Decorating like a Maine Airbnb

photo by Lynn Miller

Every summer we take our kids to Maine to visit my parents who spend their summers there.  They live in the quintessential Maine town with a general store, a post office, a library, and not a single traffic light.  Within 10 minutes you can see a Civil War era coastal defense fort, at least one lighthouse, and a Maine State Park beach.  My parents live on one of the small dirt driveways off the main road that are marked “Private Drive” in a house designed by my step-brother.  It is just the right size for two so we always spend our nights somewhere else.  There are cabins nearby, in the forest or on the beachfront, a great campground on a private island, and even a few well-known chain hotels in the larger town of Bath about 15 minutes north.  We have gone the way of cabins and campgrounds in prior years but this time wanted a little more home-comfort.


Emily, a co-worker at ReHouse, suggested Airbnb, a website and app that allows homeowners to rent out space to travelers.  This can range from a room with a bed to an entire home, and she has found their prices to be very reasonable.  I gave it a try and found just the right place for our family, Historic Greek Revival with a Kick, at the south end of Bath.  I knew the space would be great by the number of fantastic reviews and Alice’s Superhost status, but I was unprepared for the actual decor and atmosphere of the place.  It reminded me of all the projects that ReHouse customers dream of.  That is why I am telling you about it.  I know you will love it as much as I do.

Visitors stay in the front half of the house, and Alice’s family lives in the back half.  You enter into a long narrow room with stone floors, unique hooks to hang your hats and coats, a bench covered in animal hide, and the first signs of architectural salvage.  A small antique crystal and silver chandelier hangs from the bead-board ceiling, and I wonder if it is original, a reproduction, or whether Alice has made it from a silver candy dish and loose crystals found at a flea market.  A salvaged door header painted white tops a frameless mirror which hangs over a small table that could be made from a single kitchen cabinet with a marble counter and found furniture legs.  On this sits a simple display of glass bottles in a short wooden crate, perhaps once used for local blueberries.


An antique secretary’s desk is a perfect hiding place for outdoor essentials or to set your keys on as you walk in the door.  The interior door still has its original bell which the visitor would “Turn and Release” as instructed on the front.


The small kitchen has everything you need tucked behind a narrow island built of weathered natural barn wood.  This is reflected in the grey washed wood accent wall nearby.  This wall sports a few wood shelves held by cast iron brackets.  Below is a sturdy wood crate painted cream attached to the wall by its base.  This creates 2 more shelves to hold your coffee maker and all your coffee making essentials.  It feels beachy and transitions perfectly from the browns of the entryway to the greys of the dining room beyond.


The dining room is bright and light.  The table seats 4-5 with 2 chairs painted cream and built in benches with storage underneath.  The tops of the benches are dark stained wood which is simple but effective.  On the left wall storage is created with 4 base cabinets that match the bench bases and topped with grey washed wood.  This antique half-circle window is the feature accent with an elegant arrangement of candle holders and glass balls with the look of antique silvered mirrors sitting in a cream ceramic bowl.


How clever is this little display at the bottom of the stairs?  It is a narrow piece of weathered wood on some simple brackets.  On the shelf is an antique dresser mirror in its original harp.  I never thought of putting one of these on anything but a dresser!


At the top of the stairs there is an inviting little space with a leather loveseat and crystal table lamp.  The bead board on the walls mirrors the planks on the “barn doors” at the other end of the hall.  I started thinking about making over my own ugly sliding closet doors like this.  That shouldn’t be too hard.  Should it?  Alice also incorporated two divided lite windows, one to hide a pipe and the other as a display case for some old area newspaper clippings.  The unexpected piece that I just love here is the baby or doll cradle with a cozy blanket and small throw pillow.


Here is an example of the simple yet sophisticated lighting found throughout the house.  This ceiling is small and not overpowering.  When turned on it sparkles and sends light dancing around the room just like the one in the above photo.


One of the best parts about Alice’s house for us was that is has 3 bedrooms.  That means my kids didn’t have to share a room let alone a bed.  You can’t go anywhere and get 3 bedrooms for such a great price.  You can see photos of the whole rooms on the Airbnb site, but I want to feature some of the vignettes that we could easily make using items in the store.  One little side table has an arrangement of bottles and candles on it but check out the dresser scarf; it’s a vintage money bag from a bank.  I bet you could use one of these flour sacks for the same type of eclectic feel.


In another bedroom there is another one of Alice’s signature narrow shelves.  This one has a doll tricycle and an antique certificate from the Board of Examiners in Optometry.  Again, so simple but intriguing.  If you can’t find a certificate like this one we have one from Calvin Coolidge confirming a man to the position of Postmaster in Pittsford.


Another lovely arrangement with bead board behind it mixes the new with the old.  Tall candle holders, an accent lamp and a small cabinet create an appealing trio.  On closer inspection the cabinet it is a lot like the vintage wood medicine cabinets that we often have in the store.


How about this for wall art?  This is a piece of antique tin ceiling with its original chipping paint and rough edges.  Mounted in front is a small wrought iron display shelf holding dirty old terracotta pots.  Can you believe I just used the words chipping, rough, dirty, and old to describe such fantastic decor?


These pieces really made me think about how difficult it must be to fill space when you aren’t using personal photographs or mementos which most of us do in our own homes.  The decor we love in magazines and on vacation doesn’t usually have these things.  I wonder if it is harder to decorate with those things or without them.  What do you think?

Whatever your thoughts, you can decorate like Alice too.  Here is your shopping list for you next trip to ReHouse if you want to try her style.  These specific items are in stock as of 8.15.18, but we may have similar items at any time.  See you soon, and don’t be afraid of old and chipping for your next decorating project.



New Hampshire Farmhouse, Part 2

Welcome back to Temple, NH!  Today I would like to show you around the brickwork in the home.  This home originally had at least 3 fireplaces plus the beehive oven and other brickwork in the kitchen relating to cooking.

Here is the Amity wood stove (circa 1984) in the kitchen with the smoke directed up a chimney that might have been for an open hearth in earlier days.  The stove is available for sale at ReHouse for $295. It measures 23x30x20 and includes the original owner’s manual and a few extra pieces but no stovepipe.

kitchen wood stove
photo by Deconstruction Works

There is also a small oven door to the right which houses the beehive oven and below that a door to clean out the ashes.  You can see that the slate under the cast iron stove is relatively modern and the floor to the right of it has been patched.  This area was probably a larger/deeper hearth for the original cooking fireplace.

beehive oven1
photo by Deconstruction Works

I found some interesting information about beehive ovens on Wikipedia.  “In the thirteen colonies that later became the United States, most households had a beehive oven. The beehive oven typically took two to three hours to heat, occasionally even four hours in the winter. Breads were baked first when the beehive oven was hottest, with other baked items such as cinnamon buns, cakes, and pies. As the oven cooled, muffins and “biscuits” could be baked, along with puddings and custards. After a day’s baking there was typically sufficient heat to dry apples and other fruits, vegetables, or herbs. Pots of beans were often placed in the back of the oven to cook slowly overnight.”  The beehive oven was almost certainly an original feature of this home’s kitchen.

beehive oven2
photo by Deconstruction Works

Here you can see the beehive oven from above and the fireplace from the next room which shared the chimney.  I believe this is the fireplace in the white paneled room below.

photo by Deconstruction Works

The white mantle is available at ReHouse.  It does not include any of the other paneling that surrounds it.  It measures 60x51x7 and is priced at $110.


Here are two other fireplaces and chimneys as they are being deconstructed.  You may be asking yourself, “What did they do with all that brick?”  This brick was made differently than most brick we deal with in building today.  It should be used inside to avoid deterioration, and quite a bit of it has already been resold by Deconstruction Works for other projects around New England.

fireplace brick
photo by Deconstruction Works

Imagine all the loaves of bread and pots of broth these bricks have seen.  How many tubs of bathwater they have heated, how many guests they have warmed, how many meals they have cooked, how many loads of laundry they have boiled.  What will their lives be next?

Temple, New Hampshire Farmhouse, Part 1

demolish  de·mol·ish  (dəˈmäliSH) verb 1. to destroy (as a building) completely by knocking down or breaking to pieces.  The town has scheduled will demolish that old building with an implosion.

deconstruct  de·con·struct  (dēkənˈstrəkt)  verb  1. to identify and examine the basic elements or parts of  especially for discovering interrelationships.  2. To take apart or examine  in order to reveal the basis or composition.  3. To adapt or separate the elements of  for use in an ironic or radically new way.  The family decided to deconstruct the old home and re-purpose the land it is on.

house front
photo by Deconstruction Works, VT

She grew up in the farmhouse across the road.  It was built in 1770 by her farming ancestors when they came to Temple, NH, a town that was founded only a few years prior.  Someone in her family lived there for most of the last 230 years, but for the last several it has stood empty.  Sadly, there were no family members interested in the old beauty and no buyers either.  Instead of letting it be occupied by someone who wouldn’t care for it or letting it sit empty, she decided to have it deconstructed so that others could enjoy at least the parts they needed.

exterior deconstruction1
siding partly removed – photo by Deconstruction Works

Deconstruction Works, a contractor in West Dummerston, Vermont, took on the job.  At ReHouse we are able to remove kitchen cabinets, built-ins, flooring, trim, doors, and windows from homes locally.  At Deconstruction Works they are able to take apart an entire house, remove everything, and find customers who need each piece.

house front deconstruction
it looks good in brown – photo by Deconstruction Works

Having worked with us before they kindly let us know about the project and gave us the opportunity to claim a few pieces to bring back to Rochester.  We wanted to share with you some photos, and a bit of the house’s history to go with them.

Sally at NH
here’s Sally picking out some sashes – photo by Deconstruction Works

Temple, NH is, according to Wikipedia, “a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,366 at the 2010 census.  In 1758, Maj. Ephraim Heald and his (family), were among the first settlers. Peter Heald is generally considered to be the founder of Temple.  In 1768, it was incorporated by colonial Governor John Wentworth, who named it after his lieutenant governor, John Temple.  Temple Glassworks was founded here in 1780 by Robert Hewes of Boston.  By 1859, the town’s population was 579, when Temple had two sawmills, one gristmill, and a tannery.  As of the census of 2000, there were 1,297 people, 440 households, and 347 families residing in the town. ”

Although I do not know who the original owner of the home was, we do know that he was one of the first settlers in Temple.  As you can see from these illustrations of 3 early Temple homes, the style was very typical of the period.  These are from The History of Temple, NH by Henry Ames Blood.

entry stone
front step stone with boot scrapper – photo by Deconstruction Works

Please scrape your boots before coming inside for a tour.

Welcome to the parlor.  This room is a perfect example of the home’s interior decor.  The floors are wide spruce boards which were almost certainly cut on the property.  The woodwork is all natural in this room which is so beautiful.  Too bad wallpaper is too hard to save.  The fireplace itself is brick painted white; more on that in a bit.

deconstruction of the parlor – photos by Deconstruction Works

parlor at ReHouse

Here is our almost authentic 1770s parlor vignette.  We have the paneling, mantle, built-in, and doors at ReHouse.  They are all available for sale as of 7.16.18.  Here are the details from left to right.

  • built-in cupboard, pine, two 2-paneled doors, with wood knobs and brass toggle latches, 6 shelves total inside, 50″ wide x 86″ high x 20″ deep, item number #100953, $1425.
  • mantel and fireplace surround with upper panel, natural pine, simple detail, 71.5″wide x 85″ high, mantel is 50.75″ from floor, opening is 54″x45,” item number #101678, $535.
  • paneling to the right of fireplace, 4 panel, pine, floor to ceiling, 45″ wide x 85″ high, #101679, $125.
  • interior doors, we have several, most are natural on one side and painted on the other, 4 panel pine, about 1″ thick, all include traditional wrought iron latches, 29-30″wide x 76-78″ high, various item numbers, $75-80 each.


I hope you will come back for Part 2 next week.  We’ll leave the latch string out for you.

Salvage Job in Elmira

It is a sad day for anyone who sees a family home demolished for any reason.  At ReHouse we hope that we are able to help during this time by saving some treasured pieces of that beloved home.  Last week we went to “Grandma’s” house in Elmira NY and did just that.  I don’t know why the house is being taken down, but I do know there were memories made there.  According to Zillow, the house, on Main St, “is a single family home that contains 2,152 sq ft and was built in 1900. It contains 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.”

The home still featured the original Victorian double entry doors.  Blue on the exterior and cream on the interior the doors are constructed with 2 panels and one upper lite each (#98448).

The interior panels are flat, but the exterior panels are raised with detailed trim.  These giants measure 53.5″ wide by 101.25″ high when placed together.  The door plates, mortises, hinges, and original round doorbell are included for $875.

There was also one pocket door in the home’s interior to a bathroom closet.  This is a beautiful four panel door with gorgeous Eastlake hardware that had been painted over (#98385).


We removed the pocket door handles and mortise, stripped the paint, and put them right back where it came from giving the whole door new life.  This single door measures 29.5″ wide by 89.5″ high is available with the rollers on top for $325.  (Measurement is for door only and does not include rollers height)

Speaking of hardware, all the door knobs in the house were brown swirl porcelain… PAINTED!  Yikes!  We patiently let the Crockpot work its magic and were delighted to discover 12 sets of these after about an hour.  Each set is $20 (#98300).

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Another great hardware find was several closets worth of coat hooks.  More specifically cast iron acorn double hooks.  This is a classic antique design, and these are a nice large size at just under 4″ deep.  We did the work of stripping the paint off these for you as well.  Fill your own closet for only $9 each (#98304).


Cast iron is a hot topic at this house, and the coat hooks are just the beginning.  We were able to pull out several heating grates including a large floor cold air return, a few modern grill style wall grates, and the these decorative ones.

Top left: brown, top only, 9.75×11.5, #98325, $25

Center left: natural, top: 10×13.75, insert: 8×12, #98323, $75

Bottom left: some brown paint, top: 12×16, insert: 10×14, #98321, $85

Top right: natural, top: 12×18, insert: 10×16, #98269, #95

Bottom right: white, top: 9.5×11.75, insert: 8×9.75, #98324, $75

Here are a few close-ups for details.

Back outside the cast iron continued in the railings from the front and side porches and stairs.  These are black wrought iron with delightful cast rose accents.  The balusters alternate between straight and twisted and the ends have generous swirl handles.

We have 6 pieces altogether.  The 3 stair pieces measure 48, 60, and 72 inches long and are priced $80, $100, and $120 respectively (#98282, 98238, 98281).  Two identical straight pieces (#98280) measure 30 high and 50 long for $80 each. The largest piece (#98426), shown in the right photo below, is a straight piece with a tall end that would have gone from the porch floor to ceiling similar to a column.  It is 132″ long and the tall end is 112″ high.  This is $320.

Since we are talking about railings let’s take a look at the interior natural wood railing inside the main entrance.  We were able to remove the entire railing, newel post, and balusters.  This is a gem with an elegant design and hairpin turn, not to mention the UNPAINTED wood finish. The railing measures in at 365″ long and includes 59 balusters.  The newel post is 43″ high.  The complete set is priced at $625 (#98277).


Next, join me in the kitchen where we were able to remove a small set of vintage metal cabinets, a cast iron sink, and a built in wood pantry.  The cabinets are a classic vintage style and color with original chrome handles.  The sink base has 4 doors and 2 drawers for versatile storage.  The other 3 cabinets (the one not shown is the same as the bottom one) are all uppers, the smallest of wise could fit over an appliance.


The sink is included in the price.  It is cast iron with a porcelain finish that is in pretty good shape.  The faucets, handles, and sprayer are all included and had been used recently.  The double drainboard means you can have lots of dishes drying at the same time or you can use that counter space for something else.  The whole set (#98428) is priced together for only $425.  What a deal!  Main piece including sink: 54w x 39.5h x 25d.  Smaller cabinet: 18x18x13.5. Larger cabinets: 18x30x13.5.


The built in pantry cabinet is original to the home and has traditional bead-board doors and Eastlake hardware.  It comes apart in 2 sections which makes it easier to move and reinstall.  The upper section has only 2 very tall doors concealing 6 storage shelves.  Are you picturing rows and rows of jams and pickles?  This section measures 41w x 78h x 15d.  The lower section has 2 drawers and 2 doors.  The base is 34h, a great counter height.  The “counter” measures 41.75×20.75 which gives it a slight overhang.

The finish one the pantry was in bad shape, as you can see in the close-up, so we decided to give the piece a face lift.  We used Valspar Furniture Paint in Tea Light for the whole exterior except the “counter” which we sanded down and stained.  I know you want to see it done, but it is still drying.  Check our Instagram feed next week for the reveal.   think you’re going to love it!  Until then enjoy the slide show we’ve posted there of some other smalls we picked up at the salvage job that are available in the store now.



Local 2017 Reuse Contest Results

Every year ReHouse partners with The Reuse People to bring you The National Reuse Contest.  There are 2 categories, Furniture/Art and Remodeling/Construction, and the goal of each project should be to showcase reused materials.  ReHouse staff has voted and we are awarding 1st and 2nd place in the Furniture/Art category and 1st place in the Remodeling/Construction category (we did not receive enough entries to vote for 2nd). The 2017 local portion of the contest has concluded, and we are delighted to share with you our 3 winners who live in 3 different states!


First Place

The Rattlesnake Zephyr by Jonathan Postal, Memphis, Tennessee

art Jonathan Postal

This is a Postal Delta Zephyr, a handmade guitar that began its life as a Maple board in Tennessee.  Jonathan incorporated reused materials throughout.  The control plate is made from a brass vintage Skyscraper door plate (from ReHouse).  The Jack Input is fabricated from the back plate of a drawer pull as is the Truss Rod Cover, which has been covered in Rattlesnake skin.  The Switch Plate is a vintage US coin reproduction.  The Pick Guard and Neck Plate are hand made from brass door kick plates that were salvaged from the old Memphis Central Train Station.  The sides of the instrument are covered in the skin of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Second Place

A Dining Table with Family Ties by Sarah Shank, Washington, DC

furniture Sarah Shank1

Sarah Shank is one of many ReHouse customers who have given new life to bowling alley reclaimed from The Polish Heritage Society in Rochester, NY.  She said, “When I saw this bowling alley from the Polish American Club available, I couldn’t resist. As a child, my grandma was an active member of the PAC and we spent many nights there at spaghetti dinners. My grandparents were both bowlers and so it’s been a huge part of my family.

“We bought an 8 ft piece of lane, hauled it back to DC (where I now live) and began deciding how to turn it into my dining room table. The piece was so heavy that we had to have folks help us lift it into the house.  We worked with a friend who does some metal work to help with the welding. I found the legs at a yard sale – we believe they are from a machine shop in WV.”



First Place

Kitchen and Bath Remodel by the Zuech Family, Rochester, New York

The Zuech household in Franklinville, NY underwent a kitchen and bath remodel this year.  Repurposed materials for the project included an antique dresser, a section vintage bowling alley, a 1952 Chambers stove, light fixtures from an old car garage, an antique claw foot tub, and dozens of vintage hankies.


A huge thank you and congratulations go out to all entrants and winners.  We are immensely impressed with all the customer projects we receive.  Get ready to send in your 2018 entries starting in just a few months.

A Philly Story: The Cathedral

In keeping with the theme of church related items from Philly, I want to feature some from the another area congregation.  Like private homes and commercial buildings, houses of worship occasionally take on updates and restoration.  The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception had in the basement a collection of no longer used items from the church, social rooms, rectories and class rooms.

image source:

The Cathedral is located in the Northern Liberties district in Philadelphia and was erected in 1966. This building replaced the old Cathedral Church at that time.  Inside and out the Cathedral is gorgeous but as the website says, “the completion of the interior embellishments is an ongoing process which will continue over the years.”

Some changes are choices and some are not.  It is common practice for Catholic Churches to have displays of small candles for the faithful to use as part of a devotional prayer.  More and more, these real candles are no longer used in churches for insurance purposes and are being replaced with electric or battery powered prayer candles. The Cathedral is one of those places that has decided to switch, and now these beautiful displays are available in our store.

The large gold displays have 102 small holders in the center and 20 large holders on the sides and across the top.  In the center of the top is an electrified light socket under the cap and cross.  They measure 65″ wide and 21 1/2″ deep and have small casters.  We have 2 of these.  They do not include glass votive inserts or candles.

The one smaller iron display has 40 small holders and 5 large ones across the back.  The base is twisted and scrolled wrought iron.  There is a slot for donations on the front.  The total dimensions for this smaller one are 28.25″wide by 44″high and 15.5″deep.

I hear you, you aren’t a Church, so what the heck would you do with a piece like this.  No worries.  We have some ideas…wine rack. cups with craft supplies. bird feeder.  Or how about this one?  Take the top section off.  Put the candle holder in your unused or faux fireplace and partially fill it with candles.  Now it looks like you have a blazing fire.  You can use the base as an aquarium stand, plant stand, or garden art.  Can you imaging dozens of tiny herbs growing in them?

Let’s see what else we have acquired from the cathedral.  A few short pews that are 54″ long, shown below. The back is 32″ high, the seat is 17″ off the floor in the front. Several have kneelers attached but they can be removed. Stained and varnished oak.  They are a nice size for a front entry or mud room where people are taking shoes on and off.


Holy water “urn” with a stainless steel upper canister marked HOLY WATER on the top handle and an aluminum legged base. It stands 45″ high and could have many reuse options (with no disrespect intended to its original use).  Exceptionally clean and unmarred.  Lemonade?

Next up: front row pew.  Paneled section in varnished oak with capped ends, kneeler, Bible holder on back side.  Front side is also beautiful paneled wood, no seats.  8′ 1″ long by 38″ tall at end cap.

The Cathedral housed a school for many years so we now have several chairs that have an arm with a tablet table, all right handed. Some seats have numbers stenciled on the back, and the traditional school desk carvings.  Wood is varnished and frames are sturdy metal.

This is interesting…a 49″ tall octagon cupola or dome. Brilliant and metallic colors, beautifully painted, tiered with an onion top that may have been the base for a cross(?).  It is quite a stunning piece.


Assorted tall metal candle holders originally used in the main sanctuary.  Very sturdy.  Could be spray painted a new more inspiring color.  Would make great bird bath stands.


This is a special find.  A bell/gong from the church.  This was used during special services and events.  Made of bronze it has a sacred sounding tone when rapped with the wooden mallet.


We would like to take the opportunity to that the community at the Cathedral for their dedication to reuse by offering these materials to Restore of Philadelphia.  Let’s give them new life!

A Philly Story: Narberth Church

In March of this year, Restore of Philadelphia salvaged this vacant church which had been the oldest house of worship in that borough until the new owner decided to replace it with apartments.  ReHouse has now acquired some of the unique architectural details that formerly called this church home.  Here is the story.
image source: Google Street View
The Baptist Church of the Evangel, was the oldest house of worship in the Philadelphia borough of Narberth.  Building for the church began in 1891 and was completed the next year.  This is the original structure.
Image source: S. F. Hotchkin, Rural Pennsylvania in the Vicinity of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, George W. Jacobs & Co., 1897), p. 55; collection of the Lower Merion Historical Society
The church building was enlarged in 1924 to its final size.  An article from the Our Town paper of Narberth, PA on January 28, 1928 offers the following view of the beautiful grey stone building.  You can read the entire 34th anniversary article HERE.
In an effort to save as much history as possible, Restore of Philadelphia was able to salvage what they could before the building came down.  Their original blog post is still available HERE.
IMG_2169 (1)
image source: Restore of Philadelphia
They removed the “enormous pair of doors that entered the congregation room.  Each door is 33″ wide and with the pair together in the frame, the overall width is 6′ and the height is 93″.  Each door is 3 full inches thick with massive hinges.  The jamb frame was buried in the floor about 5 or 6 inches to stabilize the pair.  Gorgeous, massive, impressive, functional, endless possibilities.  Trim for the door stopped at wainscoting on the other side and was inside the tile on this face side.  All parts that can make it work again are here and ready to reinstall.”  $3880.


Other doors from the church include some interesting sizes and hardware.  These 6 panel saloon style doors are from bathroom stalls.  They measure 33″ wide and only 66.5″ high.  They include decorative handles, side stoppers, and swinging hinges.  We received 3 of the 4 that were removed.

33w x 66.5h. #91844. $245each.

Next we have some 5 panel doors in the same dark finish solid pine.  The church originally had 26 of these doors throughout and in varying conditions.  We have at least 4 with the natural wood finish as shown and several that have been painted on one or both sides.  One has 2 hearts cut out near the top.  I wonder what room that went to. These do not include hardware.  Lastly, there are a few with ventilation panels on the bottom half.

29.75w or 36w x 84h. #various. $95-120


Q & A with ReHouse Recovery

Customer: How do you get all this stuff?

ReHouse: One way is that we go get it! Our Acquisitions Manager is tasked with making and taking daily calls regarding salvage jobs for ReHouse Recovery.


Customer: How does he know which ones will result in something store-worthy?

ReHouse:  Before taking on any job we request photos and details about it.  For a large job that cannot be adequately represented in just a few photos, the Acquisitions Manager will go out to the location for a preview.  He will take notes and additional photos of items he feels we can save. We work with our customers to clearly determine what is available as part of each salvage job.


Customer: How do you narrow it down from there?

ReHouse: As with any business there are factors that go into choosing jobs.  How far away is it? How many employees will be needed? Can we take the van or will it require the larger but less fuel efficient truck? How much effort will it take to remove the items? How long will the removal take?  What is the condition of the items?  Is there anything unique or hard to find?  Do customers want the resulting merchandise?  Using a special formula created by the Finance Dept. we can conclude which jobs to pursue.


Customer: Once you get there how do you know what to bring back?

ReHouse: We have lists upon lists of items we typically look for.  Our primary focus is reusable architectural items such as doors, trim, woodwork, windows, corbels, columns, etc.  We also have an ever growing customer wish list which includes everything from a vague description of something someone’s grandmother used to have to stained-glass, gothic-arched window with specific colors, design, and measurements.  Once in a while we will find something so unusual or strange or ugly we just have to bring it back to the store and see what happens.

Customer: Do you only salvage houses?

ReHouse: No.  We salvage many types of buildings and for different reasons.  Sometimes we go to single or multi-family homes that are being renovated or torn down.  These often have hardwood flooring, gumwood trim, built-in cabinets, leaded glass, wood framed windows, fireplace mantels, hardware, and other architectural details.  Sometimes we go to a restaurant or hotel that is being updated or closed. Here we find multiples of items people often ask for such as mirrors, large frames, chairs, tables, and light fixtures.  Each type of location has its own special findings, its own focus, but the mission remains the same… “ReHouse strives to better the environment by reusing antique, vintage, and modern building materials that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.”



Customer: What have you salvaged lately?

ReHouse:  Our most recent job was in Spencerport where a customer of ours is planning to take down his century old horse barn.  Here, we were given the ok to remove whatever we needed, and our focus was barn wood which is currently very popular in home décor trends.  We also brought back main exterior barn doors, stall doors, and lots of hardware.


Customer: Isn’t it dangerous?

ReHouse: Life is dangerous.  Salvaging is no more or less so.  The employees that go out on our salvage jobs have been well trained in all aspects of safety when doing such work.  Locations are checked before any work starts to make them aware of any possible dangers.  They are encouraged to work safely and may even call off a job if it presents an uncomfortably risky situation for anyone.


Customer: How long does it take?

ReHouse: Sometimes it is easy to know how long a job will take.  If we go to a house that only has kitchen cabinets we can usually estimate 1-2 hours for removal and loading.  In the case of the barn it was hard to know.  We scheduled 2 days of recovery in which we were able to remove all stall doors, main doors, hardware and other wooden items that were not “tied down.”  At the end of 2 days we reevaluated, talked to the owner, and are now able to return for one more day in order to cut out as much barn wood as possible.


Customer: What did you end up with from the barn?

ReHouse: Enjoy these photos of the salvaged goodies that will soon be available for purchase.

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