An on site processing plant...

To most contractors deconstruction compared to demolition is a time consuming and costly process. Unfortunately what is rarely considered is the sustainable approach that salvaging countless building resources has on a home's impact. Our goal was to deconstruct and if possible up-source back into HOME reclaimed every usable asset that came out of the 1938 home. For a good portion of the project we used the back of the lot as a lumber yard and processing center. Nails, screws, finishes and years of dirt and grime were all removed from these assets. We sorted the material according to both its grade and final destination. When the design called for it, this material was then milled on site and constructed into products for the home. A new approach to sustainability helped us craft unique finishes.

The cabinets tell the story...

Building 233 square feet of custom cabinetry on site has many challenges. When we set out on producing the shelving, cabinet wraps, open bookshelves and benches that adorn HOME reclaimed, we took factors such as space, sequencing and time into consideration. Deconstructed and built out of old growth Douglas Fir from the 1938 home, you will see the past in these units. Nail holes, metal staining and natural checking were all left exposed to highlight the objects historical and sustainable significance. Crafted as one of a kind, they reflect our belief that building sustainably means celebrating resources from the past well into the future.

$2.93 a lineal foot buried in the dumpster...

That is the typical procedure in new construction. Beautiful old growth Douglas Fir framing lumber, trim, sub-floor, flooring and sheathing are hastily torn out of old homes slated for demolition or remodel. Buried under piles and piles of other garbage these assets and true historical commodities disappear forever. We deconstructed every usable resource from HOME reclaimed including 1,560 lineal feet of clear vertical grain old growth framing lumber. Again, this asset helped evolve the design of the interior roof finish. On site we milled this lumber into 2”x4” car decking. What was merely wood framing in the 1938 home now creates a structural roof while at the same time presenting a beautiful soaring wood ceiling in the upstairs living space.

“This is the lowest blower door test I've performed to date!”...

Energy efficiency and building envelope performance were the biggest set of challenges HOME reclaimed had to overcome in order to achieve it's 5 star Built Green certification. With new construction, where everything is a known factor, it is a rather simple exercise to build with these requirements in mind. Our goal of saving the bulk of the 1938 structure posed a different set of complexities. Although it was costly and time consuming, we super insulated the new home and worked diligently for building air tightness. The entire structure is filled with a layered approach of eco-friendly spray foam averaging an insulated value of R-30. The roof is a built up system of polyiso rigid insulation with an insulated value of R-44. We took every opportunity to air seal hidden details with spray foam. This level of attention earned us a blower door score of 1.1 ACH50, impressively lower than the WA State Energy Code requirement of 5.0 ACH50. Coupled with a HERS score of 54 HOME reclaimed has a mere $70.00 a month electrical bill!

To separate on site or not separate on site...

How did we achieve a 99% recycling rate of our construction generated waste? We did it by separating all of our construction debris on site at the source. It is an amazing experience to deconstruct a house and realize so many usable assets. It is equally amazing to see the amount of recycled content generated from this task. By carefully separating the recyclables from the garbage on site, a contractor can do significant work to reduce a new home's carbon footprint. Our building of HOME reclaimed not only diverted salvaged materials from the landfill, but also returned resources into the recycling stream.

A longer life cycle and recyclable...

These are incredibly important aspects to building sustainably. HOME reclaimed and it's 5 Star Built Green Certification implemented many strategies allowing the building components to last a lifetime. Due to their ability to be 100% recyclable, we like to integrate metals into our projects . Aluminum is a durable and lightweight building component. It is extremely corrosive resistant and does well as an exterior element. We use the strength of steel in minimal ways, creating rigid frames that accent warm wood tones. Built responsibly, HOME reclaimed is built to last.

Purples, oranges, reds...

The coal-fired kilns of historical brick making allowed for beautiful variation in color and texture. These color variations plus the natural aging and patina of historical bricks are what make them such a valuable asset. Our design of HOME reclaimed called to integrate our new cedar siding into the existing brick veneer. In order to achieve this goal and to properly air seal, flash and insulate the existing home it was necessary to remove nearly 5,000 bricks. We did this delicately as we knew they were a valuable resource to us and to those who do historic preservation work. With very minimal loss, 95% of the bricks were salvaged and reused in the project as patios and siding infill.

Reclaiming a view...

Mt. Baker, the Cascades, Bald Eagles, Seafair, and believe it or not... deer! These are all things we enjoyed watching from the 400 square foot roof top deck during the construction of HOME reclaimed. The deck surface was constructed out of removable panels skinned with salvaged cedar stop sign boards. The waterproof roofing membrane is accessible for maintenance and the deck panels are designed for easy replacement of boards if ever necessary. When we designed the positioning of this deck we considered the new home's street presence and the impact our design might have on the overall neighborhood view corridors. It offers private outdoor space as an extension to the upstairs living areas. The deck is a perfect vantage point to view the happenings along the shores of Lake Washington.

The doors were under the floors...

In the early 1900's the forests surrounding Seattle were not considered a commodity that needed to be managed in a sustainable way. Homes were built in this area with old growth Douglas Fir, a versatile and plentiful tree. These giants were milled into practically every component a new home of the time needed. When we deconstructed the sub-floor and flooring, layer upon layer revealed an amazing quality and quantity of materials. With these discovered assets in mind we designed space saving doors that add texture and warmth to the house. These doors were harvested, milled and constructed on site out of 100% up-sourced wood.

One man's tear down is another man's...

Having a strong ethic in regards to material salvage and reuse often affords us unique opportunities. The original plan for the exterior siding on HOME reclaimed was to integrate a large portion of salvaged cedar within the overall composition of a panel product. We were close to purchasing the panels when a fellow contractor called us with an opportunity. He was working on a single family project on Mercer Island that was slated for demolition. It was highly recommended that we take a look and spend a few days deconstructing parts of the house before the bulldozers showed up. We jumped at the chance. Among other assets we meticulously removed 2,760 lineal feet of flawless cedar channel siding. A bit of sustainable karma and a new exterior design approach was hatched for Home reclaimed.

The back yard held a secret...

Buried under years of tree duff and debris was a 4” thick concrete slab. It encompassed half of the rear yard, was in excellent condition and we knew by it's age would be a very hard surface. Typically this discovery would be a large loss in terms of money and time to a builder. We however saw it as a design opportunity. Instead of an assault with a sledge hammer we decided to cut the slab into modular pavers and use them as the entry walkway. This up-sourcing of what is usually an unwanted resource kept three tons of concrete on site and out of the waste stream.

Sustainability is in the details...

Our objective was to build slow. We allowed the up-sourced, reclaimed, and salvaged materials to drive our design concepts and construction methodology. We wanted this slow build mentality to come through not only in the overall aesthetic, but also in the detailed composition of new and old. We consider HOME reclaimed uniquely handmade directly from people who take pride in what they do as craftsmen.

You're kidding! Those are stop sign posts?

The secret is out by now, we love to use stop sign posts in our projects. Every winter storms roll through Seattle with high winds and heavy rains. A strong storm has the potential to shut down the city, wipe out power lines, and yes, topple our street's old wooden stop signs. The city has long term goals to replace all of these rotting posts with more durable weather resistant steel posts but until then they continue to collect and surplus the old posts. We are lucky to be able to purchase these Western Red Cedar treasures and intervene before they find their way to the recycle plant or worse yet a grinder.

First we painstakingly removed screws, nails, staples and other hidden objects buried within the naturally decay resistant wood. Next we spend hours sawing, planing and sanding the red and white striped objects into siding material. On average we reclaim 32 lineal feet of unbelievably beautiful looking siding boards from a single post. Finally, we apply a clear finish and let the beauty of this unique material shine. HOME reclaimed sports over 250 stop sign posts as part of its rain screen cladding.