Building with Reclaimed Materials

Newsletter v.16 November 2021

In September’s newsletter, we mentioned how using reclaimed materials is a great way to build sustainably. They not only can be used for foundational and exterior construction, but can also be used for trims, finishes, decorations, and even fixtures depending on the material. The ability for something to be reused or what it can be reused for will depend largely on the materials’ condition and stability. However, masonry, lumber and other wood, certain types of roofing, like slate or metal, and metal fixtures are all common materials that have the potential to be reclaimed. These can generally be acquired from demolition sites, like we mentioned in the previous newsletter, but they can also be acquired from businesses and even online marketplaces. Here we’ve put together a short list of just a few of the many places here in Colorado that provide a variety of reclaimed materials.

  • Regardless of whether or not you’re on a budget, the Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity ReStore is always a good place to start. They not only collect donated building materials like planks and plywood, but also donated appliances and furniture which they in turn sell. Their proceeds go towards helping families in need of home repairs. Consider stopping by one of their two locations in Colorado Springs to see if they have what you’re looking for.
  • If you’re in the market for reclaimed stone, you might try the Telluride Stone Company or the Hillen Corporation, located in Denver and Commerce City, Colorado, respectively. Telluride Stone sells natural stone, as well as reclaimed brick and wood from different projects, while The Hillen Corp primarily offers structural demolition services, but also sell the materials reclaimed from their demos, from bricks and other masonry to glass blocks and even furnaces.
  • The Durable Slate Company is a roofing contractor that installs slate, clay, tile and metal roofing, as well as ornamental metal work. They buy reclaimed slate and tile roofing materials, and while they do not sell them, they do provide these materials as options for installation, and they specialize in restoration projects. Although they aren’t based out of Colorado, they do extend their services to the area.
  • For wood, one place you can try is Eden Oaks Woodware. All of their products (cabinetry, custom furniture, etc.) are made from reclaimed wood, which they also provide as an option to buy from them direct as well.

Outside of these businesses, you can also search for reclaimed materials online in places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle or NextDoor, all of which have people looking to sell or get rid of all sorts of things, so it never hurts to look if all else fails and you can’t find what you’re looking for at a demo site or local business.

If you’re already planning on using some reclaimed materials in your next build, chances are you already know what you want to use them for, but if you’re short on ideas, here are some quick thoughts from other blogs to get you started.

Posted in Ideas on Sustainability.

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