House made of all recycled materials unveiled in SE Portland



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:23 PM

Recycled house

A new home at the corner of SE 20th Ave. and Rex St. in Portland isn't as new as you might think.

Bricks in the edging, unique cabinet knobs, and wine bottles hanging as light fixtures all date from well into the last century.

"I think I'm at the count of 150 different ways we reused materials throughout the house, everything from foundation to framing to landscaping to interior. It's been an amazing, an amazing experiment," said Shannon Quimby.

Last November she and her husband discovered the home they bought had problems. It would have to be knocked down.

But Quimby had a very unique idea.

"Since we have to take it down lets save the doors, save the windows, save the floor. I kept saying save save save, and then finally I just thought - why can't we save the whole house," said Quimby.

So the REX project -- Reuse Everything eXperiment -- was born.

After meticulously deconstructing that old home, contractors used nearly every piece of it in the new home that stands today.

"It's nice just to show the market that this can be done," said Stephen Aiguier, one of the contractors that helped recycle so much.

And when contractors did need to buy new materials for the larger, newer home, they made sure those materials were "green."

"When you're bringing healthier materials into your home, you're creating a healthier environment and a healthier lifestyle for yourself," said Sadie Carney, another contractor working on this project.

Now that her new home is nearly complete, Shannon Quimby is reflecting.

She hopes others will follow her lead.

"I want people to stop and think before they haul it off to the trash. How can I reuse this, how can I incorporate this into my house?"

And Quimby told me that by recycling her old house, she and her husband saved thousands of dollars in the construction of their new home.