Reclaimed Materials – What They Are And Their Uses Today

Reclaimed materials can be anything at all, from old doors and windows from abandoned buildings to bits of scrap metal. You could think of it, I guess, as recycling on a different level. All building components, metal, glass, wood, fabric and brick can be salvaged from buildings which are scheduled for demolition and reused. Many of the original features, fireplace mantels or wood trim, are much more elaborate and better quality than their equivalent made today. Of course reproductions are plentiful, but I love the idea of taking something old and using it in a new and perhaps different way.

Long before recycling as we think of it today was fashionable, husband’s grandfather dealt in scrap metal. He retrieved all kinds of metal that was being discarded and sorted it out into different elements before heading off to the scrap yard to sell it. Once, when the electric company decided to get rid of some copper wire he bought it and my husband and his cousin were persuaded to remove the coating by burning it off so it could be sold. These days many people deal in scrap metal. Every spring our town has a special clean up day when you can put out of all kinds of junk and get it picked up. It’s a great opportunity to clear an attic or cellar and have stuff taken away at no charge. During the last several years, the scrap metal “pickers” have been first on the scene, long before the garbage trucks come to take it away for recycling.

I think it is very unfortunate that we live in such a throw away age and it really breaks my heart when beautiful old buildings are torn down to make way for shopping centers or parking lots. Latterly, architectural salvage has become increasingly popular and salvage companies bid on old doors, windows, trims, and architectural elements and take them away before demolition begins. Things such as old bricks, slate roofing, and floorboards can be reused in new construction and are especially in demand when restoring older homes.

The last repurposing project I undertook was a huge bone of contention between my husband and me. An old slate sidewalk in front of the building where I worked was being torn up and I thought it would look nice at our house so asked if I could have it. The construction foreman said he would keep it for me. Unfortunately, I did not realise how thick the slate was and it turned out that each piece weighed easily300-400 pounds. My husband asked a few strong friends to help him and they loaded it onto our pickup. It was so heavy that they could only take a few pieces at a time. When we eventually got it home laying it was another challenge, but we succeeded and it looked wonderful. It took a year before my husband finally admitted that it had been a good idea. What can I say? Thankfully he is a patient man when it comes to me and my repurposing projects.

Reclaimed materials can be used both in new construction and for carrying out restoration projects and most major urban areas have a salvage company or two or a re use it center. This way you can not only have little bit of history in your home but you can often save money as well when you use reclaimed materials.






 

Building Salvage News:

 

Recycled material creates personal stories - U-T San Diego

U-T San Diego

Recycled material creates personal stories
U-T San Diego
DEL MAR EUR” Arts and crafts vendor Denise Mraz said the product she and her husband thought up is like a puzzle with 100 right answers. Owners of License Plate Posse, Denise, 49, and Mike Mraz, 52, turn the old metal into collector's items by allowing .

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8 DIY Kitchen Decor Ideas Without Buying New - Care2.com

Care2.com

8 DIY Kitchen Decor Ideas Without Buying New
Care2.com
Give your kitchen a face lift with these DIY kitchen ideas from reclaimed materials. Less money and less waste? Yes, please! My husband and I just finished a kitchen makeover, and dang, y'all. Redoing the kitchen is not cheap. I am still in sticker .

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Green is the new home decor trend - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Green is the new home decor trend
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Furniture aficionados, be sure to keep a lookout for furniture made of reclaimed, salvaged or recycled materials, all eco-friendly buzz words. As a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional ASID interior designer, I believe .

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8 Homes That Prove You Can Downsize Your Space Without Downsizing Your . - Huffington Post

8 Homes That Prove You Can Downsize Your Space Without Downsizing Your .
Huffington Post
Do you believe that big style requires a big space? Well, you shouldn't! Not only are smaller homes more energy efficient, more cost-effective, and more eco-friendly, they allow for loads more creativity and design. While a big reno might not be in .

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Stanford's Meyer Library to be replaced with open space
Over the next six months, crews will salvage furniture inside the building for re-use by university departments, schools and Stanford Surplus Sales. High-reach excavators will begin tearing down Meyer in April 2015...


IDEC South Regional to host a student furniture design charette - Tallahassee.com

IDEC South Regional to host a student furniture design charette
Tallahassee.com
He will bring schools from the surrounding Tallahassee area to participate in a one-day design camp during the conference. In one day, Groovystuff will give students a box of reclaimed materials and will ask them to create a piece of furniture or .

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Bill would limit demo of vets monuments
Preservationists hope a New York Senate-passed bill aimed at preserving war veterans monuments statewide will help convince Cattaraugus County lawmakers to delay demolishing the Civil War Monument and Historical Building in Little Valley. Legislators are looking to salvage parts of the building...


The 5 Brands That Give Us Hope for the Future of Fashion - Racked National

Racked National

The 5 Brands That Give Us Hope for the Future of Fashion
Racked National
All of their cute crop tops, bridesmaid dresses, and blazers are made of materials that are either new (and sustainable), reclaimed vintage, or deadstock. They care about things like water usage when it comes to producing clothes, and are quick to .

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An architect's home in Medfield has a surprise inside - Boston Globe

Boston Globe

An architect's home in Medfield has a surprise inside
Boston Globe
Wanting to make up for having torn down the original house, Day relied on eco-friendly practices and materials wherever possible, including radiant heat under reclaimed wood flooring, a high-efficiency water heater, and a system that recycles rainwater .

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