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Remodeling and Home Design


Apr 12, 2011 | Remodeling

The beginning of any project is by far the funnest and most back breaking part- demolition!   Demolition- must be yelled at the top of your lungs with classic rock playing at full volume in the back round.

Beyond having fun with hammers, and taking out all aggression you ever had on any wall, there are a few practical things I can share.

Mainly, its what to do with the items once they are demoed.  The wonderful thing about Portland is that there are so many places to donate things and so many people who will gladly remove things.  For instance- take out the cabinets in the kitchen and the bathroom whole.  Ie don’t go to town on them with the hammer, but break them apart spending a bit more time with the screws, and you can donate the set to The Rebuilding Center or list them on Craig’s list.  Often we take the drawer pulls and hinges off to use them on other projects.

Anything metal put outside your house in a separate area and the scrappers will come by.  We have metal collectors coming by 3 to 4 times a day.  From galvanized pipes to old stoves, and especially cast iron tubs, they will gladly haul away.

Wood- if you remove the nails and screws many people will take it.  We reuse the studs we remove to frame in the new areas.  If you don’t need them then separate that as well and put it on the street with a free sign.  Most often it gets picked up in a day.  If for some reason it doesn’t the Rebuilding Center or Salvage Works will take de-nailed wood

Wear a hepa approved face mask as many of the materials have something nasty in them- lead paint (in most houses built before 1978), asbestos (taped around ducts, in glues/adhesives holding down floors, in popcorn ceilings).  If you want to know for sure if you are surrounded by nastiness,  there is a lab in town that can test those questionable materials.  Call Lab Cor Portland and they can tell you how to bring in the samples, and usually in 4 hours, give you the results.

Lastly, our incredible regional government, Metro, has a recycling information hot line that has friendly staff with fast, helpful answers for your recycling, disposal and waste prevention questions. Call 503-234-3000 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Resource List for Demo:

The Rebuilding Center: (accepts the region’s largest volume of used building and remodeling materials)

3625 N. Mississippi Ave.
Mon – Sat 9 – 6, Sun 10 – 5


Salvage Works:  (repair or restore your vintage house parts)

2030 N. Willis St. • Portland, Oregon 97217
Tuesday through Saturday, 9 to 5 • 503-285-2555


Lab Cor Portland:

4321 SW Corbett Ave, Ste A Portland, 97239



Metro Hotline:

503-234-3000 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday



People make the house a home

Apr 6, 2011 | Remodeling

As cheesy as it sounds its true, you need people to make a house a home.  The people add the warmth, spirit, and energy…..

Last night we had a “before” party at the house.  We invited our friends, colleagues and mentors over so they could see the house before we gutted it.  They were able to write a dream on the walls which we will lock in with paint, put items in a time capsule that we will hide in the wall framing, and help in the design process.

Having our friends there for the kick off put me in a perfect state of mind to tackle this project.  Thanks to you all for coming out and supporting us and blessing the new house!

The kids writing their dreams on the wall!