The Barth House

A classic home which we renovated to reflect the modern tastes of its new owners.

Project Details




Portland, Oregon

From Los Angeles, Jen and Lee Barth wanted their vintage home to reflect their modern sensibilities. The family lived in California while we remodeled. Lee, high tech businessman, was like a client from the future. When he visited for occasional job walks, Lee rode a tiny electric scooter from the airport, produced from his carry on luggage! He traveled by scooter to the nearest Zipcar, (unlocked by windshield barcode), and then found his way to local venders.

With decisive homeowners off sight but responsive, we set a speed record by completing a complex job in three months: Including a major two-story period-correct addition.

Lee’s modern vision included: an ultra tight energy envelope, Portland’s first under-house rain-water harvesting system, a furnace that can be programmed from overseas, gray-water, water-saver toilets, all LED lighting, soy insulation, and every other ultra passive home feature.

From spot-lit whimsical art, plastic chairs, waterfall countertops, a Zuma tub with colored lights and jets: the old house feels futuristic.

Lee, a computer whiz, flew up from L.A. to attend seminars with John on green building and evolved an online notebook with hundreds of pages of information on LA finishes and environmental building methods. The fun of planning and developing the unique house led to hundreds of excited phone calls and numerous meetings of synergistic creativity. Together we were able to build faster, cheaper, greener, and precisely customized for the Lee and Jen Family.

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