Blog Cabin 2013: Upcycling the Home’s Original Components

Old building materials will be fashioned into furnishings, decorative accents and more.

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A curious visitor might notice two giant containers at the Blog Cabin 2013 job site. But it’s unlikely that he or she would guess what’s inside.

These truck-sized lock boxes contain not the contractor’s tools nor the homeowner’s temporarily stored belongings, but what some might consider garbage: centuries-old beams, planks, beadboard strips, doorknobs, hinges and glass doors.

“Instead of just doing the standard demo, where everything gets ripped out as quickly as possible, dropped in a dumpster and carted to the landfill, we took our time, carefully preserving and setting aside anything that looked interesting,” explains project contractor Ryan Crosser of Andrew Roby Construction.


Reclaimed Building Materials

The team hopes to reuse as many reclaimed materials as possible during the renovation of the waterfront cottage. A set of old bricks, salvaged from a demolished chimney, have already been installed in the new foundation.

Some items, like doors and hardware, will be installed and reused for their originally intended purposes. Other carefully preserved items will be transformed into furnishings or incorporated into the home’s interior design features, a process known as upcycling. “Showcasing materials highlights their uniqueness more than leaving them encapsulated in the wall does,” says project manager Dylan Eastman. “In the end, not only have we created a house to withstand the forces of nature and 130-mile-per-hour winds, but we have also told a story about its history through the creative re-fashioning of its historic elements.”

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