A couple of years ago my wife, Cheryl, announced that she, her mother, and her sister were flying to Minneapolis to visit a flea market. Yes, that’s in Minnesota and that’s kind of far away from Cary, North Carolina. And yes, my reaction was the same as yours. Whaaaat? She was very enthusiastic. “This isn’t just any flea market”, she told me. “This place we’re going is a Junker’s paradise!“ And that’s when I realized that what I’ve been doing for almost 35 years—recycling architectural elements—had gone crazy in the mainstream.
Cheryl returned from Junker’s paradise full of new ideas. Did you know a chain link fence or an old door can be turned into a headboard? Do you know what you can do with a shutter? Screen doors can be artwork in the garden and porch columns can become table bases. It’s amazing the infinite number of creative things you can do with the parts and pieces of a house.
JF Builders renovated a mid-century ranch last summer and Cheryl grabbed many of the old window frames that had to be replaced, including a 16-light window from the front of the house. She’s turned it into a fantastic family calendar and communication center which now hangs in our kitchen. At Christmas she’ll replace the restaurant menus she keeps handy in an old shutter with the cards we receive from friends and family. I can go on and one but suffice it to say my wife has become a regular dumpster diver at most of JF Builders’ renovation projects.
Cheryl may be a Junker but I’m passionate for barns. I love them. I’m inspired by them. The older and more rustic the better. Last year the town of Cary announced they’d be razing a barn that had stood downtown for more than 100 years. I was heartbroken but fortunately able to rescue a great deal of the barn siding. Visit the JF Builders home under construction in the Wescott community in Holly Springs and you’ll see we’ve used that wood in some of the ceiling beams and in the fireplace mantle. It looks spectacular and adds to the personality of this home.
We do a lot of green construction at JF Builders so the idea that these elements can enjoy a new life as something functional or funky has great appeal to us. Stop by Wescott to see the barn siding and if you have a fence or door to replace just call my wife. She’ll send me over to pick up the old one!