Rehab — It's Not Just For Celebrities

by Katy on June 11, 2008 · 1 comment

My husband and I bought our 1914 bungalow in 1996 when housing was still vaguely affordable. A big house in a good neighborhood is what we craved. What we ended up with, was a fixer-upper with more need for rehab than Amy Winehouse. We’ve been staging an intervention ever since.

The interest in green building practices had not hit the mainstream 12 years ago, and we schlepped back-and-forth to Home Depot for brand-spanking-new materials more times than I care to admit.

Rehabbing a house in 2008 is an entirely different story. Reusing and repurposing old materials is not only an accepted practice, but is easier than ever. 

Here in Portland, Oregon we have a great non-profit store called The Rebuilding Center, which sells secondhand construction supplies. They accept new and used donations and have, “the potential to divert nearly ten tons of construction and demolition waste per day.” Rehabbers and contractors then shop from the well organized secondhand supplies which would otherwise have been destined for the landfill. You can even take a virtual tour of the facilities here.

Sink and tubs, cabinets, doors, light fixtures, lumber, tile. You’d be hard pressed to find a construction need that can’t be filled.

Alas, it was too little too late for us. Our fixer-upper is darn near fixed-upped. 

Whether you are building a house from scratch or adding that much needed second bathroom, take the time to consider using secondhand supplies. You’ll save money and enjoy the bragging rights about your green construction choices.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jane F May 14, 2014 at 4:40 am

Great Post! I’m nominating this under-appreciated column for a “reprint of a previously published post” when you need one. Its interesting and good resource to put out into the world!

Going through the archives. 😉


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