Monday, May 23, 2011

Salvaging What We Can

We're currently in the demolition phase of the rehabilitation of our project house.  That means we've been wielding our sledgehammers and have got a dumpster outside.  We're pretty selective about what we're throwing away though:  
  • The old wood windows will stay and be reworked.  We'll add storm windows to make them just as efficient as new double-glazed windows.
  • Some of the doors will stay and be stripped and repainted.  The front door is a new door so we'll get rid of that.  Not all of the interior doors match and we'll be changing the layout of the rooms, so we'll be visiting our local architectural salvage to buy some solid wood 5-panel doors.
  • The wood floors just need to be refinished.  The old yellow spotted linoleum kitchen floor and vinyl bathroom floor will go.
  • Lumber and trim will be reused in this house or another.
  • The bricks from the chimneys that are no longer necessary will surround planting beds and create a retaining wall in the yard.
  • The acoustic tile ceilings?  Outta here.
  • Old insulation? What old insulation?
  • Old metal pipes, electrical wiring with copper in it, and the old appliances will be recycled.
  • The old kitchen cabinets will find new life in the shed in the backyard.
  • The old blue bathroom fixtures will be donated to the local ReStore.  (Can you believe the architectural salvage place wouldn't buy them from us?!?)

It's in everyone's best interest to be selective about demolition debris.  The bottom line for us is money savings: a lighter dumpster means cheaper tipping fees and reusing materials means we don't have to purchase them new.  The less that ends up in the landfill and the more that we can reuse, the better.  Reused materials mean less energy is consumed in making new and probably inferior products.  It's a little more effort for us, but worth it in the long run.

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