Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine

Sustainable Solutions

Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn’t realize it before, but you do. You want something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired. And I’m here to help you! While new is good, and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there’s also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures... more

I am ostensibly rebuilding my deck at the moment. In reality, however, I’m remodeling my back yard. I will have a new and bigger deck, plus new paths, new fence, a patio for my containers, and more. It’s a ginormous project. And, I’m trying to use primarily salvaged materials. I like the low-impact feeling and look I get from using salvage and I love the challenge of turning salvage into a beautiful space. If you don’t know, I have purchased about 30,000 pounds of salvaged metal from... more

Being a good Oregonian, I care about the environment. I have heard of carbon credits, but they seem a little impersonal. Instead, over the years I have developed my own carbon credit program. It’s not official — it exists in my head only — but it makes me feel better about some of my bad habits. And what’s wrong with that? You have to start somewhere, right? Kerei and bamboo used to make a parquet pattern. Recycled leather floor tile. My pickle barrel floors. Here’s what I... more

Do you have a teenager who’s bugging the crap out of you? A mother-in-law or brother-in-law who visits too frequently and stays too long, keeping you out of your office (which doubles as your guest room)? Do you have a hobby (knitting? quilting? tying flies?) that was once confined to the dining room table and is now spilling onto the kitchen counters — or perhaps into even more inconvenient locations? I have a friend who keeps excess yarn in the bathtub, and I am careful not to wonder about... more

“It is not your mother’s light bulb anymore. Most of us grew up with the 60-watt light bulb in our lamps and the smaller 40-watt light bulb in the refrigerator. Seniors recall the big silver-tipped bulbs, 200 or 300 watts, that were part of the white ring fixtures in schools. Then, when I was a child I saw a new kind of light, fluorescent tubes, used in schools and work places to save energy and provide even light,” claims Kay Newell (the Light Bulb Lady), owner of Sunlan Lighting, Inc., North... more

Two friends who wanted to save some really great wood from winding up in the landfill started Viridian Wood Products. It was that simple. When my business partner, Pierce Henley, moved into his current home in Scappoose he found a pile of discarded hardwood in his new yard. On the surface it didn’t look like much, but just beneath the rough exterior he found amazing beauty, and he began to use it for all sorts of projects around the house. Viridian Jakarta Market Blend Dark Sort flooring.   Materials... more

This year is the 10th anniversary of Build It Green! The tour sparks the imagination, provides resources, and presents green remodeling ideas. Ever since the first event in 2002, approximately 1000 do-it-yourselfers, contractors, students, homeowners, and renters buy tickets every September for the tour. Build It Green! is presented each year by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. This year’s tour will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2011, from 11 am to 5 pm. Twenty-two... more

On average 25% to 50% of energy used in a home goes right out the window — literally. In most homes, windows provide the biggest openings between indoor and outdoor air, and they provide the biggest opportunity for valuable energy to escape. To assist homeowners with upgrading from old, drafty windows, the federal government is offering tax credits under a new act signed into law in late 2010. Available until December 31, 2011, the tax credit is for up to 10% of the cost, up to $500, but windows... more

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