Saving the house

Though on the surface I've been going about my life and work inthe usual way since my husband and I bought a 1912 bungalow lastyear, all the while a section of my mind has been occupied with aticker tape of home improvement concerns: Roman shades or curtains?Pedestal sink or cabinet? Where can I get a Craftsman chandelier?Where can I get a Craftsman chandelier?

So when a coworker told me about the Peninsula's Whole HouseBuilding Supply salvage company, I investigated right away. Theseven-year-old group capitalizes on this crazy teardown real estatemarket by sponsoring demolition sales, selling off a house'scontents such as cabinets, tilework, lights, and beams over a48-hour period. You buy it, then you remove it ― right downto the thermostat, the doorknobs, and the toothbrush holders. Takeall the plants you can dig up for $5.

It's a keep-it-out-of-the-landfill philosophy that's a boon tohomeowners looking to upgrade with historic details or just findwell-priced appliances. Half of the group's income goes to EastPalo Alto-based nonprofits. That'll be something to feel good aboutunder the soft glow of my new chandelier. Visitwww.driftwoodsalvage.com for information on sale locations. Salvagestore at 1955 Pulgas Rd., East Palo Alto; 650/328-8731.

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