Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

The Green side of space management- outdoor living areas and sustainable practices

Houses only provide so much space, and people tend to consume space. Conventional renovation may not be possible in some places, either for financial or other reasons. Some prefer not to renovate, but innovate. They also prefer to thing better and cheaper. Many people are now opting for the Green options in space management, creating space with sustainable materials. Pergolas, for example, can create a very useful covered space which is effectively an extension of the home.

Photo: greengardenvienna

Space creation

Ironically, the area immediately around the house is usually the area most used but least considered as a solution to extra space requirements. These areas are particularly useful, both as possible areas for expanding living space and dealing with space problems.

There are a few ways of assessing your options with space creation, and they’re based on your needs:

  • Do you need spare rooms or storage space?
  • How about a nice safe play area for the young kids?
  • A covered area which can also act as a good shelter for the dog or cat?
  • An outdoor entertainment area?
  • A study/ sleep out/ guest room?

The area you have to work will obviously vary, but if you can identify a good sized space around the house, you can plan ahead. An area of about 5 metres by 3 is actually a lot of space, about the size of a studio apartment.

You’ve got a range of choices with verandas and pergolas:

  • An enclosed veranda
  • An open veranda
  • A veranda with pergola and if necessary privacy screens
  • A covered pergola

You can use this space with temporary covers like adjustable screens, permanent covers, or turn it into an enclosed area with timber frames.

(Note: It’s always a good idea to have some form of cover available for verandas, particularly on the wind and sun exposed sides of the house.)

Green options

The Green approach to building these structures is economic and efficient. The materials used are the key:

Recycled beams and timbers: You can build a pergola or a wood veranda quite easily. Old support beams and good quality timbers are practically indestructible, and you can find them anywhere. If you can get your hands on some old railway sleepers, you can use them for anything.

Recycled tiles and bricks: There are some quite incredible things available which are sometimes brilliant quality materials. You can even create mosaics and designer patterns with these things.

Bamboo: Used for everything from screens to furniture, trellises and garden stakes. The world’s biggest grass has gone in and out of fashion in the past, but as a building material, particularly for screens, the Green economy has turned it into an industrial product, endlessly renewable. Bamboo is easy to get in various forms and easy to replace if necessary.

Plantation timbers: The most common plantation timber is pine, and treated pine can do anything. It may not be as glamorous as the other materials, but it’s very easy to work with.

If you want to add space, add value, and add quality of life, try the Green approach.

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