“This article is a distillation of various tips and tricks I’ve learned for making salvaging and building an enjoyable and rewarding process. Building with salvaged materials has many potential advantages. First, salvaged materials are usually less costly than new materials, and they may be of better quality (e.g., well aged wood that doesn’t shrink, crack or twist). Salvaging is also a process that invites the serendipity of unexpected finds of special or beautiful things you couldn’t obtain or afford otherwise. For example, we ran across a solarium that we salvaged; we liked it so much that we redesigned our whole house around it.
As you begin salvaging materials, you develop a network of sources that you can use for later work; not only that, you meet many people in your area. And of course, you will feel all the satisfaction of recycling our earth’s resources instead of having them end up in the landfill. Finally, you can end up, after lots of work but moderate cash outlay, having a home you love without a huge monthly mortgage payment for years and years. This can be an excellent way to build, especially for the many people who don’t have a full-time job.”