A landmark cottage on the shores of Okatie’s Spring Island was recently “born again,” thanks to the generosity of its new owners and the community commitment of their builder.
Story by Paula Magrini
For several weeks, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity painstakingly removed window trim, shutters, door frames, hardwood flooring, light fixtures, appliances and other interior elements from the structure for reuse by the nonprofit’s Restore shops, where recycled and repurposed homebuilding materials can be purchased at reduced prices.
Owners of the deconstructed cottage, Phyllis and Patrick Reynolds, purchased the home site as the location for their new coastal retreat. The couple, currently residents of Melrose, Mass., recently became grandparents and plan to spend summers and holidays with their extended family on Spring Island. “We were drawn to the Lowcountry’s beautiful backdrop and the serenity of Spring Island,” Phyllis said.
The Reynolds have worked with Lowcountry builder Cameron & Cameron Custom Homes and Court Atkins Group architects to design a spacious new home at the resort community which will replace the decades-old cottage. “We saw a lot of value left in the original cottage and believed there had to be a way to preserve some of it,” Phyllis explained. “We didn’t want anything to go to waste.”
After the Reynolds consulted Cameron & Cameron and Spring Island leadership to explore possibilities, Habitat for Humanity was contacted. The organization was thrilled to learn about the opportunity to reclaim the cottage’s quality components. “This project was unique in its scope since, unlike most of our deconstructions, we were able to reclaim more than appliances and basic home components,” noted Janie Lackman, Habitat for Humanity’s marketing and resource development director.
Executive Director Chet Houston is grateful for the committed volunteers of Habitat for Humanity. “Long days and weeks of their careful cottage deconstruction have yielded building materials that will be recycled and repurposed for sale at our Restore locations in the Lowcountry, offering significant savings to area families in need,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity’s Restores are a critical community resource, not only because they offer discounts for recycled homebuilding projects. “Restores also keep materials out of the landfills by offering quality products at bargain rates,” Houston added. Lowcountry Restore locations include Bluffton and Beaufort.
Houston appreciated the ongoing support of Cameron & Cameron throughout the deconstruction process. The custom home builder volunteered numerous hours and expertise, rolling up their sleeves on location at Spring Island. “From the repurposing of the cottage’s building materials to its demolition and now the construction of their beautiful new home, we have a lot of pride in this project,” said President Andrea Eldred and Vice President of Operations Brandon Edwards. “The idea that we could help reclaim and donate the materials for the cottage to assist Habitat of Humanity build future homes for deserving families is very fulfilling.”
Eldred and Edwards commended Dave Stevenson, Cameron & Cameron senior project manager, along with other staff employees, for assisting Habitat for Humanity volunteers in the reclamation of cottage building components at the transitioning Spring Island homesite.
The Reynolds look forward to next steps for their property and the construction of their new home. They said a true highlight of their experience so far has been collaborating with Habitat for Humanity and Cameron & Cameron to repurpose the legacy on their property. “We’ve had the opportunity to learn more about the families who will benefit from the recycled cottage materials,” Phyllis said. “We’re glad to know what a difference our donation is making in their lives.”