Gumboot Adventures

gowing and growing green

Zero Waste Renovations Begin May 4, 2010

The House Before Renos Begin

The House Before Renos Begin

As promised, the unveiling of the home that will house our green gumboot adventures in one month’s time!  Picture lush gardens.  Fruit trees. Vines. A sunny organic garden. And inside, picture a kitchen designed for cooking and canning and baking and eating.

Kitchen Before Renos Begin

Kitchen Before Renos Begin

But today, it’s all about renovations.  And since renos and a lack of garden plot lead to rather unexciting garden posts, I’m going to share our renovation journey with you.  This is our effort to completely renovate our 1970’s home, without creating waste.

To remind ourselves that we are reusing, recycling, donating and repurposing, we’ve not rented a waste bin.  I’ll let you know how that gos.

How extensive are the renos?  We are completely replacing the kitchen and all the windows.  The floors are being replaced.  Many walls are coming out.  The vinyl siding is coming off the exterier. Plus an endless number of small jobs to make the house our own.

DAY 1 & 2

Kitchen & Wall Removal. So now having committed to doing this waste-free, day one provided a reality check.  Drywall cannot be repurposed or reused. But it can be recycled!  Two truckloads of drywall were removed from the house and taken to the City of Vancouver transfer station for recycling – total cost just over $50. The good news – despite a few bouts of tears (hammer to thumb, hammer to face) the kids had a great time wall bashing.  Yup – 5 year old + hammer + free pass at the wall = mess, satisfaction and destruction!

Asher Takes the First Few Swings

Asher Takes the First Few Swings

Little Sister Joins In

Little Sister Joins In


Kitchen Repurpose. The cabinets from the 1970’s kitchen were carefully removed to the garage where they are turning into a shop.

Kitchen Removal for Repurpose in Garage

Kitchen Removal for Repurpose in Garage

Kitchen Appliances Resell. We’ve listed all the old appliances on craigslist.  Too bad we broke the stove moving it!  Oh well – it’s aesthetic only.  And we weren’t asking much anyway.

With the drywall off and the kitchen out, it’s time to start on the floors.  We are laying refurbished gymnasium floor in white maple, that will be stained in the kitchen. We just saw this same wood listed for $10/sq foot. So we are delighted to this from an auction.  Plus, no new material was created for us to have beautiful floors. It is going to require a little more work than your “usual” floor lay – it needs to be stripped of it’s gymnasiumness:

Floor Removal. The house currently has a multitude of flooring choices from a cross section of decades. The laminate is coming out. Some of the laminate is being used in other areas of the house.  The rest will be donated to either Habitat for Humanity of Jacks (a home reno resale warehouse).The carpet will have to come up too – and will also be donated. The linoleum will stay on the floor as a subfloor for the new hardwood.

And Later...the Kitchen is Gone!

And Later...the Kitchen is Gone!

That’s as far as we’ve gotten. So far, almost no waste. Some recycling. A complete repurpose of the kitchen cabinetry and a fair bit of selling or donating.

More anon’


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