Home Project Resources

Most buyers I encounter are planning on making at least a few changes or upgrades to their new homes, and often they want to do the work themselves. Below are links to a few resources I have found helpful when working on my own renovation projects.

Greenhaven Consulting provides sustainability consulting to homeowners who are looking to improve the health, longevity, efficiency, value and beauty of their homes. They can teach you about green and sustainable products which may already be in use in your home and help you decide where it's worth making eco-friendly upgrades.

The Rebuilding Center can be a great place to find used and reclaimed building materials for your home. They are a non-profit organization - think of it like a thrift store for building materials. They now have a furniture department where they build furniture from reclaimed materials. If you are doing a lot of remodeling, you may be able to take some of your used building materials here instead of the dump.

Rejuvenation is another good resource for reclaimed building materials. A for-profit company, you may find the store better organized and easier to find your way around than the Rebuilding Center, but typically more expensive.

Ecohaus (formerly Environmental Building Supplies) might be the best place in town for learning about and purchasing cutting-edge, green building materials.

If you are thinking about contracting to have work done on your house, it's always a good idea to find a licensed contractor. Check with the CCB for more information about hiring contractors or to check a contractors license status.

Most home improvement projects require permits from the City of Portland. From their site, you may be able to determine whether you need a permit and what requirements will apply to your project. I have found that sometimes it's easiest to go to their office at 1900 SW 4th Ave and sit down with their staff to talk through a project. It's free and an easy way to be sure you are in compliance with current laws.

Random, Fun & Sustainable Resources

The Redirect Guide is a free local publication that encourages people to support environmentally and socially responsible businesses in the Portland Metro area. It's like the yellow pages, only green. By qualifying every business listed, providing educational resources and including community organizations and events, they are creating a directory of resources people can feel good about supporting. Pick one up at your local coffeeshop or market and if they've already left the shelves, let them know that you want to see more there. And remember the fake ad does exist... keep looking!

Environmental Paper & Print is a great printshop where I've found that all my business printing needs can be met in an environmentally sustainable manner. From 100% post consumer, chlorine free paper to soy based ink, they can help you get your work done while helping you leave a smaller, less toxic footprint.

The Green Microgym is quickly setting the worldwide benchmark for green gyms. By using their own solar panels as well as generating electricity with the exersize machines they have taken the idea of a low-impact workout to a whole new level.

PDXstump has a unique interface to help you find whatever you're looking for around town. It's what Google local or Citysearch wishes they were.

The Portland Triathlon aims to be the greenest race in the country, and they can even teach you how safe it can be to swim in the Willamette.

Whenever I can, I like to ride my bike to get around town. Bycycle.org is a really neat resource for mapping out your bikeroute around town. It's like google maps for your bike ride.

An old friend and artist (who designed the engagement/wedding ring I gave to my wife) has an online display of his work. An entrance into the slightly bizarre but almost always entertaining petermiller.info has a lot of random films and projects. A decent place to waste some time seeing some very clever ideas.


Hopkins Home Inspection | matt@hopkinsinspections.com | 503.869.5292