You can blow through a lot of money in a hurry at building supply centers. For many, buying all new materials isn’t practical. Instead of buying new, you could help demolish a building, trade work, etc. Let’s start a list of the easiest to find recycled building materials. Suggestions are welcome.
Lumber, doors, door hardware, sinks, bathtubs, tile, paint, wood stain, pallets, wire, assorted nails and screws, twine, scrap wood, scrap metal, buckets, cabinet hardware (knobs, pulls, drawer slides), glass bottles (bottle windows), plastic sheeting, tarps, poly or nylon straps (tie-downs), bricks
– Look for higher quality faucets and windows (you might lose money on low quality windows due to heat loss)
– Avoid: particle board/pressed wood cabinets, sheeting and trim, plastic trim, vinyl wallpaper, treated/preserved wood, old carpet, foam padding, moldy materials
– Bigger cities/nicer neighborhoods have the best selection
– Network with building professionals to buy used materials direct
– Get to know people who own or work for demolition companies, scrap yards, construction companies, etc.
Image source: Tiny Texas Houses.com
(click to see some very interesting photos in their gallery)