Reuse Projects

Many of our customers turn our materials into wonderful creations, and you’d be surprised at the variety of such projects! We’re always looking for photos and stories of reusage projects that use our materials, and we exhort you to send us documentation of your best projects!

Alisha Butler’s Refurbished Table
Josh and Grace Decker’s Handrail
Lauren Varney’s House
Anita Doyle’s House
Ian Austin’s House
Attached Greenhouse
Greenhouse and Garden Tool Closet
End Table
Dining Table
Chicken Coop

Alisha’s table after.

Alisha Butler’s Refurbished Table – Sweet Project of the Month Winner for May 2013!

Alisha combined a table with a lot of potential with some nice slabs of Bad Goat Good Wood from Home ReSource. Here’s what she had to say about it:

Alisha’s table before.

“We dismantled the metal drawer and laminate table top from this old 70’s era desk and left the metal legs and frame exactly as they were.  After priming /painting the legs and metal frame with a flat blackspray paint to freshen them up, we laid the table top (2.5 inch thick raw edge wood slabs) on the floor, turned the metal frame and legs upside down, centered the frame on the wood slabs, and then “gorilla” glued and screwed the table frame to the wood slabs using the holes that were already in the frame. To make the table top usable but keep the natural look of the slab, we left the outside edge of the slab as it came and using an orbital palm sander,  sanded the surface of the slab with 60 and then 120 grit sand paper. So the worm holes could still be seen, then added a dark stain to the table before finishing the sanding process with 220 grit paper. The top was finished with teak oil, hand applied with a cotton rag. This project took about 5 hours and cost approximately $115 to complete.”

Josh and Grace Decker’s Handrail – Sweet Project of the Month winner for April 2013!

With a burgeoning collection of antique hand tools rusted beyond their functionality, Josh Decker started wondering what to do with them. Many of the tools were antiques that were far too unique to throw in the recycling bin, and some of them he inherited from his father and carried them with him to Montana all the way from Massachusetts. And then it hit him: to weld them all together into a handrail.

Grace recalls, “He said, ‘Honey, I’m gonna turn these into a handrail!,’ and I was imagining something with tools dangling by strings!” Time passed as the vision was further formulated in Josh’s mind’s eye, more tools were collected, and finally the time came to assemble the piece. Josh enlisted the help of two friends who were quite handy at metalworking, Jim Willett and Dave ‘Fig’ Hutchins, and together they helped Josh prep the materials and weld them all together.

“I can’t thank Jim and Fig enough,” Josh says, “mostly because… they’re professional welders who have a shop and a whole lot of expensive equipment that I certainly don’t have!” When the piece was finally finished, it was estimated to weigh 300 lbs, and they could only move it about 15 feet at a time when two of them lifted it. Josh decided to surprise Grace for her birthday, so he kept the final stages of the project secret and installed the handrail when Grace was at work.

“I couldn’t believe it when I walked in!” Grace says, “I had no idea that this was what he was building! I was so surprised, so surprised. It’s just amazing. I still can’t believe it!”

It’s so cool, and even though many of the tools came from Home ReSource, we can hardly believe it either.




Lauren Varney’s House – Sweet Project of the Month winner for March 2012!

LV houseA sustainabilty model, this unique and beautifully upgraded home made the Homeword Sustainable Home Tour twice! Located at 1221 Kemp, many of the building materials have been from recycled, reclaimed, salvaged and sustainably harvested materials from barns, Heritage Timber and Home Resouce. The HardyBoard siding has a 50 year warranty; rusty corrugated metal siding from Champion Mill site; extra insulation cut the power bills significantly; extended eaves increase the life of the doors, windows and paint; roof is a 100 year metal product; LV ENTRYkitchen cabinets newly installed with 3/4″ fir door and drawer faces and the counter tops are concrete; Driveway is urbanite; fence is salvaged wood and gate tensioners are copper lightning rods from old barns; new windows throughout; Waterwise garden; Functional, detached, shop/studio with natural gas heat. The list goes on and on. This home is incredible and totally efficient and aesthetically brilliant.

LV inside
Anita Doyle’s House – Sweet Project of the Month winner for February 2012!

Even in the winter, Anita Doyle’s home and surrounding property breathes promise.anita's

She fell in love with the land and the location, with its established orchard and potential for so much more. But the house, a 1930’s cabin, was just old. But the good bones led her to purchase the property in January of 2012. By May, she had moved into a small adjacent cottage, and began deconstruction of the main cabin in June. anita bones

From the start, Anita was heavily invested in making the property a permaculture project, and that began with the renovations to the house. “I was very conscious of the fact that something like 60% of landfill waste is useable building materials, “ she said. That statistic drove her not only to carefully deconstruct the cabin’s interior and donate the supplies she didn’t reuse, but she also shopped frequently and victoriously at Home ReSource. “I literally haunted that place every week to find the pieces I wanted,” she laughs.

The project moved quickly under the oversight of local builder Christopher Chitti, with deconstruction beginning in June and Anita moving in to the home in October of the same year. The result: a lighter, brighter version of the cabin that retains some of the original rustic features but brings a modern refinement to the space.

Bowling lanes repurposed as countertops are one of the first, most eye-catching features countertopas you enter. Anita also scored some really spectacular finds, such as the nearly-new deep kitchen sink and an outstanding pedestal sink in the master bath. She also managed to coordinate interior doors of differing styles, by finishing them similarly. But the project that most embodies what you can do with seemingly mismatched supplies is the shower on the main floor. Using very basic tiles in cream and white (often in copious supply at Home ReSource) Anita pulled together a shower that is both random and coordinated.  The repetition of tile size creates a cohesive enough feel that the lack of pattern works. Custom accent tiles from local woodcut artist Claire Emery complete the project.

anita doorIn addition to using as much as she could find from Home ReSource, Anita specified FSC certification for any new wood, No-VOC paints and woods finished with linseed oil—if at all.

“Part of the permaculture effort was to start with the house. I used Home ReSource to keep construction waste out of the landfill—and of course, to help keep costs down.” She had a plan for what she wanted and went into Home ReSource at least once a week to find what she needed.

Going forward, Anita plans to convert the rest of the property to permaculture, with the help of a husband and wife team who are tenants in the cottage next door. Her plans include turning the orchard of apple, cherry and walnut trees, into a food forest, as well as organic gardening and food production.

Ian Austin’s House – Sweet Project of the Month winner for January 2012!

austin frontWhen Ian Austin set out to remodel his newly-purchased house on Plymouth Street, he had no idea what was hiding behind the walls.

No walls at all.

No studs. No framework. Just a mish-mash of barn siding and wood, with updates and add-ons one over the other.

barn siding

“I literally have no idea how it was even standing,” he says.

He and his wife, Lisa, had purchased the property after Ian, a builder, had done a remodel austin south windowelsewhere in the neighborhood. “We opened up the second floor on that house and that’s when I realized how great the sightlines were at that height, in this area,” he says. “When this property came available, we were excited to do the same thing.”

Tearing down the house and starting over would have imposed modern building codes on the property, and significantly changed the footprint of the house. So Ian set about rebuilding the house from the inside out—basically reframing a 2×6 structure within the vintage ovenexisting skin of the house. The only thing they kept was the vintage oven and some of the barn wood from the exterior (reused as interior paneling).

That posed a serious problem for their anticipated $30,000 remodel budget. In addition, Lisa is very chemically sensitive, so all materials used in the project had to be extremely low in toxicity. That removed most standard building materials and practices from the realm of possibility.

rear bedroom entryFortunately, Ian had been a long-time Home ReSource customer. “I have a real love of embodied structure,” he says. “We have such a consumerist culture that just doesn’t think about how to reuse something—even something as simple as changing the direction of a door to make it work.”

Ian knows the secret to shopping for reused and salvaged building materials: shop early, and shop often. “I just consider Home ReSource my first stop,” he says. “If you only shop there once in a while, you’ll lose out on the good stuff, because guys like me are there every week, seeing what’s new. There are plenty of times where I’ve been in the parking lot when someone is unloading a donation, and I’m saying ‘I want THAT!” Ian did land some pretty significant scores, thanks to timely deconstruction projects. suspended staircaseHuge salvaged beams were sanded down by hand to create the suspended staircase. arched ceilingA good chunk of lumber Home ReSource supplied raw wood for the dramatic sloped and curved ceiling in the  upstairs master suite.

The project took nearly 2 years to complete, but the result is beautiful, simple, unique and sustainable. At less than 1200 square feet, the home boasts 2 bedrooms, a comfortable open living space, and an airy spaciousness that belies its size. It is a great example of how mismatched parts can come together to create a feeling of unified design. Ian feels everything in a house doesn’t have to match perfectly or be brand-new to be beautiful.  “I’m OK with the not-perfect,” he says.ian kitchen

While he’s still decompressing from the job and doesn’t have exact totals, Ian estimates he spent about $15,000 in materials from Home ReSource. Finding those same materials would have cost him at least 3 times that amount. The economy of Home ReSource, he says, comes from shopping often. “Good deals come from experience,” he says, “not from being in the right place at the right time.”
Clark Fork Organics Attached Greenhouse


From David Schmetterling and Marilyn Marler:


Garden Tool Closet

Schmetterling Greenhouse Interior








David Schmetterling and Marilyn Marler build wonderful structures for the facilitation of gardens. In additon to being avid DIY gurus, David is a wildlife biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Marilyn is the Chair of the Missoula City Council!  Check out David’s blog, Montana Wildlife Gardener. Thanks!


From Todd M. Seib:

Todd Seib End Table 1

End Table, From Todd:

“After spending half an afternoon fussing with a dull-bladed tenon cutter and a hatchet to put tenons on my abundant supply of weathered and oversized reclaimed fenceposts, I swallowed a big gulp of brew and then my pride and decided to start on another project. I had a piece of rough-cut 3×3 laying around and a bunch of small 1x from various projects. Some of them were leftover pieces from a gate I built with Home Resource blued pine, and some came from weathered barn wood that didn’t make it into picture frames. I like to build furniture that you could burn in a crunch if you had to – little to no hardware and a non-toxic finish. This one is wood-stove worthy. The joints are all mortise and tenons that were easily made with a brace and bit and multiple passes on a table saw respectively, cleaned up with a chisel, and then pegged. The top is “butcher block” style made up of fir, pine, and some cedar. After gluing up all the little sticks I had some edges to contend with so I hand planed the top until it was flat enough. The edges were softened with a hand rasp and rubbed down with 220 grit. It was finished with a combo of Montola safflower oil and local beeswax.”

Todd Seib Table 1

Dining Table, From Todd:

“The pile of dirty fir in the corner of the basement had been staring at me for a while. We exchanged knowing glances, I would give it a new life someday, but until then I could ignore it and hope I would have to nourish it temporarily. The stare of my wife at dinner, only a few inches away on our couch in the house-of-no-table, was harder to ignore. I planed the wood with a planer I borrowed from MUD and it erased years of mold and dirt and brought out the straight lines of the old growth heartwood that had remained masked. I hand planed the edges and glued up the pieces until I had a top wide enough to call a table. The rails were rough-cut 2×4 bought at a different time from Home Resource. I don’t know what they were for originally but they were with a stack of 3×12 rough fir and were tapered on the ends. I tenoned the rails and mortised the legs and glued, clamped, and pegged the joints. A hand rasp worked over all the edges and it was finished with Montola safflower oil and beeswax from the Sweet Bear Apiary in Victor (they actually don’t sell their wax so I had to buy one of their candles). We have a place to eat now, and my honey says it smells like honey.”

Todd Seib Chicken Coop 2

Chicken Coop, From Todd:

“Our chickens had graduated from the horse water trough, into a hay stall, and were ready for a designated home of their own to protect them from the local raccoons and fox that were starting to get curious. I set out to achieve the goal articulated by John Seymour that “a homesteader should try to make his coup from nothing”, but didn’t quite succeed. This was built with traditional stud framing. I built the base big enough so that each bird would have at least 4 sq ft. of floor space (32sqft, 6 birds = 5.3 sqft/bird). The frame in contact with the ground was Trex, as was the interior section that sits below the roosts. The roosts were made of Trex also. The idea was to achieve rot-resistance without any of chromium, copper, arsenic and other preservatives that, when used in treated lumber, would potentially end up in the chickens and their lovely shelled orbs. I built the roof with some plywood off-cuts and tar paper and tin roofing. The outside is faced with off-cuts of barn wood. The chickens are cold hardy but have a harder time regulating temperature in the heat so I decided to simply allow the small end to face South and let the low end of the shed-style roof face the prevailing winds. Some Trex was purchased new, but I went through the local Boyce instead of the nameless/shamless Big Box. The roofing was from a friends’ garage that he was happy to see go. The plywood was given to me free out of Loken Builder’s cache, some barnwood, 2×2 trex, 2×4 studs, and door hinges were from Home Resource. I had to buy sheet metal screws with the gaskets for water-proof attachment of the tin. The whole house was finished inside and out with EcoSeal. The chicks dig it.


From Erin Hurst:

Erin Hurst Yak 1Erin Hurst Yak 2Erin Hurst yak 3
This little kayak was my winter project last year. I’d never built a boat before, but thought I’d give it a go and maybe end up with something that would at least float and maybe supply some fun this summer. I checked out a few books, did some research online, and ended up creating my own design based on a mix of other ones I liked. The goal was to end up with a kayak that was short (I had to be able to get it OUT of my basement apartment after it was built!), nimble, that still tracked resonably well. The final result ended up blowing away even my highest expectations.
Erin Hurst Yak 4The boat is a skin-on-frame design, meaning it’s a wooden frame with a nylon skin that was sewn on and coated in urethane. I spent many hours perusing Home Resource for just the right pieces of wood. I ended up using a combination of those pieces, scraps scavenged from junk heaps, and green willow shoots. The challenge of using only basic hand tools (many also from Home Resource) and mostly second-hand materials was as fun as the building process itself.
Erin Hurst kayak 5The kayak was a blast to build and is even more fun to paddle. It weighs just 16 pounds, so it’s a breeze to transport and is effortless to propel through the water. Plus, it fits me like a glove since I was able to design it to my own dimensions. It’s a hundred time more enjoyable than paddling a plastic mass-production boat… and it adds a wonderful sense of pride to my adventures on the water.  I would highly recommend a project like this to anyone looking for a fun and rewarding way to spend their spare time.


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