New house stands tall on old timbers, at REX Project home

‘House Recycling’ Progress Report: It’s true! See how Shannon Quimby’s new home is being built out of lumber out of the boards that were reclaimed, not discarded …

Shannon Quimby vows to reuse everything from the house that once stood on the lot – even the lumber – in her new home in Westmoreland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On the site of Shannon Quimby’s new Westmoreland on SE Rex Street, there’s lumber, nails, and the sound of workmen hammering, as they frame this new two-story home.

But in the place of massive construction dumpsters, there are just two huge, steel storage containers. “This is the first house in the nation to be built without a dumpster on-site,” says Quimby, the nation’s leading renewal expert and star of HG TV “Q-Renew” shows.

As we walk through the now-mostly-framed house, Quimby reminds us, “We deconstructed the dilapidated old house that stood here. We saved every board, every nail – even the toilet and the kitchen sink – everything. We’re determined to reuse everything from the old house in our new home. That’s why we call it our REX project – Reuse Everything eXperiment!”

Daniel Barone and Daniel Sanchez from Green Building Construction take a brief break from framing, to point out the old and new lumber being used in Shannon Quimby’s REX Project house.

Old lumber mixed with new
On the second floor, Quimby points out some of the older 2 x 4’s used in the construction. She explains that the crew carefully selects old, seasoned wood that best fits the wall they’re framing, to minimize waste.

“The great thing about my framing crew,” notes Quimby, “is that they took the time to plane down the old boards to match the dimensions of the new ones. The new lumber for sale now is actually 2″ x 3.75”.

On the tour
The house, at the corner of S.E. 21st Avenue and S.E. Rex Street, will be featured as part of the Portland Home Builder’s Association’s “Ultimate Open House Tour” this month, Quimby reveals. “Although the house won’t be finished, we’re an ‘educational stop’ on the tour. We want to encourage builders and remodelers to reuse and recycle building materials, instead of sending them to our overflowing landfills.”

For more information about Quimby’s REX Project, CLICK HERE.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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