Using technology for materials sourcing

You all know we’re reusing a lot of the material we’re taking down right now. It’s all being stacked into the new part of the building, ready to be used later. But we are going to have to bring in some other materials into the building too, preferably used, and some I’m sure will be new. I know we all curse technology from time to time, but in cases like this, it can be a wonderful thing.


Case in point: We were looking for LVL (laminated veneer lumber), above, for the framing of our new roof, and through Craigslist found a source right here in Michigan (in Casco, to be exact). Not only is it local, but it is used, and so will cost us only 30% of the price of brand new lumber.

We also needed pretty large quantities of polyiso insulation for the roof and wall systems, and a Google search turned up once-used polyiso in Chicago and Maryland for under 50% of the price we would have had to pay for new.

And here’s an interesting one: Have you ever wondered what happens to all of that board that covers U of M’s football field during graduation ceremonies? Does it keep you up at night?  Here’s the payoff for reading this blog (and a great trivia piece for party settings): It goes to Manchester, MI. Another Craigslist search found the 300 sheets of 3/4 ” oriented strand board (which is just wood chips and glue) that we needed in Manchester. The owner said that it is a combination of gently used and new, and the gently used stuff is from, you all know by now, U of M graduation events. Apparently it is used for about 3 events, then sold. So if you enter the Green Garage and somehow feel like singing ‘Hail to the Victors,’ you’ll know why. Oh, and the cost will once again be less than 50% of new.

Finally, let me include pictures of a couple of things that have surfaced in the deconstruction. The first is an advertisement that dates back to the 1920’s and the second is a radiator cover from an Ames Automobile (Ames was here in 1920). Really cool.



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