What They Don’t Tell You:
When I decided to blog the ‘green re-model’ and provide to anyone who cares where to get products within a click, I never realized how much time it takes to Eco Remodel. In looking over the LEEDS certification, thought I would following the guidelines to remodel in the most environmentally friendly way.
- All Energy Saver Appliances, Lights and Fixtures.
- All WaterSense Fixtures
- Building Materials: FSC certified, reclaimed, scavenged materials
- Paint: LOW or Zero VOC
- All Materials Recycled appropriately. Less Landfill.
So here is the reality. Things to Think About
How many boxes of cookies do you go through to overcome EFS (Eco Frustration Syndrome) Cost $3.99 at Trader Joes. Boxes eaten = 4
How many bottles of wine do you go through to be able to relax and or sleep because your head is filled with too many decisions? Cost $6.99 average. Bottles drunk over last 30 days= 6
Contractors: You have to find the right one. They will lead you to the products they know and are familiar with. Same with Handymen. You really have to interview them. Plus, if you are going to scavenge for products, they don’t have the time to wait. My handyman, as great as he is, is used to using the same materials and the same way to install. (see Marmoleum and Toilet) As much as he understands the goal and concept, you might be better off getting someone who has experience in installation of not common materials.
Dual Flush Toilets:
They are hard to install. I bought the Toto Aquia II, the installation does not fit over the same pattern. SuperGranpa (Handyman) fiddled around with it, as he has never installed a dual flush. Calling Toto (after hours) to get information (no answer, they are in the east coast) I called Faucet Factory, where it was bought and they informed me, it is a more challenging installation and made recommendations for a plumber. Plumbers are booked. Unfortunately I only have 1 bathroom. Found plumber who has installed the Tota Aquia II, they hopefully will be able to fit me in today. Plumber cost is still open, but we all know how much plumbers are! Estimated time of installation= 2 hours. That is not including any additonal costs they might incur by changing the pipes.
Also, if the toilet does not work out due to whatever maybe cannot be re-plumbed, you can return it, but Toto has a restocking fee. ( I don’t know what the percentage is. )
- If you are in drought prone areas, any product you buy should be a WaterSense approved fixture.
- Trends of the Future are dual Flush toilets.
Flooring: Ordering the Marmoleum Click takes alot longer than you would think. Now I grant you I’m working with SuperGrandpa (69 yrs old). So we (he) might be moving a little more slowly.
- You have to remove the baseboard and replace baseboard. My house Approx: $200 baseboard cost.
- You need to have 10 mm from the walls. Those wooden shims/wedges are a pain, they are not 10mm. You might have to buy plywood or something that measures 10 mm.
- You should have a saw. I have sawaphobia. It would go much faster if one person was cutting and the other person installing. Plus you should have protective googles. ($6.00)
- You need a tapper to set the Click in. It doesn’t just click in. To get a seamless look, buy tapper. (cost= ?)
- You need the the 6mm moisture barrier . $25.00 for 100 sq. feet. Same price at both Lowes and Home Depot. I bought the foam barrier because it should be quieter.
- If you are going to install it yourself, know that you will be sawing around alot of little corners and its a hassle. My Handyman gave me his philosophy. Measure 1x cut 3x. How much waste is that?
The original plan was to scavenge or get a bathtub from Habitat. Bathtubs go for anywhere $50-$150 for almost pristine cast iron. I got a great deal on tile from a remodeling leftover. Handyman suggested I re-finish it. Refinishing quotes for tub and surround where from $650- $750.00. All come with a 5 year warranty. Spending a couple hours on the Internet investigating, it seems that all are about the same price. Went on Angies List for recommendations.
Here’s the Issues
- Saves from Landfill
- Saves time
- Can have a bathtub within 24 hours.
- Does it go with Non- Toxic?
- After investigating, it appears that the finish will last 2 years, that doesn’t strike me as the long term sustainability issue.
- Cost: $425 for the tub and $250 for the surround.
On the other hand, if I sell, they will probably rip out anyway.
- Salvaged bathtub: $100 (That’s if they have the right size to fit. My bathtub is oval and larger than standard)
- Salvaged tile: $25.00
- Tile Saw rental: (I can actually borrow this from a friend) Picking it up and returning it ( $20.00 Gas, plus 2 hours of time)
- Tile Cement: ?
- Drywall Replacement: ?
- Trip to Habitat to donate old tub and surrround wall (2 hours with traffic and $10.00 gas)
- Time without Shower: How stinky will that be?
- Time spent finding ‘Eco friendly Grouts, sealants and other stuff
- Wood (FSC certified or scavenged) to build around bathtub
There are no WaterSense approved Showerhead. EPA is still working on that. Pretty much you have to go by Manufacturers recommendations or read online many clicks on what’s available.
You would think it would be an easy thing to find the appropriate size and Energy Star Fans. It is not. Home Depot basically has 1 size Fan (54 inches) that is EnergyStar. Two other lighting places down the street had none in stock. If you order, once again, the energy cost. They just do not stock the a below 50 inch Energy Start Ceiling Fan. Now, I’m trying to do the right thing, go by the guidelines on EPA, EnergyStar and not only is it time consuming to find a local supplier (recommended) but the fans are pretty boring. Craiglists has fans, but once again, the prices are not great, plus I’m not going to spend an hour to go look at one.
Countertops and Vanities:
Bought decent condition Vanity with sinks and faucets (not going to use) Vanity will need repair and paint. Material vanity is made of will not be easy to paint! Plus you should spray paint, (more cost). Repair damage, refit for plumbing, painting and new hardware adds into cost.
Because we are retro-fitting will not be using same countertop. Another cost and more decisions.
Pounds Gained by EFS= 10