This Old House – Rethink, Reuse, Remodel

Peak Moment 195: Turn a century-old Seattle house into an efficient, energy-producing home using repurposed materials. Owner-builder Jim Bristow’s creativity…

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Votes 136

Rating: 4 out of 5

Updated: November 25, 2013 — 1:52 pm


  1. I turned this off at 5:46 minutes. How can someone talk about consuming
    less when they have more than one house? Sorry, you guys I’m out. Jaki

  2. @jakithurman Gotcha!

  3. $1K here, $5K there…yup… Well, this is not anything the normal grunts
    can relate to….

  4. Lots of good ideas expressed here, but unless you are rich or an
    owner-builder yourself, more then the average person can invest. Remodel to
    last 200 years? I’m afraid the payback on all the things planned or used in
    this home will take about the same length of time. However, it WOULD be
    easy to pick a few things from the list that the average person could
    afford to do Thanks for posting.

  5. Janaia, Long time subscriber here. I just want you to know how valuable
    this resource is. It gives me great ideas and never fails to inspire me.

  6. absolutely brilliant thank-you for sharing I’m thinking that there is lots
    of food for thought here I’ll be watching again ;-])

  7. @jakithurman I missed the reference to another house …he is a builder who
    encourages others to use reuse all of the materials they can

  8. @gaiagale He mentions an off grid vacation home also in Washington in the
    first 5 mins. Must be loaded and need the tax break.

  9. It’s amazing what you can do when you have the skills to do it. I have some
    skills but this guy leaves me in the dust! He’s given me a lot of great
    ideas though. Now that I’ve got the condo paid off I’m saving like crazy to
    buy a house (and move into it mortgage free). Love the idea of the exterior
    siding insulation. Love the in ground heat storage idea!

  10. We don’t really know the details of his circumstances. Perhaps he plans to
    sell the off the grid house and is waiting for the market to improve. I
    mean, the dude’s a builder, so the second home is likely a business
    expense. It’s not as if he’s a bond trader and has a ski-lodge in Aspen. He
    uses felled trees from the property to finish this home. He likely has
    several properties that he works on and with.

  11. I don’t know if irony was intended with using “This Old House” in the vid
    title or not but there is a bit of irony of doing so. The over the top
    remodeling often done by the PBS program TOH are unlike this man’s
    remodeling SOP. Another interesting person interviewed, thank you.

  12. @nerdmom920 Correct; unless it’s costing him to own the property, he would
    be a poor businessman to sell it if it’s producing lumber he can use in his

  13. @jakithurman In jumping out & I assume posting a comment as early as U did,
    U may have commented, without all the information. The property the “off
    grid” home is on was a source of lumber he uses in his livelihood.

  14. @ddshears Why not? While the dollar values change over time $x here $x
    there another $x over there spread out over time is how normal grunts
    avoided becoming wage slaves in years past. Respectfully part of the
    problem is today’s normal grunts, aren’t grunt enough to be the normal
    grunts their father & grandfathers where. I’m not sure the sacrifices that
    would be required today are any greater than the sacrifices required in
    yesteryear Not going to get any easier , that’s for sure

  15. @hennomarais This IS an Earthship. One suited for the climate, location we
    he is building HIS home at. Trying to build all Earthships the same
    regardless of location will result in homes that are uncomfortable,
    expensive to build cool heat maintain.

  16. Testing

  17. therestoresalvage

    Beautiful work, Jim. Peak Moment, you guys continue to report on inspiring
    projects. Cheers to positive media!

  18. Yawn.

  19. kudos to an obviously hardworking, humble and conscientious individual.
    best of luck with the continued work!

  20. @tripledouble74 Thanks! I plan to post an update video before too long….

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