Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses

Overview

The country's two leading expert advocates for salvaging parts of unwanted houses rather than demolishing them explain the "green" art of unbuilding (or deconstruction) and take the reader on a fascinating tour of the process. This is the first and only book that addresses this growing trend.Contains fascinating details on construction techniques for houses both ancient and of more contemporary vintage and methods used to determine their value or salvagability. Covers a variety of projects, from simply ...

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Overview

The country's two leading expert advocates for salvaging parts of unwanted houses rather than demolishing them explain the "green" art of unbuilding (or deconstruction) and take the reader on a fascinating tour of the process. This is the first and only book that addresses this growing trend.Contains fascinating details on construction techniques for houses both ancient and of more contemporary vintage and methods used to determine their value or salvagability. Covers a variety of projects, from simply dismantling a wall to completely unbuilding an entire house safely, while saving the reusable parts and pieces for another building or for another purpose - including sales. It is satisfying, fun and economical to reuse old building materials both for their original purpose or for decorative purposes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Salvaging architectural materials from old houses and commercial buildings has been a thriving business for years, but Falk and Guy are among the first to explain the process for the average homeowner and catalog the various tools of the trade. Numerous color photographs detail how houses are salvaged, painstakingly, to preserve all reusable materials, including hardware, woodwork, flooring, tiles, bathtubs, doors and windows.This is a book designed for people who want to tackle such a project themselves or supervise someone they have hired for the job. There are schematics, numerous safety tips, including warnings about now-banned toxins that may linger in very old housing materials, and suggestions for storage and rehabilitating treasures that have been damaged. —"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
Much of America's architectural heritage is ending up in landfills. Bob Falk and Brad Guy want to change that. The book is a guide to unbuilding, ' or deconstruction, the process of dismantling buildings that otherwise would be razed. The purpose is to save reusable elements such as building materials, fixtures and architectural details. Falk and Guy say deconstruction preserves the past, reduces costs, benefits the environment and has the potential to create jobs in urban areas, where they're needed most."Unbuilding"covers the many aspects of deconstruction, including site preparation, safety issues, tools, techniques and resale ideas. Interviews with successful salvagers are included, along with resources for those interested in deconstruction. "—Akron Beacon Journal"
"Unbuilding" explores the value of salvaged materials and describes the green art of "unbuilding" a home. Written bytwo salvage experts, the book explains how to safely dismantle a wall or an entire house, and examines the quality of such salvaged materials as hardwood flooring, windows, doors, mantles and period lighting. Sidebars and pullouts throughout the book provide helpful tips, such as how to remove flooring, cast-iron fixtures or vinyl siding. "—Smart Homeowner"
Patience can reward the diligent worker and help the planet as well, according to Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses (Taunton, $30, hardcover). Authors Bob Falk and Brad Guy fill a niche with their guide to deconstructing homes for salvage. It's a trend that has seen much use in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and its economic benefits can equal environmental ones for those willing to work.Falk and Guy make no bones about the work required, and Unbuilding is not for those unfamiliar with a hammer. Permits and code issues are glossed over, but the book supplies good strategy for laying out a deconstruction site. Readers will learn how to deal with lead-based paints and asbestos safely, and how to assess the value of interior fixtures. Ambitious and imaginative home wreckers will find a wealth of general tips and resources for taking down homes and finding hidden treasures. "—Orlando Sentinel"
"Unbuilding, Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses" (Taunton Press, $30) is all about the joys - and value - of deconstruction, mining old buildings for their treasures. Aimed at DIY-ers, professional builders, architects or homeowners interested in using reclaimed materials, the book by Bob Falk and Brad Guy deals with everything from dismantling a wall to unbuildingan entire house and supports the premise that deconstruction today is as fast and affordable as conventional demolition. And more importantly, much of the hardware, period lighting, doors and mantels is unmatched by today's building products. "—The Cincinnati Enquirer"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561588251
  • Publisher: Taunton Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/20/2007
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Director of Operations of the HamerCenter of the Penn State School of Architecture and LandscapeArchitecture. He was previously Associate Director of the Powell Center for Construction and Environment at theUniversityof Florida

is supervisory research engineer at the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, involved in the evaluation of engineering properties of reclaimed timber. He has a PhD in civil engineering from Washington State University. Falk is a ground-breaking researcher in the recycling and reuse of building materials and has published articles in a variety of engineering and forest products journals as well as in Fine Homebuilding magazine. He is a participant in numerous organizations including:

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    Detailed how-to with lots of photos

    It was informative and specific on every detail of recovering materials from old homes. Loved all the photos - very user friendly.

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