Casa Verde: Deconstructing a House

DId you know that 20 million tons of material is dumped from the demolition of 245,000 houses in the U.S. alone each year? And that up to 85 percent of the average house can be recycled or reused?


A recent article in the New York Times showcased Washington resident Alison Keller's "deconstruction" of her home. Instead of bulldozing her 1,300-square-foot house, she hired a contractor who was willing to dismantle the home and then rebuild it using the same materials.

If you're planning on looking for some house materials for your renovation or rebuild, check to see if there's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your area. There are also other reuse stores across the U.S. and Canada, most run by nonprofit organizations. The stores sell everything from salvaged cherry hardwood floors to clawfoot bathtubs for 50 to 75 percent off what similar products would cost if purchased new.

Check back later this week for photos of my brother's house, which he built almost completely with reused materials.

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