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Wasting no wreckage

by: Submitted Photo, As opposed to having the wreckage from her home end up in a landfill, Kate Warton decided to work with the Deconstruction Service to tear down their home and salvage the materials. She and her husband John paid $8,000 for more than three fourths of the home materials to be saved and resold to families at the Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages.

The idea of having the wreckage of their old home end up in a landfill was quite unappealing to Kate Warton of Lake Oswego.

So she and her husband John decided to do the sustainable thing. They hired the Deconstruction Service to handle the job of tearing down the home, then saving as much of it as possible.

'They took care of everything, asbestos testing, permits,' Warton said. 'They were wonderful.

'With our house they took it down bit by bit and recycled and reused everything. With our house it went all the way down to the cement slab.'

The bottom line was that 85 percent of the house was able to be saved for further use.

Shane Endicott, executive director of the Deconstruction Service, was happy to do the right - and smart - thing.

'An awareness has been raised about this,' Endicott said. 'It makes a lot of sense to choose deconstruction over demolition.

'So often people have told me, 'I wish I had known about this before I did my project.' Then there are people like Kate.'

Warton proved to be a perfect candidate to go the route of deconstruction.

'As a landscape designer, my impetus is to be sensitive to our environment,' she said. 'I'm in a green industry and I'm been on the edge of this trend since moving to Oregon. Also, I grew up in the home of the original recyclers, good Midwest farm folks.'

This being the case, Kate and her husband John wanted to do something different when they bought a piece of property on Sixth Street. They desired to tear down the old house and build a new one.

'We wanted to build a cottage on it,' Warton said. 'We love Lake Oswego and we love the First Addition. I wanted to have a little more space than I had and I wanted to have a garden.'

With a little research, Warton found that Deconstruction Service was the best in its line of work.

'Deconstruction Service was honest about everything and so excited about doing the job. It was like we were doing them a favor.'

The Wartons got a lot of encouragement about their project from Windermere's Bill Futrell, their real estate broker.

'I thought it was a great idea,' Futrell said. 'I told Kate and John how to go about it. Their concept from the very start was they wanted to save as much as possible, even though it took a little more time and was a little more expensive.

'I hope more people in the First Addition do this in the future.'

The deconstruction was a fascinating process, which Warton watched with great interest.

'I went by every day and even took pictures,' she said. 'All the nails were stacked up. The insulation was rolled up so it can be re-sold. They took off the asbestos tile. It was very impressive. There is not a shoddy bone in their whole organization.'

Everything taken out will now be resold to families at the Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages at 3625 N. Mississippi Ave. in Portland. That will include toilets, sinks, furnace, water heater, smoke detector, and even light bulbs.

'Everything will be sold cheap for new homes,' Warton said. 'We'll be doing a lot of families a favor. And we'll get a tax benefit, which is nice.'

The Wartons paid $8,000 for the service, which is a little more than they would have paid for a regular demolition job. But people who go for deconstruction do not always have to pay more.

'It depends on the scope of the work,' said Endicott, who founded the company 10 years ago. 'It depends on how the house is put together and where it's located. In some cases we've been the lowest bidder, like Goose Hollow and the Multnomah Athletic Club.

'We do 200 projects a year. A good number of them are in Lake Oswego and several have been in West Linn.'

Endicott believes that business will only increase in the future.

'The environmental benefit is huge, and there's the cost benefit (from tax deduction),' he said. 'The social benefits come from so much being made available for re-use.'

For more information about Deconstruction Services go to the website www.rebuildingcenter.org .