How Long Does It Take To Turn A Blighted House Into A Community Table? - Reclaimed Enterprises
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How Long Does It Take To Turn A Blighted House Into A Community Table?

How Long Does It Take To Turn A Blighted House Into A Community Table?

Around 75 days. Well not exactly, but it will be around that from the first day of deconstruction of the blighted home in North Omaha to the moment our customer’s, customer’s, customers are sitting together and enjoying each other’s company and a fine meal on the table top pictured here. Strangely enough, while the table top only came together in the past few weeks, the old growth lumber has already born witness to over 50,000 mealtimes in the family home it was reclaimed from.

The Sorensen Family Home at 5813 North 30th Street was built in 1924. The owner of the property, Axel Sorensen immigrated to the United States in the late 1800’s. He and wife Christine raised their family there. All in all, at least one Sorensen lived in the home for almost 50 years after it was built.


So then what? Obviously the lumber wasn’t a table yet. Several owners and families lived in the property until it fell into disrepair, and was eventually donated to Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. As part of their vision of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live” Habitat gets involved in the demolition of blighted housing to improve our communities. Habitat had become very aware of the waste this part of their mission generated and decided that this property would be fully deconstructed, not demolished. Enter Reclaimed Enterprises.

On September 29th, as Reclaimed Enterprises’ pilot project, deconstruction of the property began. About 800 man hours later the old growth lumber from the property was reclaimed and ready for value-added processing. By mid-November, one of collaborating maker companies, MTRL Design under contract from a local architecture firm, began fabricating tables and a bar top for a local restaurant from around 700 board feet of old growth 2×4 douglas fir from the home. By December 5, the tables along with 1,200 square feet of processed roof decking and subfloor were delivered to the restaurant for installation by the general contractor.

Simple really. Six different companies working together to salvage around 5,800 board feet of lumber, divert over 20 tons of waste from the landfill, create 5 full-time deconstruction jobs, and design/manufacture/install 15 tables, wall treatments, a branded wall and a sauce rack.

Yes, technically it took around 90 years to turn that house into a table.  It would have taken about 73 days less to turn into waste in the landfill. I think it was worth the extra couple of months.