Planning may be as easy as picking a new paint color and flooring, or it may require hiring an architect and/or engineer if your plans are more extensive and involve adding space or moving walls.
As the vision of your new or updated space takes shape, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Budget – be realistic.
- Lifestyle and how the space will be used.
- Timing – when will the work be the least disruptive? When is your contractor (or you) available?
- What if you uncover or expose toxic materials like asbestos or lead?
- Avoid new materials with harmful chemicals and offgassing. Particle board shelving, cabinet boxes and underlayment, most carpet, paints, stains, finishes, glues and flooring are all materials that may contain the icky stuff.
- If you plan on selling your home, building or condo within the next 5 -10 years, consider nuetral colors that make reselling easier. You can add your personality with accents like furniture, pillows and artwork.
- Make a ‘calender of events’ to keep the project flowing – when to pick a paint or plaster color, permit and/or inspection timelines, when to order flooring (don’t forget to account for shipping and acclimation!), and on and on.
- Wear protective gear (gloves, goggles and dust mask) when deconstructing and doing prep work like sanding.
- Keep your areas organized and clean. Tools last longer, time is saved and minor injuries are less likely.
- If you do discover lead or asbestos – sometimes it is best to leave it be and apply new sealers and/or finishes over the areas. If lead based paint and/or asbestos must be removed – hire a professional to mitigate the problem. Same with mold – mitigate it before moving on.
- Do it right the first time and HAVE FUN!
Easy SWGBC Solutions
- Non-toxic paint & finish strippers and cleaners.
- Flooring – a big consideration and cost. We encourage you to compare our flooring prices with anyone else’s – including the big box stores. Carpet is highly discouraged due to the off-gassing in the months after installation and the dust and dirt that continually builds thereafter. And with cork flooring prices now competing with carpets, a hard surface floor fits into most budgets. SWGBC offers so many great flooring options in bamboo, cork, FSC wood and marmoleum too. Marmoleum is allergy and asthma certified and all our flooring meets Green Guard standards for low or no emissions.
- Wall coatings such as American Clay plaster that actually improve your indoor air quality and comfort.
- Wood stains and finishes from Vermont Natural Coatings, EcoProcote and AFM Safecoat.
- Concrete micro-topping – DecoPoz – originally made to resurface floors and now also used to resurface countertops and shower enclosures too. Materials only $1.50 – 3.50 sq. ft. – compare that to granite! Look for an entire newsletter on the great projects completed by our DIY customers and Solamente Clay Walls’ crew in next month’s newsletter.
- Low flow showerheads, kitchen and bath aerators and ultra high efficiency toilets look good and save water.
- LED replacement lamps – great options in downlights provide full room illumination, are dimmable and will out-live most of us. Of course you are saving energy too!
- A Kill-O-Watt can help you decide if a new refrigerator or electric dryer may be in order – Energy Star appliances can add up in savings.
- Wheatsheet instead of particle board – we have some in stock now at only $18!