In the construction trade, we don’t speak about recycling enough. But a recent conversation with a client of ours at Update Renovate made us reflect on our own practices, and highlighted the importance of  doing our part for the environment and our community. So in our latest blog, “Everything you need to know about recycling during construction” we thought we’d explain our sustainable construction practices, which we’ve had in place for a long time. We hope that these approaches – including recycling and reducing our waste – will reduce our impact on the environment.

Packaging – Cardboard & Styrofoam

The sheer amount of packing material for even a small extension or bathroom renovation is astounding. Every product, including items such as light fittings, fans, toilet suites, vanities, tapware, among others – comes with copious amounts of packing materials.

At Update Renovate, we actively separate the cardboard and Styrofoam. Then we store this packaging in our shed. Once we have enough for a full load, we take it to Brisbane City Councils’ resource and recovery centres which allows us to recycle the materials for free.

Concrete & Brickwork

Most consumers don’t realise that concrete is a recyclable product. If our construction work involves removing existing slabs or brickwork, we separate the clean concrete and send the material to recycling facilities where it is crushed up and recycled as a concrete blend. This type of concrete blend is used in landscaping. If mixed with cement, water, and sand it can also be used to make brand new concrete.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Wherever possible, we reuse existing concrete roof tiles for extensions. If we are undertaking a second storey extension, we will suggest reusing roof tiles from the existing property and sourcing additional tiles from a second hand supplier.

When tiles are removed and not used, they are taken to a recycling facility to be crushed up and used for landscaping materials.


All metal products – including metal fascia and gutters, metal roofing and structural steel  – are separated onsite to be taken to a metal recycling facility. For most metals, particularly light weight metals, we receive a small payment for recycling the product which is a nice little bonus for doing the right thing.


Most timber we remove from a property cannot be reused for structural applications as we cannot certify the stress grade or structural capacity of the material. We do however use pine framing for non-structural nogs where possible. Weatherboards and chamfer board cladding is reused, especially if it ties in with the new features included in a ground floor extension.

Elsewhere, untreated hardwood and pine from old roofs or floor frames can be cut up and used as firewood for our employees who have fireplaces at home.

Windows and Doors

Depending on the age, style and intended application, we can sometimes reuse existing windows and doors. However, any works that trigger a building application require manufacturers certification of all glazed products, which we cannot supply for an existing product. In most cases, we will sell this removed product to salvage shops or separate out the scrap metal.

Fixtures and Fittings

Most tapware, fixtures and fittings in bathrooms are simply not worth reusing due to the age, condition and changes in water efficiency standards. However, if the toilet suite has recently been replaced we will always work to reuse it.  It’s a very similar situation with light fittings and fans, which have a limited life span and can be difficult to store safely during construction.

Kitchens and Cabinets

You would be amazed what people buy and sell on online platforms such as Marketplace and Gumtree. Depending on the age, condition, shape, and finish of your existing kitchen, you will often be able to sell the lot as a whole package.

While we are often not involved in this negotiation, I always recommend that our clients sell the entire kitchen as it is so that the buyer is responsible to remove and disassemble the lot. However, having someone who probably doesn’t have much construction experience floundering about in your home may not be worth the hassle.

New Products

When it comes to ordering new materials, we actively aim to reduce waste by ordering exact quantities. Any materials left over are always either taken straight to another job to be used or stored at our shed to be used at a later date.

While it’s impossible for us to recycle and reuse everything, we try our hardest to reduce our impact by cataloguing, recycling, repurposing materials. If we ourselves cannot recycle the materials we will sell these items on to someone who can.

At Update Renovate, we offer a unique, all-in-one design and construction service to remove the hassle and simplify your building journey. Get in touch with Kevin and Ray today to discuss your dream house extension project.

Our Happy Client’s Kind Comments

Why did you choose Update Renovate?

From the very first meeting with Kevin and Ray we felt very comfortable and there wasn’t the hard sell that we have previously experienced when we attempted this project with another company. Ray couldn’t of been more helpful, during the design stage we were trying to cut costs and he was more than accommodating, offering suggestions and making amendments to suit our needs. All of the tradespersons were very professional, approachable and accommodating and most importantly we felt totally comfortable with the crew at our property at all times.

Finally we are absolutely happy with the final outcome of our second storey extension. We would definitely use Update Renovate again for our next project and recommend them to anyone looking to extend.

Wayne & Sue Power, Bracken Ridge

Would you choose Update Renovate for your next building project? Yes

We are very happy with Update Renovates work completing our extension. During both the design and construction processes, we greatly appreciated their flexibility to accommodate changes, professional advice and ideas. Also the minor maintenance jobs they completed around the house were a real bonus! Thank you!

Melinda & Geoff Ericksson, Eight Mile Plains

We would love to say thank you to the whole team,

Firstly Ray, thanks for being so prompt to my barrage of emails and questions, you were always so helpful that I never had any doubts. Secondly we cannot sing the praises of Rob and Lachy enough, they are not only talented carpenters they are also lovely guys who made our building experience very enjoyable, so much so that our 2 year old was in tears when they finished. We love our new home and don’t know how we lived without the space. So finally, thanks again you have a great team.

Matthew & Jenna White, Ipswich

We are very happy with the end product. The professional service and advice provided throughout the project was both helpful and greatly appreciated. Specifically thanks to Ray and all the Update Renovate team who had a hand in the extension and renovation.

Would you choose Update Renovate to complete you next building project? Yes

Would you recommend Update Renovate to family and friends? Yes

Roger & Lynn Lane, Upper Mt Gravatt

From the initial quote through to the final completion of the job, Update Renovate were both very professional and thorough. All the tradespeople were polite, on time and the whole process was simple and well managed. We are very happy with the result and would not hesitate to recommend Update Renovate to other customers.

Would you choose Update Renovate to complete any future building works? Yes

Ken & Gill Miller, Carindale

The carpenters and all the tradies that came to our house where great. Most noteworthy, the plaster repairs are seamless and the tiling is terrific. Many thanks to Kevin, Leigh, Peta, Dave, Phil and everyone involved. We are very happy with our extension and have already recommended Update Renovate to a few friends and family.

Sally-Anne & Adrian Waller, Carindale

How do you rate the building and construction stage?

All the Update Renovate carpenters on our job were both very friendly and professional. Dave and Phil were always able to answer our questions and were able to accommodate the small changes we made during the build. We are extremely happy with the work that Update Renovate has done for us.  We love our new house.

Hamish & Natalie McLean, Holland Park

How do you rate the initial consultation and concept design stage service?

We were very happy with the initial consultation with Kevin. He was both open and honest and had some great ideas that we hadn’t even thought about. Also we felt reassured that he knew the full building process, had a good understanding of building regulations and most importantly he wasn’t just a salesman for the company.

Hamish & Natalie McLean, Holland Park

How do you rate the initial consultation and concept design stage services?

Excellent and very accommodating. Both Kevin and Ray contributed simple and practical ideas that resulted in an excellent functional design that met our needs and budget. They provided great advice, were quick to make changes and respond to our questions.

Scott Shooter & Melanie Wilson, Wakerley

Would you use or recommend Update Renovate again in the future?

YES 150%. We are completely thrilled with the result. The whole process was simple and practical. Furthermore the team was excellent and very considerate of our needs while we lived and worked from the house. 

Scott Shooter & Melanie Wilson, Wakerley

Thank you all for the excellent work you have done on our house over the past year. Everyone was polite, considerate and helpful and all work of an excellent standard. Thank you Kevin for your patience with us and the calm, efficent way you tackled all our requests and problems as they arose. Special thanks to Tim and Peter the tiler for their meticulous attention to detail, we are very happy with our new improved home.

Shane Roberts, Camp Hill

Great response to concerns and rectified issues as they arose, not that there were many. Very flexible, we had to delay start date and team was understanding of that. Staff who worked on the site were fantastic, very helpful and friendly. Happy to explain and seemed very proud of the work they did. Office team also very responsive and got back in reasonable timeframes.

Julie & Marshall Newton, MacGregor

Fantastic service from start to finish. Very happy with the process and end result of our renovation.

Simon & Hollie Strong, Mt Gravatt

Ray, Kevin and the Update Renovate team worked with us from start to completion and guided us every step of the way. They took great care to help us create our vision and welcomed our input and feedback.  Throughout the entire project, communication was of the highest standard and we always knew where things where at. The team were always respectful of not only our family, but also our neighbours. We stayed in the house through the build, and the site was always left clean and tidy and the team went out of their way to make this as seamless as possible.
We could not be happier with the finished project and highly recommend Update Renovate.

Jason & Fiona Strong, Mt Gravatt East

We would definitely recommend Ray, Kevin, Rob and the team from Update Renovate. They are a very organised outfit who delivered exactly what we wanted in excellent time and outstanding quality.

Simon Hartigan, Holland Park