This summer Jami and Kourosh Poumad completed a 4,300-square-foot home restoration using as many recycled materials as they could. They wrote and complimented the staff of the ReBuilding Center for helping them select the following, all of which were used in the remodel.
Corian kitchen counter and sink
24 exterior windows
3 entry doors
11 interior door knobs
4 bathroom showers, sinks and hardware
9 Cast iron radiators
21 indoor light fixtures
All deck straps
20 bags of insulation
Jami and Kourosh kindly responded to questions we had that explained in detail their experience and reasons for using recycled materials from the ReBuilding Center:
Is this the first time you have used recycled items in your home?
This is not the first time. Whenever we have a repair or change at home the ReBuilding Center/recycled materials are our first choice.
For items that had to be “built-in," like the kitchen cabinets and countertops, the 24 exterior windows, and the stair railing, did you have any problem getting them to fit? Or did you have to modify them in some way?
Yes. The windows all had to be re–framed and one of the kitchen cabinets was converted to a sink module since the "set" didn’t include it. We also installed a kick plate at the base. The Corian counter was too long and had to be cut at one end. The stair railing had to be re-drilled and the old holes had to be filled in with wood putty, then re-stained. (The metal rails were new, not recycled)
Why do you use recycled materials?
Lower cost and we like to bring products and materials “back to life.”
Have you used sources other than the ReBuilding Center to obtain/purchase items?
Yes—Habitat for Humanity in Portland, Cedar Hills and Forest Grove; Goodwill; and Craigslist.
Do you have a philosophy that supports your use of recycled building materials?
Considering a great deal of effort and expertise goes into manufacturing a walnut door or a leaded glass window, it’s a shame to send a craftperson’s work to a landfill. We find that often a recycled item is just as good as or better than new [materials] and is less expensive. Those savings are passed onto our family and employees, it puts a whole new spin on recycling!
What other things have you purchased from the ReBuilding Center?
1 heavy duty outdoor door and 1 French door for our business
We re-purposed an alabaster hanging bell lamp to a soft table lamp
We installed 3 – 6’x1’ windows in our daylight studio
Insulation for the studio
16 cast iron radiators for our home
Roofing material for our home
A double stove for our home
Of all your purchases of recycled items, which do you like the most?
We like the windows used on the front deck in place of iron balusters. It saved us a lot of money in place of using many balusters. And it gives the home a charming artistic flair without being over the top.