You May See This Bungalow in Bungalow Heaven

You May See This Bungalow in Bungalow Heaven

A few odds and ends have caught my eye over the past week, and I thought I would combine them all into one blog post, and clean house so to speak. Most of the items relate to blog posts I have recently done and are still fresh in my mind.

Tough Times For Going Green

I wrote a blog post on my own struggles with going green during an old house restoration, and trying to maintain a budget at the same time. We know builders and contractors are hurting, but I think we sometimes forget about all of the businesses that are dependent on the construction industry. The Wall Street Journal recently had an article on Sustainable Northwest Wood, a lumber yard in Portland, Oregon that specializes in selling green lumber. Everything they sell is FSC certified, and many of the small lumber mills in the surrounding area are dependent on the orders that Sustainable Northwest Wood places. Unfortunately with the downturn, the lumber yard has lost a lot of business, and their continued operation is in question. If you live near Portland and you need green lumber, give them a visit.

I was on Matt Grocoff’s Greenovation.TV site recently, and there is a great video on a product called Urban Wood. The partnership involved takes dead or damaged trees, and rather than putting them into a wood chipper, or using them for firewood, they make furniture and other products out of them. The trees all come from urban areas around Ann Arbor, Michigan, and while it isn’t the same type of reclaimed wood my blog post was about, it’s the same principle and a really great idea. Check out Urban Wood.

Old House Fairs

Spring really is the time for old house fairs; it seems like I am seeing another one advertised every week. For all of those who enjoyed my blog post on bungalows, there is an old house fair spotlighting bungalows in Pasadena, California on April 25. The fair is held annually in Bungalow Heaven, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a neighborhood of over 800 homes built between 1900-1930 .

Jumping to the other side of the country, there is an old house fair in Warwick, Rhode Island on May 15, and there is supposed to be old house restoration experts on hand to answer questions about houses built between 1700 and 1940. That pretty much covers just about any old house in this country.

Back to the West Coast, there is the old house fair in San Diego on June 19 that I mentioned several weeks ago, and what looks to be a large old house fair in Portland, Oregon on June 27. The fair in Portland is being put on by the Architectural Heritage Center, and looks to have some very good lectures scheduled. Actually, if you attend this old house fair you can double up, and go by Sustainable Northwest Wood to pick up some green lumber.


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  1. 8 Responses  to “Old House Spring Cleaning”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    I heard a lot about on that Sustainable Northwest Wood they had a great product. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this article because it was very resourceful.
  3. Jeremy
    Aug 29, 2011
    I agree with Jason..the term green is being overused and losing its meaning. Energy efficient is still informative but kind of long to say. The moment a company comes along with a better, catchy way that describes 'environmentally friendly' and markets it correctly will have quite the annual report. :)
  4. Aug 29, 2011
    House histories like this are worth recording and sharing. I thought you would be interested in a new website we have just launched: www.historyofhomes.net While just in its infancy, the goal is to invite members to record the history of homes that are special to them, ultimately creating a concise history of houses around the world. I invite you to add your historic homes.
  5. Aug 29, 2011
    Jason you are absolutely correct. The term "green" has definitely become a part of our everyday vocabulary, and while I completely support the use of environmentally friendly products, and am glad it has been imprinted in out minds, in certain applications it can be confusing. There is "green" wood which we should use, and green wood which should be allowed to season first.
  6. Jason
    Aug 29, 2011
    I think it is time to move beyond the term "green" and use more appropriate language that fits the bill. (ie, sustainably harvested, locally produced, etc.) I have always thought the term green was to ambiguous and at times confusing...I am reminded of that when you suggest we buy some green wood (Don't you know green wood shrinks, twists and warps? ;)
  7. Aug 29, 2011
    Hi Ryan, I'm glad to hear that things aren't as dire as the Wall Street Journal article seemed to convey. It sounds like you are doing some great things there, not only with the green wood, but with the local mills. Sorry about the confusion with the name, I had it written down correctly, but reversed it when typing. I imagine there is some confusion in Portland as well, with two companies with such similar names.
  8. Aug 29, 2011
    Incidentally, There is another company in Portland "Northwest Sustainable Building Materials" that does not focus on local or FSC wood. The company mentioned in the WSJ article is Sustainable Northwest Wood which exclusivley carries both. the blog above refers to it as Northwest Sustainable Wood which could create some confusion.
  9. Aug 29, 2011
    I am the president of Sustainable Northwest Wood mentioned in the article. We appreciate your support. Contrary to the statements in the Wall Street Journal Article. Sales and customer base have increased over the last 12 months. This is largely a result of our green position in the market. While we are not yet where we need to be things are moving up for us while the overall trend in the industry has been down.