Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 25, 2013

Savvy homeowners turn to used materials to spark up their abodes

TRAVERSE CITY — The solid maple doors in Del and Diane Knapp’s Traverse City home look like they’ve always been there. Truth is, they were a lucky find on a treasure hunt of sorts.

The Knapps bought their decades-old house three years ago, and decided to renovate it based both on their lifestyle and with the idea of maintaining its historic integrity.

They removed walls to open the living area, reused what was in the house, and hunted for used building materials to create a unique and inviting living space.

“When we put the house back together we wanted to find pieces that were from the same time period of our home,” said Diane Knapp, who suspects their home was built in the 1920s or ‘30s.

The search took them to area resale stores chock full of used building materials and supplies — from used sinks and light fixtures to hinges and hardwood floors.

One place they frequented: Odom Reusable Building Materials, a full-service salvage, deconstruction and retail building materials operation. Odom’s takes materials from commercial and institutional jobs and resells them.

Odom’s 9th Annual Used Materials Home Tour, set for April 7, will showcase creative and innovative ways that reusable materials have been incorporated in area five homes, including the Knapps’.

Del, who is a contractor with Blue Chip Builders, also reused a brick chimney in the basement.

“It’s that old brick that you see downtown Traverse City and he sliced it and created an accent wall in the kitchen,” said Diane.

The couple transformed an old dresser into a unique bathroom vanity cabinet and the living room is anchored with a mantle they found at Odom.

Del also transformed old tin ceiling tiles and vintage doorknobs into a coat rack that hangs in the entry. A vintage claw foot tub from Odom is a bathroom centerpiece.

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