All You Should Know About Reclaimed Building Materials [From FINDING To WORKING WITH]

bamboo-countertop by teragren

What Is Reclaimed Building Materials?

Reclaimed building materials, known as salvaged materials are materials that are recycled so you can use it again for other purposes. Mostly, reclaimed materials are from the deconstructed building, not demolished. When deconstructed, the materials are possible to reuse.

How To Choose Right Reclaimed Materials?

It can be challenging to go with up-cycling materials. It is because you are going with the old materials for new projects. On the other hands, the cost of lumber is getting higher. Indeed, there are many options available for reclaimed wood sources. Besides, there are some best sources to start such as Craigslist, the junkyard, the classifieds, and friends.
Before purchasing anything, your concern is on how to get a quality product. Therefore, you need these five tips to help.

1. Choose Tight and Dry Wood

Building a house from reclaimed materials can be appealing for an eco-friendly look. However, it can be useless if you are going with the wrong options. Make sure that you can assess the wood before purchasing. This is an important way to determine the level of its usability.

In fact, most reclaimed wood have splits or cracks. These should be small enough. Alternatively, cover it with epoxy, so they do not decrease the value of your finished product. Keep in mind that the materials are dry and rot-free.

2. Examine The Wood

Is it important to review the reclaimed wood before purchasing? Well, yes. This step helps you to know its stability. In some cases, recycled home materials can be more stable than the new stuff because the wood had a long time to dry.

Besides, examining is essential to know how long the wood exposed to the poor treatment, conditions and weak elements. You need to see that there is no rot.

What you can do is as below:

1.Check the soft parts
2.Find rotting or moldy patches, or bits (the sign of wood-eating insects)
3.Discard lumber that shows rot
4.Knock the outside, if it is sound, its inside is still good.

Furthermore, you have to keep your project in your mind before purchasing any reclaimed wood. If you want to make antique furniture, it means you should choose rough-sawn barn wood. On the contrary, if you want a more polished project, you should pick reclaimed wood from an old floor. By keeping your final project in your mind, it would be easier to select the wood to match the final aesthetic.

3. Focus On The Distributors

Anytime you want to buy the best-reclaimed wood products, make sure that you avoid classified ads as well as broken-down barns. It is better to go with a company that concerns on the recycling materials. It is true that there are many distributors with a significant commitment to their product and customers. They do not mind to choose wood that still has a lot of life in it. After that, they process it keep it dry and free from staples, nails as well as other debris.

If you are going to spend a high amount of money to buy a reclaimed wood material, make sure that you research about the reputation of the distributors. The simplest way you can do is to perform a browser search or survey the best distributor in your area. Then, learn their way to select the materials. Their customer experience can be the valuable sources, as well.

4. Play Safe

Another thing to consider is about being safe. There is some old wood with the paint on its surface. This can be dangerous if you are careless. Make sure that there is no particulate matter to enter your home. Therefore, you should sand the wood outside and stop working on windy days. It is important to wear a mask and use a sander that has a HEPA filter. Besides, you should put the unprocessed reclaimed wood with lead-based paint away from children.

5. Beauty Is Always

Just because you are buying reclaimed wood material, you have no reason to focus on the beauty. Hey, it is not about warped materials, cracked parts, or imperfect. To make your furniture beautiful, it depends on your ability to shape the wood. Therefore, you should only pick quality reclaimed home materials so that the cracks, holes, and the defects can be the part of its beauty.

What Reclaimed Home Materials Are For?

You would not believe there are many things you can do by purchasing reclaimed building materials. Below, we have some examples to tell

1. Reclaimed Wooden Crate Staircase

Why should you buy an expensive material to create your wooden staircase if you can use a crate? By having wooden crate staircase, your carpet really does its job to cover it.

2. Reclaimed Countertops

Recycled countertops are available on the market. You can purchase the furniture or buy the materials for your DIY project. The best thing you should keep in mind is to select stainless steel or granite over the less durable surface, for example, reclaimed wood or laminate.

3. Reclaimed Doors

Purchase any reclaimed doors right before you construct and design rough openings. Here, we are talking about interior doors like commission barn doors for your interior atmosphere. You can use it as a door or a table as the great accent for your home. This idea is similar to the reclaimed wood decking.

4. Old Windows

Using old windows to build a seasonal outbuilding or greenhouse is a possible thing to do. It is a wise decision to give a second life for any unused materials.

5. Fixtures and Cabinetry

There are some funky and lovely older lighting fixtures or reclaimed wood bathroom cabinet available. However, you should not go with plumbing fixtures. You should purchase new plumbing fixtures for its high efficiency. It does not matter if you choose older toilets and taps.

Here, we think you can get more inspirations about the use of reclaimed building materials.

What Are The Types Of Reclaimed Home Materials?

We cannot say about the kinds of reclaimed building materials that are available on the market today. But, it is possible to talk about the building materials that made from waste products. These waste-based materials are the favorite choices at this time.

NewspaperWood (Materials: Paper + Cardboard)

Norway presented the design. There, you can see more than 1 m tonnes of paper, as well as cardboard, recycled every year. They roll up the wood with paper and solvent-free glue to make it similar to a log and then, chop it into valuable planks. The sealed wood makes it waterproof and flame-retardant.

Nappy Roofing (Materials: Polymers)

You can salvage all nappies and sanitary products even though they are gross. It works with recycling plants to remove the polymers from the organic waste, er. Then, they take the polymers for fiber-based construction materials such as tiles.

Recy Blocks (Materials: old plastic bags)

Old plastic bags are recyclable. You can turn it to colorful bricks. The process is to place the recycle bags in a heated mold and forced them together to create blocks. It works best as a divider for rooms and outdoor areas.

Blood Bricks (Materials: animal blood)

Unbelievably, the idea goes to the animal blood, which is included as a waste product. Jack Munro, the British architecture proposes the idea of using freeze-dried blood just like a powder, then combines it with sand to make a paste. In the end, it turns to bricks. In remote communities, the idea can be useful.

Bottle Bricks (Materials: discarded Heineken bottles)

Through this idea, right now many companies make bottles in cuboids or tessellated shapes so that they are easier to transport.

Alfred Henry Heineken as the owner of beer company Heineken visited a Caribbean island. The island had many discarded bottles everywhere. Therefore, the company had the idea to offer a new, brick-inspired bottle to make it reusable.

In conclusion, the types of reclaimed building materials are unlimited. It depends on your creativity, how far you have a concern on the material that you want to recycle. You can get more ideas by visiting this site.

How To Find Right Reclaimed Building Materials?

To complete your home, it can take more than $27,000 only for installing a septic system, travel trailer, generator, old pickup truck, and others. That is not a small amount of money. You do not want the local building store get all your money because you buy all their materials and tools. What you need is to save money as possible and practical. Below, we provide you the guideline on finding reclaimed building materials:

1. Friend and Family

It is a great and safe place to start. Your family and current friends have tools and second-hand materials they are no longer using. By asking their help, you can save several thousand dollars.

2. Craigslist

Well, Craigslist can be the obvious place to seek for tools and materials.
If you want to go for shopping on Craigslist, make sure you know what you want, make saved searches and jump on any new listing available. On the contrary, you should calculate the cost of fuel if you are traveling too far to pick the things up.
To purchase reclaimed home materials, keep in mind that you should not pay more than half of what a material cost new.

3. Pick The Reclaimed Building Materials

We suggest you always to pick any reclaimed building materials you want to purchase. It is important so you can assess whether it is still good or not.

4. Use Facebook

Do not tell us if you only use your Facebook only to stalk your friends and compare yourself against everyone. It is the time for you to utilize Facebook groups.
It depends on the area you are living in. Many Facebook groups go for selling any stuff. To start, use local Facebook groups and post about your interest to purchase the reclaimed materials based on your needs. You may find someone to make a transaction with you.

5. Bartering

In this modern era, bartering is still great. Even though, the government does not want any individual bartering since it cannot be taxed or traced. Besides, this mechanism will lead to active communities. As a result, they reduce the need for money. Again, it depends on the location you are living in. It is hard to deny that bartering is a great way on how to find reclaimed building materials. Therefore, if you need lumber, tools, a place to live, and you have no capability to create enough cash, you can think about having something to offer in exchange for what you want.

6. Flyer Up

A flyer can be the biggest way to save your money. There are many stores with bulletin boards for flyers. Therefore, you should use it.
In your flyer, you can create a short bio with your photo, smiling. Also, you should put names to let folks call. Make sure that you include the list of building materials or tools you are looking for. Then, mention that you are interested in trades.
You also have to make people easy to contact you. The only way you can do is to have QR code such as a link to your website, or any code that contains your contact information.

7. Cookies and Soft drinks For Neighbors

It is a crazy idea, but it works to create a community. It means that you are not using their materials or tools by bringing cookies and soft drinks. Nevertheless, they are your ally. You can help them if they need any help, as well.

Here’s a good example of what a treasure trove of reclaimed material could be:

How Much You Need To Buy Reclaimed Building Materials?

On Craigslist, you may find some reclaimed building materials in affordable prices as below:
1.Metal Roofing – $300
2.Lumber – $125

While on Amazon, you have some opportunities to get some affordable reclaimed materials as below:
1.Reclaimed wood ladder – $69
2.Reclaimed Wood Sliding Barn Door – $999
3.Rustic Lumber Boards – $64
4.Reclaimed Wood Plan Natural Peel and Stick Wallpaper – $49
5.Reclaimed Crate – $19

Other than that, you can visit their official websites to check the available materials and the cost based on your needs. Those are all the guideline about reclaimed building materials from finding to working.


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