A look back at Renaissance’s first year in business — 1984

This year, Renaissance Homes celebrates 30 years in business. And while our passion for homebuilding hasn’t wavered in three decades, much of pop culture is much different. Enjoy this look back at 1984 fun facts. In 1984… Apple computer releases the Macintosh personal computer for sale in the U.S. Johnny Carson hosts the 56th Academy Awards. Michael Jackson stars in a Pepsi commercial with a young Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who later played Carlton from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Sally Field stars in “Places in the Hart,” but her “you really like me!” Oscar acceptance speech was more memorable. “Ghostbusters” is the year’s top grossing film. “Who you gonna call?” Other popular movies include “Footloose,” “Splash,” “Terminator,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “This is Spinal Tap,” “Police Academy,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Gremlins,” and “The Karate Kid.” And Molly Ringwald had “Sixteen Candles.” Actors Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez are young and in love. The Red Hot Chili Peppers sounds very different in their first music video for “Real Men Don’t Kill Coyotes.” OJ Simpson stars in a rental car commercial. Oh, and you can rent a car for $89 a week. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book goes on sale. The first version of the popular videogame Tetris is released. Wendy’s releases the most memorable fast food ad of the year to emphasize the size of its hamburger patties. “Where’s the beef?” MAC cosmetics hits a Toronto department store. The Makeup Art Cosmetics brand caters to makeup artists and allowed colors to hold up under the harsh lighting at photoshoots. The Supreme Court ruled it legal to record TV shows on your VCR. Alex Trebek brought a new era of “Jeopardy!” The first TED conference is held in Monterey, Calif.,...

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Renaissance celebrates 30 years with Vintage Home Show, Oregon Food Bank drive

Visit green built homes on the July tour and help out Oregon Food Bank This year marks Renaissance Homes’ 30th year in business. While a lot has changed in 30 years, one constant drives every member of the Renaissance team — a passion for homebuilding. Staff find this industry inspiring, innovative and rewarding. “We’ve made 2014 a very personal one by sharing our staff, projects, tips, behind-the-scenes photos and special events each month on our website,” said Renaissance President Randy Sebastian. “Thank you, all of you, for being a part of our journey.” As the No. 1 builder in Portland and the No. 1 LEED-certified builder for single-family homes in Oregon, Renaissance knows the importance of teamwork and positive encouragement. Sharing this Second Annual Vintage Home Show July 19, 20, 26 and 27  is not only exciting, but rewarding on so many levels. Along with presenting tour sponsor Directors Mortgage, Renaissance hopes to bring in more than 600 pounds of food for Oregon Food Bank to beat last year’s contribution. “Your donations make a difference,” Sebastian said, “and we’re excited to welcome you into our homes.” “We work hard every day and enjoy doing so,” he continued. “Every home, right down to the last detail, is completed with sincere care. Perhaps that’s how we’ve earned 40 Street of Dreams awards, including six Best of Show honors – more than any other builder.” It takes dedication and passion to make a great homebuilder. The Renaissance team dynamically pursues excellence as they believe there is no finish line. Their creative team pushes the envelope with home design, construction techniques, amenities, style and integrating new products. “We lead, others follow. Our homebuyers fuel us; they deserve to live in the best built home in the Northwest,” said Kelly Asmus, Renaissance’s Director of Sales and...

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Revisiting the Cleary Custom with views for miles

With a little intuition, imagination and gusto, Renaissance Homes unveiled a Portland showhome in April 2013 that blended streamlined finishes and expansive views with the comfort of today’s green technology. And in honor of Renaissance’s 30th year in business, throughout 2014 the company is revisiting past projects, such as this home in the John’s Landing neighborhood of Portland. Enjoy this trip down memory lane. Did you see the house in-person last year? Understanding the challenges Surrounded by houses and with an embankment below, the property with a shared driveway looked daunting at first but Renaissance’s custom home division was up for the challenge. And the once overlooked lot became a showpiece, situated perfectly to capture the views and provide for unique entertaining. Even the guest suite on the main floor of the three-story home sees Mt. Hood framed in its window. The home was featured on the Ultimate Open House New Home Tour, put on by the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland.The scattered-site home tour showcased the latest in homebuilding trends, ideas and design. And Renaissance’s LEED-certified idea home offered a story as unique as its picturesque vantage point. Visualizing the view Renaissance Homes, based in Lake Oswego, is known for its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified new homes, superior craftsmanship and recycling practices at each job site. Renaissance has earned 40 awards from the Street of Dreams and is the No. 1 LEED-certified single-family homebuilder in Oregon. And its innovative team saw the opportunity to subdivide a lot atop John’s Landing in Portland and customize one of its most popular floorplans from its Vintage Collection of homes – The Cleary. The home utilized a neutral color palette, contemporary finishes and Northwest building materials – warm and evoking a sense of calm. And the dynamite view takes...

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Revisiting Renaissance’s first LEED-certified home

Built in 2007 for the Hartman family in Washougal, Wash., the 2,490 sq. ft. home at 1966 N. 6th St. was the first LEED-certified Renaissance home. A leader in green homebuilding for more than a decade, this was a significant new step for Renaissance; now, all Vintage and Metro Collection homes built in Portland are LEED-certified. In honor of Renaissance’s 30th year in business, throughout 2014 the company will revisit past projects – such as this LEED initiative. Enjoy learning about our first LEED home. What is LEED? LEED – standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings – such as homes – which have a reduced environmental impact. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is intended to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently. Dozens of factors play a part in a LEED certification such as a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental air quality, innovation and design, etc. This home is LEED-certified Gold – one of the program’s highest standards. This was the first Renaissance home to use an open web floor truss system. Now all of our homes are built this way. Open web truss joists allow for easier and faster mechanical systems installation – plumbing, electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Mechanical systems are installed within the floor’s framing rather than hanging below, allowing all of the heat ducts to be run between the floors. This eliminates ducting in the attic or crawlspace and saves energy by not pushing heated air into a cold crawl space in the winter or sending cool air into a hot attic in the summer. This home was built...

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Revisiting “Splendor in the Grass”

About the Street of Dreams home “Splendor in the Grass” Address: 2415 Remington Drive, West Linn Price: $525,000 Square feet: 4,155 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3.5 Color scheme: Teal, burgundy, royal blue with taupe carpeting and walls Highlights: Curved staircase, library, open floorplan House design: J.E. Krause, Architect Interior design: Ripley’s Furniture Landscaping: AgraCare Landscaping Realtor: Randy Sebasitan, Builder Renaissance Homes’ first Street of Dreams home, 1993’s “Splendor in the Grass” features classic lines, stately brick work and wrought iron and hand-carved accents. It also took home top honors for the Home Builders Association’s showcase in Remington Ridge in West Linn. In honor of the company’s 30th year in business, throughout 2014 Renaissance will revisit past projects – starting with our splendid first Street of Dreams showhome. Enjoy this trip down memory lane? Did you view this home on tour in 1993? “Splendor in the Grass” Combining colonial traditional elements with modern efficiency, the 4,155 sq. ft. home is faced with red brick and black grout and features Camas gray keystones above arched doorways. Inside, 10-foot ceilings on the first floor and 9-foot ceilings on the second floor create an expansive feel. And the first floor’s open floorplan was refreshing. The foyer opens to the second story and features a curved oak stairway – setting the stage for the extensive woodwork featured throughout the home. French doors lead to an intimate formal dining room connected to the kitchen by a short hallway with a butler’s pantry. The kitchen features a large island finished in accented tile, three ovens and 9-foot high double cabinets. “Those cabinets were a big deal,” Renaissance Homes President Randy Sebastian said of their height. Seven foot windows gave views of the backyard and attached family room, wired for state-of-the-art entertainment. The den features an oak ceiling,...

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Spotlight on Lance Dunning Construction

Lance Dunning and his team with Lance Dunning Construction from Milwaukie has framed Renaissance homes since 1990. “We go back even farther,” Renaissance Homes President Randy Sebastian said of the framing contractor. “Lance and I went to elementary school together at Cedaroak Park in West Linn.” When not on the job site, the duo also goes fishing together for salmon and steel head. Dunning ensures that each Renaissance home is built structurally sound and is weather proof. “I can always count on Lance,” Sebastian said. “He does an awesome job. He’s the best framer in Portland. He makes sure everything is square, level and squeak-free.” Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland market. Visit our Design Studio to personalize your next...

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Revisiting Randy’s first house | Renaissance beginnings

With more than 2,500 homes under his tool belt, Renaissance Homes President Randy Sebastian took a drive recently to view the first home he built in 1984. As his company celebrates 30 years in business this year, it’s a unique story to learn how the business got started – with one house. “We all have to start somewhere,” he said, “but this home still looks great. I was really lucky and got really good subcontractors from the start. It’s a really well-built home.” Located at 4232 SE 126th in Portland, Sebastian refers to the 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home as his “starter house.” “It is 40 feet, six-inches wide. You don’t forget that stuff,” he said. “It’s an open floorplan. The kitchen, living room and dining room are vaulted. It was a spec home, but it sold before it was finished. As far as I know, the same couple still lives there. I visited them five years ago.” Sebastian’s first home led to a handful of other home builds just down the street – one for his first homeowner’s brother. “I built that one, that one, that one, that one looks great – I built that one,” Sebastian said while driving through the neighborhood at the intersection of SE 126th Ave. and SE Cora Street. Starting his first home build was a feat. “A friend of mine was a builder and he seemed to be having fun,” Sebastian said. “My cousin was a framer and he gave me the name of a few subs.” Sebastian credit’s his late uncle – who he calls a “very smart business man” – for coming up with the business name Renaissance Homes. “It was fresh and new, and the name had legs,” Sebastian said, who started the company when he was 20. “It...

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Renaissance celebrates 30 years in business

2014 marks Renaissance Homes’ 30th year in business. Thank you for being a part of our journey. While a lot has changed in 30 years, one constant drives every member of our team – a passion for homebuilding. We find this industry inspiring, innovative and rewarding. We’re excited to make 2014 a very personal one by sharing our staff, projects, tips, behind-the-scenes photos and special events each month. We’ll also share our talented trade partners and spotlight unique milestones along our 30 year journey. Thank you, all of you. As we spend the year reflecting on where we’ve been, we’ll also share some amazing projects on tap, such as the Renaissance Boat Club in Wilsonville and our work with the Homebuilders Foundation and Bridge Meadows, a multi-generation housing facility providing a safe haven for at-risk youth aging out of the foster care system. We hope this year will be educational, not only for us, but also for our clients. Our video series highlighting every step in our green building process provides insight into our innovative practices.  Our company president, Randy Sebastian, remains devoted to improving and refining the homebuilding process – his mission since 1984. His work continues to reflect enthusiasm and passion for well-built homes. As the No. 1 builder in Portland and the No. 1 LEED-certified builder for single-family homes in Oregon, we know the importance of teamwork and positive encouragement. In fact, it could be said that all Renaissance employees are on the cheerleading squad. Whether it’s walking a home site, choosing interior selections, updating our website or hosting an open house, Renaissance employees are conscientious, encouraging and believe that positive energy is the best energy spent. We work hard every day and enjoy doing so. Every home, right down to the last detail, is completed...

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