Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Being green in 2009.

So what is your plan for 2009? Is your carbon footprint part of it? Or should I say lack there of? With the economy the way it is today you can't help but think of what will happen next? What will the new President do? What are the states doing with their record budget deficits? I can only hope that 2009 will go down in the record books as the year that saw major change.

Going "Green" has been the in thing over the past several years. But how government and business work to make "sustainability" truly successful remains to be seen. Bankers and automakers are seeing the impact of not submitting to the gloat. Now the taxpayers will be paying for it.

What can we do as the average citizen? What can you do to help?

Be responsible to yourself in 2009. Take your own responsibility to the next level. Don't wait for anyone else. Make the move and make a difference.

Tell me what Green are you going to do for 2009?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Being green for 2008 and beyond

Christmas is past us. Whew! Now I am getting ready for the New Year and turning a new leaf.
A green leaf that is. What projects have we done in 2008 to be more eco conscious?

This year I started this Blog to get my own point of view out on getting green on a budget. Hoping to get to those folks who don't want to spend an arm and a leg to be environmentally responsible. If I can help a small group of people then I have done my job. And thanks for your continuous suppport.

I have started composting this year as part of trying to reduce the amount of garbage we produce as a family. This upcoming spring I should see the fruits of our labor.

Another big project for 2008 was rain water recovery. I installed two 55 gallon drums under my down spout. I have two more barrels to paint and install this upcoming year.

This past year I did some renovations in my house reclaiming the wood for reuse. I should have enough material for some outdoor projects I have planned for 2009.

Don't forget the electronics recycling. I lightened the load in my office considerably and did not add to the local land fill to get that done.

None of these activities required a lot of extra cash, just some common sense. By keeping green in mind as you go about your daily activities you would be surprised by how much you and your family can reduce you own environmental impact.

What is coming up in 2009? Solar lighting? Worm composting? More rain harvesting? Reduce the carbon footprint of our house?

Only time will tell....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green Seal is Not Just Another Green Certification.

Green Seal is to the retail world as LEED is to the building trade.
It is a certification that gives products and services a green rating.
Coming directly from the Green Seal web site:

"Founded in 1989, Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Our industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life.

A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, Green Seal issued its first environmental standards in 1991-2, and the first product certifications were completed in 1992. Hundreds of products and services from major companies such as 3M, Benjamin Moore, and Andersen Windows have now been certified to meet Green Seal standards, and the number of major product categories covered by standards has increased to more than 40."

Getting a GreenSeal means that a product or service has met the Green Seal standard for a particular product line. Such as a Benjamin Moore line of paints meeting the Green Seal standard for "Paints and Coatings".

This certification is industry recognized and means more than just "Being Green". It means that you are doing more than just changing to all CFL light bulbs and calling your hotel green. It means your product has met multiple green qualifications to get the Green Seal. And that makes Green Seal the industry standard.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ReCycling Symbols Re-visited

Thanks to my green blog friends at Greener Loudoun who published a great list of recycling symbols.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel as it looks pretty complete to me.
I have always wanted to include something like it. And there it is.

Thanks Greener Loudoun

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is LEED over the top?

Ok so you are thinking: "His last post is a little out there... I can't afford to get my house LEED certified." And for most, me included, that is true.

But there was a reason behind my madness. I was just trying to educate you on a very complete and comprehensive certification that seems to hold up a lot of water in the building industry. If there are things we can take away from this and say that we have learned something then I have done my job. As I will continue to do here.

Think about this: Say you just installed rainbarrels under every downspout around your house. Did you know that by installing those you have just partially met the LEED requirement for surface water management (item number 4 on the LEED for Homes Project Checklist) Remember that the little steps you take now will help you in the future.

I will continue to learn and relay more information on LEED certification in manageable chunks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is Your House LEED Certified?

LEED certified? What is it? LEED is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

LEED certification is an independent Green certification managed by the US Green Building Council. It certifies that a building meets specific standards in green materials and construction.

Quoting from the USGBC site: "LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality."

LEED certification touches all parts of construction: Not just the physical building. It also has certifications for neighborhoods.

In addition, there are specific LEED certifications for schools, retail outlets, commercial buildings and healthcare facilities. They even separate certifications for new construction and existing construction projects.

And then there is a specific LEED certification for new residential homes and existing residential homes. This latter part is what I am interested in.

Part 2 will cover what a LEED certification consists of.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are You Still Adjusting the Thermostat Yourself?

How many times have you forgotten to turn the thermostat down at night or before you go to work? If your house was built in the 1950s and 1960s like mine is, you might be in the same boat.
Programmable ThermostatDo you still turn your heat down every night and then turn it back up in the morning. Then you turn it back down before you leave for work?
I have also seen plenty of make over shows that still show the old style rotary thermostat before they renovate.

For under $50.00 you can change that forever. You can get a basic 7 day programmable thermostat that handles turning the thermostat down at night and warms up the house before you set your toes on that cold floor in the morning.
The nice thing is you do not have to turn or slide the dial or do anything. The program takes care of the adjusting for you. Programmable ThermostatFancier models can even handle each day as a separate program, which is very useful for those of us who do not have a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 schedule. And these models still only cost under $100.

The installation is a basic DIY project that should take no longer than a half hour to perform. It can save you heating costs for years to come.
Another nice thing is that you can bring the temperature down or up by one degree to see how much of a difference it makes. This way you can set the optimal lowest temperature for your family and save money on your heating bills.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Make Your Vote Count.

This is just a reminder to cast your vote today.

A change of the guard will have important repercussions on the environmental landscape.

To help us improve the world we live in today lawmakers must look to help the average person reduce their carbon footprint. Whether it is through tax incentives or grants, this should be a fundamental right.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Wind Power for Cargo Ships? Go Fly a Kite!

This was most interesting. I had to add this.
If every cargo ship used this method it could reduce their fuel usage by 30%.

This is great ingenuity the planet can use over and over.
We will have to follow this to see where it goes and how far it will be taken.
The company is SkySails out of Germany.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cleaning Indoor Air With Plants

Now that fall is upon us, it is already starting to get cooler. Windows will be closed more often, especially when the frost starts to hit. Indoor air quality will be lowered as we get less fresh air from the outside.

There are ways to improve the air you breath inside the house. We use air filters. We have a large one in our master bedroom. Two of the three kids have their own smaller air filters.

As I walk up the stairs at night, I can hear the swooshing of competing airfilters. Each making its own distinct level of "white" noise.

You should also change the filter on your forced air heater as this is probably one of the larger dust polluters in your house.

This is all fine and well, but twice a year I have to change the filters at a cost of about $90. Not to mention the cost of electricity to run them and the environmental impact of the filters.
So what else can you do?


So how does that work?

Plants take in CO2 and release Oxygen into the air. Some do this more efficient than others. There are even some that pull additional toxins from the air, but I won't get into that chemical reaction. I like the release of oxygen.

Here is a list of indoor plants that can significantly improve indoor air quality according to NASA:
Bamboo Palm
Chinese Evergreen
English Ivy
Gerber Daisy
Janet Craig
Mass cane/Corn Plant
Mother-in-law's Tongue
Pot Mum
Peace Lily

I guess I'll have to slowly start my indoor plant collection. Especially since they don't make any swishing noises like my air purifyers. They also don't use any electricity. And the biggest plus: You don't have to change filters. That's about as eco friendly as you can get.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time To Go Indoors

Yes, it is starting to get chilly out there.
Cleaned out my gas insert in the fireplace and got it running.
Tightened up the gas lines to my gas stove in the family room, and fired it up.
I've had that stove now for one full season going into its second season and we like it.

The nicest thing about our gas stove vs my old wood stove is that it is easier on my back. When it gets too cold I just need to flip a switch. No more cutting wood. No more stacking wood. No dirt tracking in the house. You know it also has reduced the indoor allergens. The wood stove was very neat to have, but it was inefficient and created too much of a mess.

Of course I'm saving some trees by not burning all that wood. (about 8 face chords per season)
And I am also no longer polluting with all the smoke from the chimney. I'm sure my neighbors appreciate it also.

This Quadra-Fire model gas stove is 85% efficient. The gas burns more environmentally friendly. Above all this saves us money over the whole heating season. I just hope the heating season will not last as long as it did last year. The money we saved ended up going into a longer season. Mother nature does not always cooperate there.

As long as we are doing our part to increase efficiencies in our house and reduce our carbon foot print. That makes it worth it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Green Calculators

Man, I almost forgot about this. My brother had sent me a link to a web site with very useful "Java based" calculators. Now the author, Chuck Wright calls them "calculators to figure out conservation and renewable energy". I call them "Green" calculators.

There is one that figures out your personal carbon foot print. Then he has others to calculate how insulation saves you money and how it wastes if you don't. There is even a calculator to help you size a PV system.

For you DIYers out there, this may be very helpful.

Browse his site there is other Green information there also.

I'll add a permanent link on the side for future reference.

Thanks Chuck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Recycling Garbage by the tons?

Wow! I just read a great article about a company that recycles raw garbage.
This is very exciting at so many levels! Could you imagine a day where landfills are a thing of the past. I could not pass on telling you about it.

The company, Plasco Energy Group claims to be able to take raw garbage and reduce/recycle it to the following usable products:
  • Electricity - "the only technology that can recover more than a megawatt-hour of net power per ton of waste processed."
  • Potable Water
  • Commercial Salt
  • Construction Aggregate
  • Agricultural Fertilizer

They currently operate two working plants: one in Ottawa, Canada and one in Castillgali, Spain. Another plant is currently underway in Alberta, Canada. Los Angeles, CA is under negotiation to build one there.

I wonder if there are other companies out there working on similar technologies...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting ready for the fall heating season

OK Kids are about to get back to school.

With outside temps starting to dip into the 50s at night it will soon be heating season. Are you ready to warm things up in your house? Ok this may be too soon, but it is never too early to insure that your heating system is in top shape.

OK so how does heating your house have anything to do with being green?

Heating efficiency has everything to do with being green. Losing heat out the chimney wastes energy. Losing heat out through the walls and ceiling is also wasteful. Using an electric heater...well you get the drift.

There are things you can do now that will save you on energy costs over the winters.

Before it gets too cold are your windows sealed properly? I had new energy efficient windows installed two years ago. I noticed some needed to have the caulking fixed. Anyone can perform this easy repair and caulking is cheap. Of course be careful on the ladder for those high up windows.

Is your house insulated properly? In some cases you can do this yourself. Especially up in the attic. Getting a professional opinion for outside walls that have little to no insulation may be well worth in the long run.

How about your forced air furnace? Have you replaced the filter? This should be done at least once per year. At best twice per year. Especially if it is a long hard heating season like it was last year in upstate NY.

Let's not forget the furnace cleaning. I have a maintenance contract that includes an annual cleaning. This keeps the furnace running in top form. When they clean the furnace they also can usually spot trouble before it starts.

Insulated and efficient: How's that for being green.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So how "green" are you or am I today?

I ask myself that question every so often. How about you?
Ok, so not every body thinks like I do.
But with the headlines in the paper, on TV and the internet who can ignore it?

So I go through scenarios such as these:
What else can I recycle to reduce my contribution to the landfill?
What would it take to reduce my use of gasoline and thereby also reducing my carbon emissions?
Are there any simple fixes to reduce my electricity use?
How about energy efficiency of the house?

Man, my head is spinning. So many things to think about.
There definitely are projects to take on that can and will reduce this family's carbon foot print.
Of course some take time. Some take money. And some take both.
All you can do is a little at a time as your budget allows.

So what project will you do next to reduce your carbon foot print?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How about composting?

I just read an article in a local paper where the author said that everyone should have a compost pile. And the reason behind his claim was that it should not cost anything.

Of course this holds true for all folks who have a yard. Apartment dwellers and condo owners would be excluded. (However there are indoor composters available.)

This year I took a corner in my yard to actively maintain a compost heap. It is nothing extravagant. Just a pile of discarded vegetables and fruit peels topped with leaves and some grass clippings. As the author said you do not need expensive tumblers or containers to get started. If you want to spend the money go ahead - It will still make you "green" in the long run. I'm too cheap to go for the expensive containers.

This is pretty easy. At the rate that we add kitchen wastes we should have a good pile to be used to fertilize my plants next year. I'll have to let you know how that works out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Update on my home made rain barrels.

It rained pretty good here last week so I decided to get hardware and paint the second barrel.

So I needed to find another 3/4 in bulkhead fitting. I decided to go to one of the mom and pop hardware stores in our area, as I know they carry all kinds of plumbing supplies. I found the same Hayward fitting for the same $21 price as I installed on the first barrel. Then I found a plastic spigot for $3.97. Man what a deal!
As there is no substantial water pressure behind it this should work.

I painted the barrel in the same manner as the first one and installed the spigot.

In order to have the water flow from one barrel into the other, I made a short hose with connectors on both ends. (Like most people I always have an old hose laying around to cut up and reuse.) After connecting the hose to both barrels' spigots I opened the faucet on both causing the water to flow from one into the other. Thanks to my father for the physics lesson.

Here is a picture of both barrels.
They are both filled after a good night's rainfall.

Plastic barrels painted to be rain barrels

The plants are loving it. We'll have a dry week this week, but our plants will keep sipping on rainwater.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Using a rainbarrel to recover rainwater

Who says you have to spend a lot of money to "Go Green"?
Well, many people may think that you have to spend a lot of money to reduce your carbon foot print.

Some will think they have to put up expensive solar panels. Others think they have to buy expensive appliances.

Well you have to think: "What is there around the house that I can do to "Go Green" without breaking the bank?"

Maybe it is just changing some of our habits, such as reducing the length of showers every member in the house takes to just 5 minutes. This will actually save you money without spending a dime. You have just saved water, saved on gas/electric to heat the water and sent less water down the drain to be processed by the sewage plant.

Speaking of reducing the amount of water we use; I was able to acquire some 55 gallon recyclable plastic barrels to turn into rain barrels. We get enough rain here in Upstate New York, so why not collect some.

I have already painted and installed a spigot on one. This first one served as my test model.

I found the cost to buy one of these could run you well over $100, depending on where and what you buy.

Well I ended up spending just under $50. I spend about 3 to 4 hours total painting it and installing the spigot. I am hoping to reduce the cost a little more now that I know what parts I need. I am also sure I can reduce the time spent on painting and installing the little faucet on it, now that I know what I am doing there.

Plain rain barrel

Here are pictures of the barrel before and after paint. (The blue stood out a little too much.) I will have to add a second barrel next to this one as one good rain storm filled it up and more.

Completed rain barrel with spigot

I am using the rainwater to water all the plants around the house. And because my mother gave us a bunch of new perennials this spring, there are plenty to water.

It makes it easy for the kids to help water the plants. They don't have to use the faucet in the garage, which saves me from having to dry the garage floor after them.

The bottom line: Our family just became a little "Greener" without spending a lot of money.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home Made, Cheap Wind Turbines

So are there cheaper wind turbines out there?
Well I did find some out there for under $140????
Check out my next edition for more on this.

I found one person who built a windturbine for about $140. http:/ It was built totally from scratch from he had lying around his shed and parts bought at a hardware store. He also got a great deal on the motor, which he got on eBay. This turbine produced about enough power for his pop-up camper. also has a book and plans to make a 1000 Watt wind turbine for under $100. I wonder if this price has been adjusted for inflation.

Check out this video of another home made wind turbine:

Links to some others who have made their own wind turbines:

From the looks of it these are small units producing enough power to light a lamp, and a laptop.(the basics for bloggers out there) You also need to be handy with some tools. For those of us who are not sure how to operate a screwdriver and saw would have to look at a finished model and then we are out of the low budget arena.

Of course what it comes down to is the fact that these units can give you free electricity. And above all they do not pollute. Hats off to those handy men and women out there willing to give it a try. If I had the land for it and enough wind I would try it. It would make a fun project without going broke. That's being green on a budget.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is Wind Power Within Your Budget?

What would it cost me to add wind power and live off the grid... or close to it?

I know there are people using a combination of personal wind turbines and solar panels to power their house. What would it take (money wise) to set someone up with a wind turbine?

So this is what I learned in my search one evening.

There are some things to take into consideration before installing a windturbine in your back yard or on the roof of your house.

First you need to be in a location that catches a decent amount of wind throughout the year. If you are in a valley surrounded by hills and/or mountains you probably would not benefit from installing a wind turbine. You can also get help from to see what the wind energy potential is in your area.

Second, you need to see if this is even possible in the town you live in. If you live in a busy suburb with zoning laws in place, you probably would not be allowed to install any kind of wind turbine. (Even if you have several acres). You still have to check with local town for ordinances regarding the installation of a tower and a possible noisy windmill.
I would think that you may also want to let your neighbors know. As they could help or hinder your project. Companies that sell residential turbines do know this and have information on how to go about making the plans and present them to the local zoning board.

So now you are in a location with plenty of wind and have proper permits from the zoning board to start your wind powered electric generator.

Per the American Wind Energy Association, residential or small wind turbines produce up to 100 kilowatts of power. Anything over 100 kilowatts gets into commercial applications.
From what I have found, windpower can cost upward of $1400 depending on which brand and how much power you are trying to pull from the system. This may and may not include the tower and other accessories you need to install it.
One helpful site in my search was: - this is the American Wind Energy Association web site.

The companies I chose to list I found very interesting in that they sell very new technology wind turbine systems for the home owner. I do not promote them specifically.

HelixWind Turbine sells complete systems starting about $8600.
They claim to use a blade that makes less noise and is not as invasive as traditional wind turbines.

E2D WindMaster on: sells systems from $1400 and up. They claim to have the only wind turbine in the U.S. that is homeowner association friendly.

Another company I want to mention is PACWIND. They sell Vertical axis wind turbines which they claim are "completely silent" and "completely stable". I could not find any pricing on their site:

Overall the cost is a little more than I would pay on my budget. The payback period ranges anywhere from 3 to 10 years, depending on your monthly electric costs. Of course as energy costs rise the payback period gets reduced.

I expected to find very expensive units out there. With that I mean $10,000 and up. I guess there ARE wind turbines for a wide range of budgets.

So are there cheaper wind turbines out there?
Well I did find some out there for under $140????
Check out my next post for more on this find.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Recycling my electronic waste

I am sure many computer geeks such as myself can relate to this.
For years I have been keeping my old computers under my desk. Sometimes they work good as footstools, but mostly they got in the way. Also after many salvages and upgrades I had also been keeping old ISA and PCI cards in a box and a junk drawer. I thought one day I should take them to a cycling facility.

Of course, every time I saw a notification to recycle or drop off old computers I would conveniently forget to act on it. Then the pile just sits there again waiting on another notification. In the meantime I was adding another motherboard and another old case to the pile.

I had also looked at computer recyclers, but most of these guys handle commercial accounts and charge you for the disposal. Since I am too cheap, I was not going to pay to dispose of my growing collection of computers and electronic parts.
But I was bound and determined not to dispose of this equipment by just throwing it in the garbage can.

So this spring I looked at the recycling program that our town sponsors. Hey they were recycling electroncs and it was a date in the future. I wrote the information on our family event calendar. This way it kept staring me in the face. I could not forget this.

It would be on a Saturday morning. I had to make sure I gathered everything the night before, as we have a busy Saturday morning family schedule. Putting all the equipment in the van on the same morning would not work. So I took the time to go through all of the pieces starting on Thursday.

I had to make sure I removed the hard drives and any memory sticks. I managed to remember to also remove a floppy drive as newer computers don't include those anymore. In all I had 4 computer cases, two motherboards(including one for a laptop), and various ISA and PCI cards. I also found some old laptop batteries, and a non-working UPS. Boy this lightened the load under the desk in my office. I could actually see the floor.

Since they said the would take all old electronics I decided to add an old receiver and a cassette player. This was in the hope that they would take that also.

What else could I find? Hey, an old color printer I had not used in years. Added it to the growing pile.

Well this all fit barely in the back of my Honda van. And without having to move any seats. Electronic clean out was done.

So Saturday morning came. I had to drop my daughter off at dance at 9 a.m. before I went to the town's garage where this recycling effort was being held. I had to be back in time to pick her up at 10 a.m. I did not know what to expect at the site. Were there going to be many cars with the same idea.

I pulled in and there was a truck with several pellets before it. Each pellet was designated for specific items. One for monitors, one for computer cases, and so on...
There also were friendly guys ready to help unload your vehicle. As I pulled up, one of the guys motioned for me to drive right up to where the truck was parked. Then he said: "Just stay in the car, we'll unload it for you." That was OK by me. They unloaded the van in record time. They even took the stereo. That was great!

That was a job well done. Recycling old computer parts is not that difficult and should be done. They indicated they would also take old monitors, TVs and old air-conditioners. Unfortunately, I would not have time later in the day to drop off this old 17" monitor I have. I'll save it for the next recycling event.

Now I feel good having done my part. And not having spent a dime. How is that for being green on a budget.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reducing garbage/waste at home.

Here is a thought: How else can we be green without spending a lot or any money?
How about our daily garbage. How much waste/garbage do we send to the dump on a weekly basis? How much does this cost you? Are you charged per barrel you put to the curb?
Just this week I was looking at the amount of garbage I set to the curb. That's when I was thinking about how much we used to throw away.

They say the average household generates about one ton of garbage/waste per year. Of course that figure could be better/less or worse/more depending on who's study you look at. Either way that's a lot of garbage in a person's lifetime.

We are a family of five. We used to have a 50 gallon container filled to the rim, that I would roll to the curb on Monday night. It was heavy. Lucky for me it has wheels.
Then for the recycles we would have one container filled.(a blue box)

OK. So what goes into our garbage?

Our largest source of waste is from the kitchen. This used to be at least three full large kitchen bags. At times we have had four large kitchen bags per week. Then we added the garbage from the bathrooms, bedrooms and office. This in total became quite a large amount of weekly waste.

The kitchen garbage would include mostly food packaging, leftovers, and fruit and vegetable wastes. There was a lot of paper waste also: from advertisements, envelops and copier paper.

Man, what a waste!

So how have we reduced this amount over time? Now the actual amount of garbage we bring to the curb has gone down over the years. We maybe have one to two bags per week at the most from the kitchen. Then we also have one little bag each from the bathroom, bedrooms and office.

This reduction is largely due to the amount of recycling we do. I found out that most cereal boxes and other food boxes such as those from crackers were recyclable. Well that reduced the kitchen garbage significantly. I wish there were a way to recycle those inner plastic bags.
We only buy milk in recyclable plastic containers so no waste there. Newspapers and magazines get recycled.
Most, if not all, junk mail goes into the recycle bin, so that reduces it. Paper from the office gets recycled.

Every Monday night I put out two blue boxes for recyclables. One holds paper and carton. The other holds glass and plastic bottles and containers.

I know that we could reduce our waste even more. There are still many thing we do throw away, because they simply can not be recycled.

One thing I would like to work on for ourselves is composting. As long as it can be done economically I will do that in the near future.

Then there is the electronics and hazardous waste recycling program with the town. I now gather my elctronic parts and computers to take to the town in the spring. The also have a time when they collect hazardous waste. This may include paint and pesticides.

As long as we can do our part I feel good about being green. And all this without spending extra money.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Green Remodelling

I started remodeling my son's room.

This project includes having to move a wall and a door to create a larger hall way into our bedroom. I also have to move a door from one end of a wall to another.

Being budget minded I thought I should try to re-use the materials I tear down.

This is what I did:

Instead of tearing down like they show you on those make over shows, I am taking the time to remove things nicely. This way they can be reused.

It takes longer to do as there are a lot of nails to take into consideration. With that I try to re-use the nails also. Can be challenging at times with the really bent ones, but it can be done.

I am also re-using most of the 2 by 4s I take out. Then I only buy what I need.

I am also going to re-use the wood floors, by turning the wood as Iam finding that most of the underside is in real good shape. Of course this floor lends itself to be re-used: It has no tongue-and-groove to worry about.

Any materials I have left over can be saved for other projects or repairs.