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April 11th, 2007 William Crawford | Special Section Stories
 

HABITAT: Armed & Dangerous

Once you have your piece of the rock, you'll want to get to work on it.

     
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So, you just bought your dream home, complete with moldy basement, leaky taps, broken doors and tiny cabinets. Sure, it's a fixer-upper, but it's got a great view, right? Don't lose hope. Here's a brief guide to the essential tools and resources our fair city has for a complete home makeover.

Repairs and Raw Materials

The ReBuilding Center
Always a good first stop, this huge warehouse might hold all the treasures your beat-up place needs. Dedicated to cutting down on waste headed for landfills, this large nonprofit reuses old cabinets, doors, windows, fixtures, tubs, toilets, wood—you name it, it'll most likely be here. With an inventory updated hourly, you'll just have to see for yourself. (3625 N Mississippi Ave., 331-1877, rebuildingcenter.org)

Hippo Hardware
This three-story Portland institution is every classy renovator's dream. Dealing in vintage lighting, plumbing and other miscellany, the store's mission is "to recycle the past to make a more livable future." You'll spin around in a museum of fixtures, but don't be intimidated. The friendly staff—or "Hippos," as they're called—will gladly help out with any boneheaded questions you throw at them. (1040 E Burnside St., 231-1444, hippohardware.com)

Miller Paint
Without a doubt, you're going to need to slap on a new coat of paint for that perfect look, so you might as well go local. Making paint in the Northwest since 1890, Miller offers expert advice and more colors in the rainbow than you ever knew existed. (317 SE Grand Ave. and other locations, 233-4491, millerpaint.com)

MetroPaint
Since 1992, MetroPaint has been the perfect alternative for the concerned environmentalist. Metro collects paint through its hazardous waste program and then mixes, tests and filters it into 15 different colors and sells it to the savvy painter for significantly less. (4825 N Basin Ave., 234-3000, metro-region.org)

Home Depot
Sure, you "hate the corporations." But truth is, if you buy a home, you will probably need to avail yourself of the Orange Giant. You can buy countless widgets here, and someone you love will probably thrust an HD gift card in your direction. (10120 SE Washington St., 261-8543, homedepot.com)

Building and Improvment Resources

Oregon Construction Contractors Board
If installing a new water main or reroofing your palace isn't exactly how you'd like to spend your weekends, you'll have to talk to a contractor or two and shell out some cash. But before you make the jump into the sea of dodgy contractors, look them up and see if they're worth it. You can check their licenses by telephone number, business name, license number or just the handyman's name. (oregon.gov/CCB)

Office of Neighborhood Involvement
You'll want to know how your neighbors will feel about the half-pipe you plan to drop on your lawn before you get down to business. Look up your local association and see what they think. (portlandonline.com/oni)

Portland Maps
Curious about your dream home's value, your total property taxes and your home's foundation woes? (Or maybe your neighbor's?) This easy-to-use tool will sort it out nicely, though it's way more old-school than Zillow. (portlandmaps.com)

City of Portland Info
If you plan anything major or minor, you'll need some major permission from the city. This website will set you up with any permits or zoning laws you'll need to know about. (portlandonline.com)

Design And Decor

Oak Furniture Warehouse
Whether it's for the bedroom, the office or the kitchen, this place has all the pieces you'll want for the classic, simple look in different woods (not just oak!) and styles at prices that won't bite. (10750 NE Sandy Blvd., 257-8880, oakonline.com)

City Liquidators
Boasting over 500,000 square feet and three floors of furniture, this gem of a warehouse is a crucial stopover for the truly kitted-out pad. (823 SE 3rd Ave., 238-1367, cityliquidators.com)

Schoolhouse Electric
Schoolhouse specializes in early 20th-century period replicas of classic American light fixtures. Look for hand-painted vintage and original designs on beautiful shades. (330 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 230-7113, schoolhouseelectric.com)

Rejuvenation
It's period. It's authentic. It's expensive—but you know you're getting the best. (1100 SE Grand Ave., 238-1900)

IKEA
It's here: everyone's favorite Scandi design empire/miniature benign dictatorship. Great meatballs! (Cascade Station, opening summer 2007, ikea.com)


HABITAT: Table of Contents
The Plunge
Become Donald Trump in One Day!
A Renter's Survival Guide
I'm Buying a What?
Way of the Ninja
Guns for Hire
Cracking the Code
What the Hell Does $250K Buy, Anyway?
The Final Frontier
Sweat Equity?
Armed & Dangerous
 
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