Tuesday, 14 October 2014

One man's trash is another man's treasure

With Building Regulations regularly being updated, it is getting more and more important to reduce waste on your building project.  I was fascinated to watch Grand Designs last week when the programme followed a Code 6 home build that required there to be virtually no building waste on site (as well as a raft of other stringent sustainability requirements).  This led to careful ordering of building materials and reuse where possible. Interestingly, however, building to this standard meant that the owner was permitted to build her home in a woodland setting outside the village planning boundary. Proper industry training from companies like Ableskills.co.uk will ensure that our future construction specialists will become more aware of the need to reduce waste which has to be good for the environment.

In the meantime though, on the majority of building projects there is waste and excess to some degree. We recently had a small extension built and were left with about 20 bricks over. Some of these have been put to good use in the chicken pen to keep their water bowl off the ground, and others are holding down the tarpaulin that is over the wood pile cut this year.  But I got to thinking how could I use them in the house.

My first moment of inspiration was when I realised that the holes in the bricks must be just the right size for tealights.  Luckily, the bricks were clean so I just gave them a good brush off and sealed them with a couple of layers of matt varnish.  I love the natural colour and surface, but you could also decorate them with paint, or even decoupage to really personalise them.  To fill the holes so the tealights don't drop through I used a little expanding foam.

We have lots of books dotted around the house, and they are always toppling over on the shelf, so my second idea was to make bookends from the bricks. I painted the bricks with acrylic paint in bright colours and then added some witty titles using an indelible marker.  Voila, no more wonky books!

I love recycling and upcycling so now have my thinking cap on for uses for some leftover rooftiles - watch this space  :)

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