Minimizing Waste in Demoltion

3 min read Any remodeling project is inherently more or less wasteful. “Out with the old and in with the new” means that something is being tossed and new resources are being consumed. Here are the steps I took to keep limit the landfill content produced by my basement demolition.

From an ethical standpoint, I think remodeling is better than building new and even remodeling should always be justified by improving utility and energy efficiency to offset that waste.  From a design point of view, the new work should be not only more aesthetically pleasing but more multi-functional – future proofed as much as possible.

I apply these ideas to all the design work I do, and I’ve been trying to use the same principles during my physical remodeling here. Continue reading “Minimizing Waste in Demoltion”

Basement: the Midwestern Ranch House’s Secret Weapon

3 min read A basement is the secret weapon of the midwestern ranch house.

(This is one clear advantage we have over all those cool, glassy California Pinterest ranches.

Upper midwestern basements secretly expand square footage, storage and differentiation of spaces all without bulking up the house to the street or eating up the building site.

Sure, basements CAN be your extraneous junk space.  They CAN be your quick and dirty work out or project space.  But they they COULD be the inner sanctum – the most private and cosy spot in the house, insulated from temperature, sound and other people’s view.   The secret of an effective basement is not to treat it like part of your home, not a second class space. Continue reading “Basement: the Midwestern Ranch House’s Secret Weapon”

Progress: Basement Demolition and Discoveries

4 min read After a long winter of being distracted by design work and other projects, I got back to the fun of tearing apart the house again a few weeks ago.

[Actually I began some exploratory demolition by pulling down a few ceiling tiles at the end of January, only to be delayed by a the sudden memory that the building inspector hadn’t NOT said that the ugly acoustic tile ceiling could contain asbestos.  I decided to play it safe and took a sample over to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene for testing to confirm that it was safe.  Thirty eight bucks and three weeks later I got the all clear and was ready to head back down the basement stairs.] Continue reading “Progress: Basement Demolition and Discoveries”