3 tricks to finding second-hand building materials

Not everything you need for a building project needs to be brand new. Keep these tips in mind to find more affordable second-hand materials.

3 tricks to finding second-hand building materials

1. Stay safe

  • Most suppliers don't clean up their products. The timber may contain old nails, windows may be only partly glazed, old roofing iron may need patching, and so on.
  • Unlike standard materials, which can safely be bought over the telephone, old materials come in a variety of sizes and qualities. You'll need inspect them before you buy.

2. Search out the right store

  • Most cities and large towns have at least one or two second-hand building materials suppliers who stock their yards with all manner of merchandise.
  • Some companies specialize in specific second-hand materials, such as old bricks or roofing tiles.
  • The quality of the goods varies considerably. It's advisable to do some shopping around.
  • When searching the used material yard, keep a list handy.
  • Try to remain flexible in your thinking. It's unlikely that you will find enough matching products of any sort.

3. Discover the classifieds

  • Classified advertisements sometimes indicate that buyers must dismantle and remove what they wish to buy. This gives you the chance dismantle with care. Entire structures may be bought this way.
  • As you look through the ads, you'll often find that the old is sold alongside the new, but at a knockdown price.
  • Advertisements are also a source of new materials. Stock may have been over-ordered, the wrong materials purchased or a project cancelled.

Second-hand building materials are available from a number of sources, including junkyards, demolition sites and second-hand building materials suppliers. Search through the local classifieds for deals and keep an open mind when searching through the trash. You may just find treasure.

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