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Aspen home donated and recycled

Jim Paussa/The Aspen TimesThis ranch-style house sat on Mountain View Drive in Aspen before the owners donated it to Habitat for Humanity, which sold it to a Basalt man looking to replace his trailer.
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ASPEN ” Jen Carr started a unique project last fall as an environmentalist and became a humanitarian as well.

Carr and her husband, Rich, bought a modest, ranch-style house on Mountain View Drive in Aspen last year and decided it made sense to redevelop the property. Carr said she didn’t want to simply scrape the 40-year-old house and haul it to the dump.

“That whole idea made me not feel good about the waste,” she said.



So she launched a plan that she said earned her the label of “lunatic” among her friends and family. Her goal was to recycle 100 percent of the house.

The first task was finding a home for the bulk of the structure. She offered to give the house to Habitat for Humanity’s Roaring Fork Valley chapter. Chapter president Scott Gilbert said he was skeptical of the offer at first. Donations of structures sound good, but they are often too trashed to make it worth the effort. He was pleasantly surprised to see the Carrs’ home in such good shape.



Habitat accepted the house, which Gilbert estimated at 1,500 square feet, then started looking for land. The nonprofit wanted to use the house to fulfill its mission to provide adequate housing for the needy.

Habitat didn’t find land, but it did make a connection with Warren Rider, who contacted both the Carrs and Habitat officials and offered to buy the house. He needed a house to replace his dilapidated trailer at Lazy Glen Mobile Home Park, about three miles east of Basalt.

Carr said she got to know Rider and felt he was the perfect recipient for the home. Gilbert agreed.



Habitat will sell Rider the house at a price yet to be determined. Gilbert said the organization hopes to get $10,000 to $20,000 from the sale, after moving expenses.

The house will was moved from Aspen to Lazy Glen beginning in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Traffic was stopped on Highway 82 for about five minutes while the wide load crosses the Maroon Creek Bridge. Bill Bailey of Grand Junction, an experienced house mover, was hired to haul it.

Moving the bulk of the ranch-style house was only half the battle for Carr. She also wanted to salvage and recycle materials from additions that cannot be moved with the main house. She spent weeks tearing building materials down, removing nails and prepping items such as doors, window frames and plywood for use again.

“It was a labor of love,” Carr said. “I was out there for days whacking away at stuff.”

All told, she estimated she spent the equivalent of a month on the job. The effort was worth it, she said, because roughly 90 percent of the house was recycled. She considered it a gift to her children, ages 9 and 6, as an environmental good deed.

Even more rewarding, she said, was the humanitarian effort of getting a good home in Rider’s hands and raising funds for Habitat for Humanity. The contribution gives the Carrs a tax deduction as well.

Gilbert said two other homeowners have offered to donate structures to Habitat for Humanity and the organization waiting to see how this deal shakes out before they decided how to proceed.

“My husband thought it was the craziest idea he had ever heard,” Carr said. “I guess I proved him wrong.”


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