On this week’s show we talked Colin Cowman from Virgin Media’s Salvage Squad TV Show – we’ve some tips for a sustainable renovations:


Reclaimed wooden boards have obvious eco-credentials and the added benefit of being pre-seasoned, so they won’t warp once they have been installed. Scaffold boards are robust and relatively easy to source, with a characterful patina that works well on floors as well as feature walls.


Burning wood is a sustainable way to heat your home, provided you do it properly. Open fireplaces are only about 20-25% efficient compared to modern wood-burning stoves, which can run at 80% efficiency. If you have the space, a wood-fuelled stove with a back boiler could heat your living room and provide domestic hot water and boil the kettle at the same time. 

Reclaimed furniture

Enhance your home with reclaimed furniture otherwise destined for landfill.  Ebay aside, there are countless online emporiums to scour, each with their own line in industrial, rustic and retro chic. 

Natural lighting

Carefully positioned mirrors and reflective surfaces will encourage light to bounce around a pokey room, but if you have a windowless room that relies entirely on artificial light, consider installing a sun tunnel. These are discreet ceiling portholes that channel light from the roof, spreading diffuse daylight throughout the room.