The Woodka Remodel: Week One

After months of planning and meetings, the final design for the Woodka renovation project is complete, and it's time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

As we follow the Woodka houses' transformation into a state-of-the-art green home, we will visit the home weekly to see what has been completed; what's been removed, what's staying, and what is new. Along the way, as new products and materials are installed, we'll take a look at them individually to see why they were chosen and how they'll help the overall home achieve a high level of efficiency and sustainability.

Week One: Deconstruction Begins!

Things are getting off to a quick start. Before any renovating can begin, quite a bit of work needs to be done to get the home ready. Due to the significant number of changes being made to the home, a lot of material has to be pulled down and removed. Old siding, walls, flooring, appliances, insulation…..it's all got to go.

During traditional remodeling projects, most or all of these old materials end up getting thrown out; this building waste accounts for a large amount of the total waste filling landfills. The Woodka renovation teams' goal from the very start was to make the renovation process as green as possible at every stage, and that includes the takedown of the old materials.

Reuse of Materials

Keeping such a large amount of materials out of landfills is not a small task. The decision was made to make as much of the old building material as possible available for reuse and recycling.

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity chapter was called into duty to assist with the deconstructing of the home; anything salvageable would be removed with care and given a new life in a Habitat Home. This decision benefits the homeowners, who don't have to pay to send reusable materials to the landfill as well as the owners of a new Habitat home, who get access to these perfectly reusable items.

Week One: Community Volunteers

During the beginning of deconstruction in week one, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, as well as Habitat volunteers from a couple local corporations, descended on the Woodka to pull down and reclaim reusable items.

Among the items that were able to be given new life in Habitat homes were all decking materials (including railings and posts), the kitchen cabinets and countertops, all doors and windows, the beautiful cedar siding, the heating and cooling system, a hot tub, and over 1300 square feet of flooring material that has already been sold at the local Habitat Restore retail outlet.

Through the generous time and work of the Habitat volunteers, a tremendous amount of material was salvaged for reuse. The reuse of older building materials has a much lower carbon footprint than producing all-new materials, and through the Habitat for Humanity program, offer new homeowners the chance to have a home of their very own at a greatly reduced price (financially and environmentally).

As layers of siding and wall and floor coverings are removed during week one, the Woodkas' past begins to emerge. Old siding is exposed, as are interior wall and flooring materials. It becomes evident very quickly that the efficiency standards and products of the past, even as recently as the 1980s, pale in comparison to what is available today.

Week One Wrap-Up

As week one of the Woodka renovation draws to a close, a lot has been accomplished by the Habitat volunteers' hard work. Tons (literally, tons) of material has been stripped from the home to be given new life elsewhere. The beautiful Woodka home now appears as if it had been hit by a hurricane, but anticipation begins to build as the renovation project is now officially underway.

Looking forward to week two, the deconstruction phase continues as even more materials are removed for reuse and recycling. Week two will also begin to uncover some rather serious efficiency shortcomings of this existing home, and the toll that three decades have taken on its infrastructure.

The work to tear apart the old Woodka home continues into week two.....follow along by clicking HERE.

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