Sensible Solutions for Abandoned Homes
By Ted Reiff

This week I began teaching a TRP 14-day class for would-be deconstruction workers in Freeport, Illinois, a small town (population 25,000) just west of Rockford and adjacent to the picturesque Pecatonica River. Like many towns in the U.S., Freeport has a sizable backlog of abandoned houses slated for demolition. The trainees spend three days in the classroom and the remainder deconstructing one of those houses. It's ideal on-the-job training.

By Ted Reiff
Since so much of our activity is focused on deconstruction and the salvage and distribution of used building materials, it follows that I have a special interest in how people put used materials to work. I'm always on the lookout for unusually innovative, functional or aesthetic projects.

By Ted Reiff

Several years ago I wrote a newsletter article entitled, "An Owner's Guide to Donating Used Building Materials," which briefly discussed the importance of choosing the right donee, a trained deconstruction contractor, and an IRS-qualified appraiser.

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Ted Reiff

I love history, and over the years have aquired a pretty thorough command of it. So, it's gratifying to know that I'm helping to preserve history by salvaging building materials and, as a consultant, promoting adaptive reuse and historical preservation.

The ReUse People Specials Distribution is the universal solution to many, if not most, of the world's commodity shortages and market demands.

How's that for another broad sweep from a broad-brush kind of guy?

By Ted Reiff

The 2015 National Reuse Contest closed at the end of November, judging was completed in December, and it is my great pleasure to announce the winners, chosen after due discourse by a panel of independent judges, from dozens of worthy entries.

So without further preliminaries (drum roll please)…

The ReUse People SpecialsMany salvage organizations, especially nonprofit ones, justify providing cost-free deconstruction services in the belief that selling the recovered materials will more than cover expenses.

In last month’s Velvet Crowbar, I attempted to demonstrate that professional organizations operating legally (employees on the payroll, licensed and insured) will accrue frequently overlooked costs that must be met at some point in time.

The ReUse People Specials

I am amazed at the number of contractors and salvage organizations that think they can perform deconstruction at no cost to the client, by covering expenses through the sale of the salvaged materials.

Attention all artists, furniture makers, DIY remodelers and builders of greenhouses, tool sheds, chickens coops, container houses and other habitats, whole or partial! We have reached the homestretch of the 2015 National Reuse Contest. To compete in this year's contest, entries must be received at local participating stores by midnight Saturday, October 31.

It all started one day last January when my wife phoned me at TRP’s Los Angeles store. Wendy had been on a popular Los Angeles blog and learned that readers were up in arms about the demolition of the beloved author Ray Bradbury’s home. She wanted to know if it was one of our jobs. It was.

Thus began a creative journey that in August came full circle.

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