We are fortunate to be able to follow Justin Larson, founder of JCL Architecture Inc., and his wife Sandra as they undertake a very eco-friendly home renovation and expansion project here in Old Town Fort Collins. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be doing a series of posts as we track their progress updating this 100-year-old home. We hope you’ll follow along.
Sandra and Justin are sustainability-minded folks, so there will be lots of green building elements to their project. One of the most unique is the extensive use of reclaimed building materials, which they have sourced from careful deconstruction of existing walls in their own home, from salvaged construction materials specialists in the region like Uncle Benny’s and The Lumber Guy, from mis-ordered materials at various construction sites, and yes, even from Craig’s List (actually, quite a bit of their reclaimed building supplies were found via Craig’s List). You can get an initial sense for the scope of their project and the use of salvaged materials in the video below.
Using reclaimed building materials to this extent requires a great deal of energy, creativity and commitment. Being an architect doesn’t hurt either. Perhaps Sandra sums it up best in commenting about the time and effort she put into removing nails from deconstructed studs, verses the alternative of throwing them away and purchasing new pieces for $2 each…
It’s not about the $2 per piece. What saving the pieces does is let us know that the original roots of the house remain the “bones” of our renovation. I think it’s extraordinary to realize that “sticks” from 1906 will help our house for another 100 years…
Plus, I am a methodical task junkie. Justin knows me all too well, and he’s wise to put me on the not-so-skilled part of the labor that nonetheless requires “doing and drive”. Put my hands to work on repetitive, pretty simple stuff, and it lets my mind wander to how it will all look when it’s finished, or, the project quandary I haven’t been able to solve in my office at work.
So yes, we recover far more than $2 a board!
While most of us don’t have Justin’s expertise, certainly we can take a que from these two to engage more deeply in our own green home projects. They are bound to be even greener if we do.