Oswego resident Bill Novak asked his homebuilder, DJK Inc. in Plainfield, to dress his new house with salvaged materials. The result: oak flooring from Europe and a massive beam from a dismantled barn in Elizabeth, Ill., for a mantel in the family room.
"That mantel must weigh 400 to 500 pounds," said Novak. "It really gives the room an Old World look. It's beautiful." The items give him a "greener" home, he added.
In addition to repurposed hardware from his shop, Bettenhausen's Wilmette house has salvaged millwork and built-ins.
"No one says, 'I love the new lacquered table,'" he said, "but the 100-year-old built-in gets the looks."
Architectural salvage resources
Here's a sampling of Illinois sources for architectural salvage items:
Airport Lumber Co., 6222 W. Plank Road, Peoria; 309-697-1106
Al Bar Wilmette Platers, 127 Green Bay Road, Wilmette; albarwilmette.com
Architectural Artifacts Inc., 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago; architecturalartifacts.com
Carlson's Barnwood Co., 8066 N. 1200 Ave., Cambridge, Ill.; carlsonsbarnwood.com
Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 2201 S. Halsted St., Chicago; for addresses of suburban ReStores, visit habitatillinois.org
Kimball & Bean Architectural and Garden Antiques, 3606 S. Country Club Road, Woodstock; kimballandbean.com
Kneen & Co., 399 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago; kneenandco.com
ReBuilding Exchange, 2160 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago; email@example.com
Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard St., Chicago; salvageone.com
Urban Remains, 1850 W. Grand Ave., Chicago; urbanremainschicago.com