The R.E.X. Project

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A gift from Meg

I was fortunate and blessed to receive a true random act of kindness. Sitting on our chair on the front porch was an envelope addressed to me but was hand delivered. (There was no postage on it)

After reading the letter I stood there in silence. My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude and tears were in my eyes. A stranger by the name of Meg shared a wonderful family story. This is what it said.

Dear Shannon,

My family and I have followed your REXperiment project on your web column in the Oregonian.
We're impressed and inspired by your commitment to reusing, recycling, and upcycling.
We just wanted to share with you our Christmas tree reuse/recycling experiment.
As you know - we had wild winter weather before Christmas.
Our family had not gotten our Christmas tree yet and we really had been debating on what to do this year. We didn't quite feel right about chopping down our tree from a tree farm and we unanimously vetoed and artificial tree.
Then on December 22 our tree came to us in the way of a huge bough from our cedar tree falling in our yard, just missing the house and power lines.
My daughter came up with the idea of putting the branches in our kindling pot (a 2ft tall metal canister pot).
Once the lights and ornaments were hung we all delighted in our "Charlie Brown" tree.
It has started a new tradition for our family. Each December our 45ft tall cedar could use a little trimming away of a few of its branches.
Thanks for helping us to open our eyes to seeing how we can always reuse and recycle.
Happy New Year
Meg M. and Family,

She enclosed a photo of her daughter next the tree.

Meg, you inspire me!!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your family tradition. Your daughter's clever way to save a tree will spread for generations to come. I wish you and yours the very very best!

Shannon Quimby

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Loft Bathroom

We have really enjoyed our loft bathroom. The air jet Toto Tub from Standard Supply Company (call Tina, she's the best!) is big and roomy. But the best part is, its' quiet when the bubbles are on! We used original window and door trim to face the front of the tub to give it some character. That also saved us about $75.00 by using our own materials

The vanity was hand built by Dennis Durhkoop. The under shelf is also original wood from the old house. My son Chase and I bashed it up with chains, rocks and dirt and splashed some paint and stain on top of it.

Both the deck and countertop are recycled concrete and glass. We got it at Ecohaus, and the product is called Trinity. Make sure when it's installed that the under edges are smooth. Ours were very rough and the installer had to come back and sand it down.

The sconces and vanity handles, (old door knobs) are a great find at Old Portland Architectural and Hardware

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Use What You Have

Trying to figure out how to use all the little things of the deconstructed house into the REX Project was one of my favorite aspects of the job. At this stage there was no one telling me it can't be done because of code or anyone saying it's going to look weird.

My husband Glenn is amazing when it comes to letting me experiment with different ways of design and decorating. Case in point, we used all the original electrical insulators as drawer pulls throughout the house. Depending on one's taste and budget, the savings could easily have been over a thousand dollars. He loved the look and I love the durability.

Our wine and beer bottle chandelier has been a big hit. Published in The Oregonian more than once and will be featured in French Glamour magazine in December 2008. Most of the bottles were found in the laurel Hedge on the property. I did ask our neighbor for some extra beer bottles to complete the light fixture. Jerry Shirley with Full House Electric was very patient in installing each fixture and my buddy Harold Keever was the mastermind in figuring out how to mount the bi-fold door on the ceiling to cover all the cans. The cost was under $300.00 for the fixtures. We have them on a dimmer switch and they are the talk of the room.

More mini REX materials checked off and incorporated in the new house.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

The REX Project is now a home

Less than a year ago we wondered if we could build a house without a dumpster. Well the answer is yes! We deconstructed a house and built a house without a drop box. Our total waste was two and a half pick up trucks. One load was our plaster. Even though you can reuse plaster, ours contained lead paint and we were unable to separate it. The other one and a half load surprised me. Most of it was the non-recyclable food containers that the subcontractors brought on sight. Lesson learned. Next time, I will insist that crews bring there thermos, and paper bag it. By using our own materials we currently have saved over $40,000.00 Not soo shabby for the first time.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Savings in landscaping

The crew at ProGrass and Christine Ellis and Carolyn Gregg with Gregg and Ellis Landscape Design helped me save money by incorporating some of my old foundation chunks and broken sidewalk into my new patio and a garden bench. If I would have had to buy new stone I was told it would cost close to $400.00! That's a chunk of change! The REX Project continues to save. If you choose not to save your concrete while you are remodeling or in new construction you can put it on Craigs list for free at or take it to your nearest concrete recycling center. Some even take it for free.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Working at the REX Project

PROGRASS Gregg and Ellis Landscape Design worked very hard incorporating our original materials into the landscaping of the REX Project. Christine Ellis built pathways from our old brick and the crew of PROGRASS used our broken sidewalk and leftover foundation for our patio. That saved us close to $400.00 in having to buy new materail, and transportation of material.

Standard Supply Company. You have got to ask for Tina! our tub, and faucets all came from them. It's a one stop shopping. No crowds, you receive one on one attention and Tina is always one step ahead of you. Prices were good too. That's me getting at the tub!!

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Crews Behind the Scenes

Once a home is complete you only see the exterior and interior beauty of it. But there are so many on site that are behind the scenes, or should I say behind the walls that contribute to the success of great building.

NW FOAM HOME were our spray foam insulation company that we chose. I mentioned earlier that they used Demilec Spray. Well, they were an incredible group of people to work with. They accidentally got some foam on the garage door and before I noticed it, they told me about it, cleaned it up and all was good. That is a strong sense of character. They were professional, believed in their work, communication was awesom and we love the results.

KEMPER DRYWALL of course was our drywall company we went with. I would make a call and boom within hours or a day they were on site and completed whatever needed to be done. There was even a major repair that needed to be done and they fixed it at no charge. Ask for Dan or Kemper and trust me, you can't go wrong.

PREVENT TECH NW, they sprayed to prevent mold and mildew to our wood framing before the sheetrock went up. Less then one day, actually just hours and they had completely covered the whole house. Emery is the fella you want to chat with. Less mold and Mildew is always a win-win in my book.

WOOD CRAFTERS and MOULDINGS AND MILLWORK, Carl and Bryce from Wood Crafters and Nate Freese from Mouldings and Millwork are 100% on the button with any question you might have. Their suggestions save money. And the green materials they recommend are top notch.

If you are remodeling or new construction, go with these companies. You will NOT have builder nightmares.

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