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How To Find (And Use) Reclaimed Building Materials In Your Remodel

Updated October 12, 2021
Ryan Hanson
Ryan Hanson

Designing and building a new home is often stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where Ryan comes in, who is the Partner and Co-owner of S9. Ryan manges the day-to-day operations of the build, and ensures that our clients are satisfied through regular updates and budget reviews. At S9, the client always comes first and Ryan makes sure that they are involved in the building process and aware of how the project is going at all times.

If you want to make your home or business stand out from the rest, reclaimed building materials are a great way to do it. But how can you find reclaimed building materials? And what do they cost? The answer is that reclaimed building materials might be right in front of you, and you didn’t even know it!

First, let’s take a look at some easy ways to find reclaimed building material for your remodel, and then learn how best to use them in your home.

Where to Look for Reclaimed Building Materials

If you’re remodeling or building a new home, consider looking for reclaimed building materials in the following places:

Craigslist:

A great place to start your reclaimed building materials search is on Craigslist. You can post a “wanted” ad or browse the listings in your area.

Garage Sales:

garage sales

Look for reclaimed building materials at garage sales! You can often find reclaimed wood flooring, doors, windows, and more at garage sales. Just make sure you can haul them safely in your vehicle!

Facebook Marketplaces:

Another great place to look for reclaimed building materials is in Facebook marketplaces. You can both post in “looking for” or browse the local listings filtered by zip code or city.

Planet Reuse Marketplace:

Planet Reuse Marketplace is the world’s largest reclaimed building materials marketplace. It features reclaimed wood, windows, doors, and more from thousands of suppliers and thousands of reclaimed building materials at the lowest prices.

Reusewood.org:

Reusewood.org is a free reclaimed building materials marketplace that features reclaimed wood from local and regional sources for people who want to buy or sell reclaimed building materials.

NextDoor.com:

Next Door is a free community site for neighborhoods and people that provides relevant information about your neighborhood, from local events to classified ads. People may post when they’re getting rid of some reclaimed wood, or doing a remodel and open it up to those who want to haul wood away for free. Otherwise, let them know you’re looking for reclaimed building materials!

Freecycle.org:

Another open community site where people offer and request items for FREE! It’s a great way to find reclaimed building materials for free or give them away.

Residential Construction Dumpsters:

reclaimed building materials

Construction dumpsters are a hot spot for reclaimed building materials – check your local residential construction dumpster and see what reclaimed wood, doors, windows, and more you can find!

Curb Alerts:

Search for reclaimed building materials by checking your local curb alerts. You never know what reclaimed building materials you might find!

Commercial and Residential Tear-Down Sites:

Another great place to find reclaimed building materials is at a commercial or residential tear-down site. These sites are often loaded with reclaimed wood, reclaimed doors, reclaimed metals, and more!

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Habitat for Humanity Restores:

habitat for humanity

Habitat for Humanity Restores are great places to find and purchase reclaimed building materials – and even better, you’ll be giving back at the same time!

Local Salvage Stores:

Local salvage stores often have reclaimed building materials, too! Look for all types of antiques or used materials.

Flyers, Ads, and More:

Sometimes you’ll be able to find reclaimed building materials in your local flyers or ads. You never know what opportunities might be hiding in your local ads or newspapers.

Manomin Resawn Timbers:

Manomin Resawn Timbers produces reclaimed wood that’s been reclaimed from barns, houses, churches, warehouses, and more. They offer a unique reclaimed wood product that’s sure to suit your exact needs.

Materials to Consider Reclaiming

If you’re reclaiming materials yourself, you’ll need to decide on what exactly you’re looking for. Sometimes this is easy, other times not so much. But here are a few of the different materials that you might consider reclaiming, along with how to do so.

Glass:

Glass is very easy to reclaim. Whether you’re taking on the individual pains and trying to build a new window out of it or upcycling an old window and refinishing it for your home. There are quite a few benefits to reclaiming windows. If you’re looking for a really airtight and efficient window, then you might not be able to use reclaimed windows.

Stained Glass:

stained glass

Stained glass is a reclaimed material that you can use in many different ways. You can make all kinds of art objects with reclaimed stained glass, including windows, lamps, and more. You might even consider just hanging it on a wall in your home as decor.

Wood:

Reclaimed wood materials can be used in so many different ways throughout your next building project or remodel. There are old barn boards, reclaimed beams from warehouses, reclaimed flooring, reclaimed wood siding, reclaimed barn doors – the list goes on and on. And did you know that reclaimed wood is more environmentally friendly than newly harvested wood? It looks more beautiful in the raw and helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Ceramic Tiles:

You can use reclaimed ceramic tiles in many different ways. You could potentially use reclaimed ceramic tiles for your kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, or simply your floors. In most cases, tile is broken out of a home instead of saved. But, the next time you’re taking it out, try to save it.

Steel and Metal:

Steel and metal reclaimed building materials aren’t as common to see, but they can be used in many different ways. From electrical wire to steel beams and more, reclaimed steel and metal materials are often used for fencing. You might need to get creative with different ideas, but you’ll be able to find something to use those materials for.

Furniture:

old furniture

Reclaimed furniture materials are often used for reclaimed wood tables, reclaimed dressers, and other items. You can find furniture all over the place, from Facebook to the corner of your street. In many instances, the furniture will be completely free. All you have to do is refinish it and make it your own. Then you have a perfect piece of furniture unique to your style and can tell a story.

Doors:

Reclaimed doors are reclaimed materials that can be used as doors or for other projects. You might want to use reclaimed doors for cabinets, reclaimed doors for your reclaimed wood table, or even just as reclaimed barn doors in a room. In most cases, you’ll find used and reclaimed exterior doors in dumpsters. But, if you’re looking for reclaimed interior doors, then try to look into buying reclaimed barn wood. Some older solid wood doors will also work great for interior doors in your home if you’re willing to refinish them.

Flooring:

Reclaimed flooring materials can serve a few different purposes. You could use reclaimed wood floors for reclaimed barn doors, reclaimed hardwood floors for reclaimed wood tables, and even reclaimed tile floors in your bathroom.

You might even consider relaying a reclaimed wood floor as the floor in your home. It can be expensive but always turns out to be one of the most beautiful flooring options available.

Cabinets:

Cabinets are very easy to reclaim and use in your kitchen, bathroom, or another area. All you need to do is find well-built cabinets. Then you can turn them into beautiful pieces in your home. Some homeowners choose to install new cabinets instead of using their old cabinets. But, reusing what you already have can work wonders as well.

A fresh coat of paint, new stain, or new hardware can really bring your cabinets to life!

Bricks:

reclaimed building materials

Bricks are a material that isn’t reclaimed all too often, but when done correctly, they can turn out perfectly. You can use reclaimed brick materials for flooring, reclaimed bricks for a fireplace, or even just as an exterior stone on the outside of your home. No matter how you want to use them, finding them and reclaiming them is very easy. You’ll likely only need to rinse them off before using them.

At Sustainable 9, we love incorporating reclaimed materials in our green homes, and sustainable remodels. Doing what’s best for the environment is important to us. And, reclaimed materials add beauty and character to a home that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

If you want to learn more about us and how we build beautiful green homes, check out our blog, past projects, or reach out!

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Ryan Hanson
Ryan Hanson

Designing and building a new home is often stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where Ryan comes in, who is the Partner and Co-owner of S9. Ryan manges the day-to-day operations of the build, and ensures that our clients are satisfied through regular updates and budget reviews. At S9, the client always comes first and Ryan makes sure that they are involved in the building process and aware of how the project is going at all times.

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