Best of Bowling Alley Salvage

“Do you bowl?”

Shortly after moving into my new home the lady across the street, who was then 84, walked over to welcome us.  After “hello,” the very next thing out of her mouth was, “do you bowl? We need another woman in our league.” I think my jaw hit the floor.  The truth is…I CAN bowl, but I don’t make a habit of it.  What I would like to do is build something out of reclaimed bowling alley wood.  I didn’t tell her that though.

I have put together a compilation of the Best Bowling Alley Re-Builds by customers here at ReHouse.  We don’t want to brag, but they are also some of the best anywhere.  In my search for primo projects on Pinterest I discovered that most reclaimed bowling alleys become one type of finished product: the top of something.  They become the tops for desks, coffee tables, dining tables, counters, bars, and islands.  Here are some amazing creations by our very own customers (in no particular order).

Extended Kitchen Island

The Johnson-Kercsmar family chose an 8 foot section of bowling alley with inlaid arrows.  They refinished the wood with a warm stain, painted a reclaimed kitchen cabinet, and added some wood legs and framing.  Those industrial stools appear to be made to match!  And how amazing does it look with that stone fireplace and those vintage style lights (which are also available at ReHouse)?  Can I come over?rehouse

Custom Kitchen Island

Here is another kitchen island.  The Zuech family also chose a piece with inlaid arrows to add some direction to their cooking.  They refinished the top but kept the light finish, trimed the edge with metal, and went with a white base to compliment their amazing Chambers stove (ReHouse has one of those right now too).  I’d love to poke around the rest of the house!bowling alley_Zuech_2017

Dining Table for…a crowd?

This dining table is the longest project I am featuring today.   Our customer, who resides in a loft apartment in Rochester, apparently enjoys hosting large dinner parties because he has this table set for 18 guests!  He chose a 12 foot section (the longest we have).  On the near end you can see the lane’s original pin decking and a few bowling pins for some interest.  I don’t know what the base is for this table, but I can assure you it must be heavy duty to hold up this grand table.  (Sadly, I am not certain which customer created this beauty.  If it is you, please let me know so that I can give proper credit.)  How do I secure an invite to the next party?bowling-alley-table-2bowling-alley-table

Bathroom Vanity

The Church family used 2 lengths of the approach for their double-decker bathroom vanity.  The approach is the section of lane before the point where you release the ball.  This material is thinner because it does not usually need to withstand the abuse of heavy bowling balls.  The approach was also salvaged in narrower pieces, so there was no need to cut down the width of these pieces before installation.  Both levels are edged in strips of beautiful matching wood trim.  Some steel pipes for supports gives this a sophisticated industrial feel.  Do you mind if I use the facilities?bowling alley vanity

Kitchen Table & Benches

The Femecs, a local husband and wife team, designed and constructed a built-in breakfast nook including a table and benches on 2 sides.  The alley section they used for the bench seat features small circle markings on the far right.  The metal table base was custom made by Rochester company General Welding and Fabricating.  All other work on this inviting corner of the kitchen was done by the couple.  The edge of the table was left without trim to show off the many narrow strips of wood that make up the alley.  I like my eggs over hard please.BowlingLaneTableAndBenches

Have you purchased bowling alley from Rehouse?  Have you done anything with it yet? We want to see it!  Email your project pics to rehouseinfo@rehouse.com.  We LOVE to see what our customers are doing.  Don’t you have a project to start?

Photos have been provided by the customers and have been used with their permission.

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Wedding Trends Made Rent-able

Wedding season is approaching for 2017, and according to the top wedding trend sites (the knot, Bridal Guide, Glamour), couples this year are envisioning weddings styled with “vintage glamour” and situated in creative natural spaces.  Even with the popular themes of elaborate food pairings and bountiful blooms, a return to live bands, and portrait painters alongside photographers, today’s couples are also focused on going green in more ways than one.

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Current popular venues are no longer limited church basements, conference centers, or banquet halls.  While these are excellent and often economical choices where you can be sure practice has made perfect, couples are branching out[doors].  Whether actually indoors or out, more weddings are featuring natural elements.  Free flowing bouquets offer the ambiance of an English Garden.  Potted dwarf trees bring the garden indoors.  Wood and stone elements complete the enchanted forest effect.

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The ultimate example of bringing the outdoors in…the avenue of trees at the royal wedding in 2011.  – photo by Murray Sanders for dailymail.co.uk

Going green is not only a desirable decor style.  Couples today are taking on an environmental responsibility to go green as they plan their special days.  Invitations are being printed on recycled paper with soy based inks.  Flowers are being donated after the ceremony for others to enjoy.  Vintage china, silver, glassware, and linens are all being rented to eliminate waste even for casual receptions.  Couples are being more aware of the lasting impressions left by their weddings.  William and Kate may have started this trend when they went green by planting the English Field Maples that adorned Westminster after the royal wedding.

These 3 doors have been in the racks for years…should they be trashed?

At ReHouse we make decisions daily about what we let go to waste and what we are able to save for reuse.  We strive to encourage others to do the same when planning a remodel, restoration, or deconstruction of homes and buildings.  What if we could do the same for weddings?

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or should they be transformed with some paint and hinges?

We have always offered a rental option for items being used in theatrical productions or other short term events.  This option allows the renter to use the item as a prop for a predetermined period of time and then return it in like condition.  An item could be saved from the landfill when we salvage it from a house and then again when it is returned as a rental rather than purchased for a one-time use and thrown out For 50% of the retail price, if it’s in stock, you can rent it.

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What do we rent out most?  Doors.  In fact doors are so popular as wedding rentals we have decided to create some easy-up wedding backdrops and props using some of our 1000+ in stock doors.  These special event creations are available for one day rentals for the price listed.  Since we are closed on Sundays, Saturday to Monday rentals are considered “one day.”  We loved making them, and we hope that you will love using them for your next event.

PW0007Pale Green, 2 Door Backdrop – features matching solid wood oversized 6 panel doors with upper lites. Painted with durable indoor/outdoor paint in pale green.  Hardware detailing is also handpainted.  Triangle stands on each door and removable top trim support this elegant piece.  Add your own matching floral accents and tulle trim. $225

16938855_10154435757656588_2048778553315398483_nFarmhouse Chic Extra Large Arbor – built from locally salvaged barn wood horse stalls. Rear panel handcrafted to match.  Pergola style top asks to be draped with flowers, fabric, or candles that coordinate with your event’s decor. Designed and built for quick and easy assembly and tear down. $225

16904859_10154435754886588_4085692690442794175_oWhite Bridal Walk-Through Arbor – created with 2 doors slightly different in design painted fresh white to match any color scheme.  Feet on bottom and slats on top provide support for this pergola style arbor.  Perfect for a photo prop, ceremony backdrop, or to frame the bride’s entrance down the aisle, this piece places you right in the garden.  $195

Barn Wood Walls with Sliding Door (part 1)

We are always doing little projects around the store to give customers inspiration as well as an interesting shopping experience.  Our newest project has gotten so many comments that I knew I had to post more details.

This odd little corner has “needed something” since before I started here 2 years ago.  The bi-fold door is broken and does not slide.  The size and shape of the space is odd and awkward.  Customers either think that the whole corner is off limits, or they try to shop in the storage room.  In fact, this corner is so uninteresting that there are NO photos of it at all in the vast archive of ReHouse photos.  We had to do something!

 

Enter barn wood.  (find out where the barn wood came from HERE)  The decision was made to cover part of the walls with barn wood from our stock.  Don’t worry, there is still more here for your project.  Barn wood comes in many colors and textures.  Colors range from traditional “barn red” and “white wash” to varying shades of brown, grey, greyish brown, even brownish and mossy.  The texture of barn wood can be described as rustic, distressed, holey, rough, chewed on, pitted, worn, even old.  Fortunately, these are all adjectives that add to the appeal of barn wood.

 

How much wood to buy.  Begin by measuring the area of the walls you plan to cover.  In our corner we had 2 walls that would be mostly covered.  As you know, Length times Height will equal area in this case.  This is your required square footage.  Bring this number with you when purchasing your barn wood.  Always buy a little extra.  If you don’t need it for you wall you can use it elsewhere to tie things together.  Although each piece of wood will be unique, try to choose boards with a similar thickness.  This will ensure that your wall isn’t bumpy when done.  Things just don’t hang well on bumpy walls!

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Where to start. We started by trimming around the door with narrow boards.  After that was in place, we started at the top of the wall section.  There was a piece of trim on the wall there dividing the upper section from the pegboard mid section.  We butted the top piece of wood against the trim. Each board was attached through the studs with a nail gun.  Then continued to add wood in the same manner making sure each new board was still level.  There may be small gaps between boards in order to keep things straight.  As you can see below, it all works out.

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You’re done!  You didn’t know it would be that easy, did you?  How do you like it?  We love ours but decided to go a bit farther.  Here is a preview of the now white washed barn wood walls along with the proud builder.  Thanks for your hard work, David.

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This story continues in part 2 HERE.

Cast Iron Radiator Restoration

One category of salvaged items that weighs us down with questions are cast iron radiators.  Yes, we do carry them. No, we do not restore them.  Some, we are able to test and others we are not.  That being said, we salvage and re-house hundreds.  People who use them say the heat they generate is significantly better than newer methods.

 

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Our customer, Michelle, shared these photos with us of her adventures in radiator restoration.  Michelle is not a professional but a DIYer with energy and imagination and a well-stocked Project Pantry.  Her radiators were purchased at ReHouse recently, and as you can see they were partially painted in the past.  These 2 were marked down because they were non-working having been tested by a customer.  Michelle and her family took on the challenge, and here is the process through her photos.

Before: Paint and Rust

Ammonia Bath, Pressure Wash, Wire Brush

Post-Cleaning

Prime and Paint

Installed

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If you are interested in taking on a similar job, please do thorough research before starting.  Speak with someone who has working knowledge of the process, and remember that this restoration is not a one day project.  Here is a sample budget for this type of project.

Michelle’s Radiator Restoration Budget

2 non-working radiators at ReHouse, $30

replacement bushings and fittings at Debbie Supply, $50

2 cans spray paint, $16

Gallon of ammonia, $3

Castalloy and flux  to fix leaks, $80

Total  Cost:    $180

Heat in the living room: priceless!

 

Thanks Michelle.  Great job!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Snail Mail: Ancient History?

An unusual acquisition for ReHouse, 2746 antique and vintage postcards, was checked in this week filling almost 6 drawers of an equally unusual file cabinet.  Someone had obviously been an avid collector of places and stories, and perhaps there are others like him who will be interested in leafing through to find the missing piece for their own collections.  Certainly no one will be sending these artifacts through the postal service again.  Or will they?
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Do not doubt the power of personal snail mail in this day of instantly received e-mails, frequently updated Facebook pages, and gone-in-an-instant Snapchat posts when the only mail in the mailbox that actually has your name on it is a bill or a bank statement.  I don’t know about you, but even those exciting notices go to my inbox rather than my mailbox.  When was the last time you received a physical piece of mail that was not typed or mass produced?  Your birthday?  Or was that via Facebook too?
When was the last time you received or sent a card or a letter to a friend, colleague, or loved one?  Can’t remember?  That’s what I thought.  Here is your chance to spread some joy along with me, and you can choose how to participate.
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1. Inspire a Friend, Colleague, Loved One
Choose one or more postcards (I know where you can get 2746), write a quick note of inspiration, and then allow the mailman the pleasure of delivering it to someone important to you.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 postcard rate postage stamp, pen or pencil of choice.
Cost: $2.34 each
2 cards might be in a collection focused on Rochester History
2. Add to a Postcard Collection
If you know a postcard collector you can choose one or more to surprise them with to add to their special collection.  Find out about what and how they collect.  Our cards are divided by state, country, topic, etc. so you will have an easy time finding one to fit their individual collection.  Most are already in protective sleeves which collectors love, but if you plan to mail these, consider placing up to 3 in an envelope.  Many collectors of antique postcards do not like new writing on their specimens.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 first class postage stamp, 1 envelope
Cost: $2.50ish plus $2 for each additional card you include
2 cards made by local artist and ReHouse employee, Julie Wasson
3. Create a Piece of Mail Art
Get inspired by the art of Nick Bantock, artist and writer of the Griffin and Sabine book series, and create your own mail art.  Use your favorite permanent glue to adhere images, words, phrases, or photos to your original postcard.  Cover with a layer of Mod Podge or thinned Elmer’s School Glue to protect your work.  Make sure your card is still 2D and will not fall apart on its journey through the postal service.  Use a regular First Class Stamp to account for the possible extra weight of your additions.  Send your creation out into the world to inspire others.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 first class postage stamp, words and images cut from magazines or other mail, etc. glue, a pen or pencil of choice
Cost: $2.50 is the base price per card. Actual cost will vary based on your materials.  How would you even estimate the cost of magazine clippings?

Still not convinced of the versatility and usefulness of The Postcard?  Visit our new Pinterest page, “Postcards: Repurposed” or simply search “postcard” to discover these and other amazing ideas for salvaged postcards.

  • postcard covered walls
  • postcard travel journals
  • altered postcards
  • maxicards
  • postcards as story tellers
  • postcards as historical documentation
  • encouraging postcards
  • postcard garlands
  • postcard pendant lamps
  • postcard borders around doors and windows
  • postcards and summer fun
  • postcards as geography lesson
  • neat and tidy postcard displays
  • crazy chaotic postcard displays
  • postcards filed in boxes
  • postcards in window frames