very popular addition to gardens, is now banned in many states. The reason? Home and Gardens writes, purple loosestrife “spreads too easily to wild areas, choking out other plants.” It’s best to contact a local expert to confirm the plants you add “aren’t invasive or aggressive.”
Create A Lovely Garden
Speaking of planting, why not turn a portion of your backyard into a garden? A well-cared for garden can reduce grocery bills while helping you and your family eat healthier. Be sure to release helpful insects such as ladybugs into your backyard, as they’re known to eat crop-harming bugs like blackfly.
By digging a shallow depression, you can create a rain garden. Rain gardens pool and absorb rainwater, which in turn removes pollutants and reduce erosion.
Build A Detached Room Or Studio
Not enough room in the house? Rather than knock down walls, opt for a detached room or studio. Create a special playroom for the kids or a peaceful place to work for yourself during this new construction in your home. Whichever purpose you choose, make use of eco-friendly materials such as true linoleum, which comes from linseed oil, bamboo, cork, or reclaimed woods.
It’s amazing what a few outdoor remodeling touches can do, not just for the look of your home, but for the environment. You don’t have to break the bank to do what’s right for the planet. But if a new construction project in your home is on the horizon, it wouldn’t hurt to think of ways to make your home a little more green — both inside and out.