I am re-pioneering an old art, one of turning salvage from one home into the makings of the next. Like the last, I expect it to last for a century or more. It has been done through out history by all civilizations that have been conquered in war or suffered other tragedies, like earthquakes, floods, tornados, and fires. In America historically, our resources were so vast and abundant that we forgot the value of the miraculous natural world we destroyed. Now there are only a few more 1,000-year-old forests to cut down. It was once done for the timber alone, leaving the land behind, stripped naked and forsaken for the taxes owed as the lumber barons moved on down the road. I don’t believe trees were grown for centuries to be used one time and thrown into the dump to rot. Unfortunately, most cities and towns adopt National Building Code which requires that new construction use new wood to build new houses. Today that means wood from trees that are speed grown for 20-30 years then harvested from vast hybrid uni-species corporate forests. That is just one example of a world gone wild with excess and corporate designed government rules that prevent viable solutions from being put into place. With the hare work of a few people, the rules can change as has been seen with in Houston, Texas. It is one of the biggest cities to change course and let salvage wood be used to create new housing without unrealistic re-certification expectations.
I don’t understand why we would throw away perfectly good doors and windows, let alone the hardware on them that was crafted by men who intended for it to be used by their great grandchildren. American craftsmanship was once dominated by Artisans and apprenticed craftsman who believed that what they made effectively bore their name. They were creating products they could be proud of when finished. We should not waste all that human energy long spent during the last two hundred years. Worse yet, we should not replace it with inferior foreign made oil based products designed to break within a short period of time or use. Why buy into “built in obsolescence”?
Most pointedly, ALL NEW PRODUCTS require fuels to create the energy it takes to extract the resources, refine them, ship them to the manufacturers who turn them into products, then ship them to market. That energy they need will be fueled by nuclear, oil, gas, or coal based resources. Salvage building reverses the equation and adds life to the planet by eliminating the need to expend all of those resources, energy, and man hours that are spent creating new products.