It is remarkable how many excellent building materials get thrown away. Dumpsters, construction sites, demolition sites, and neighborhood trash collection sites can be full of useful stuff.

You can probably find lumber or plywood, doors, windows, toilets, sinks, furniture, and just about anything else that goes into a house, though your scavenged items may need a little repair or come in odd sizes or shapes. A clever scavenger will make note of piles of materials sitting in people's yards and garages and offer to clean up in exchange for keeping the materials. This kind of activity can net you large quantities of good

16.1: These timbers were all reclaimed from old buildings. Sometimes, this can be a great strategy for finding affordable framing materials.

materials. Municipal dumps and landfill sites often have special areas set up for construction waste, much of which can be salvaged.

When scavenging lumber, remember that in many jurisdictions you will be required to use grade-stamped lumber for structural elements. Much scavenged lumber will not be grade-stamped and will only be usable as nonstructural elements in your house.

A patient collector can assemble a goodly number of building supplies, though it would take a long time to scavenge enough material to build an entire house. Whether you save a few hundred dollars or several thousand, the effort may well be worth it. Ecologically, scavenging building materials has a double benefit, because you reduce the demand for more new material and save old materials from filling up landfill sites.

We caution bargain hunters against being tempted by the plethora of used windows out there. This is not an area to skimp in. Much of the your home's heat loss will occur through the windows, making quality windows a great investment. Be sure any used windows are in top shape by checking for condensation between the panes of glass, seals that are intact, frames that are not dented or twisted, and hardware that works. Try to find out why the windows were removed; often the reason should make you think twice!

Making Money With Garage Sales

Making Money With Garage Sales

Is your home bursting at the seams with stuff? Is every closet crammed so full that any one of them is a death trap waiting to be opened? Has it been years since the last time you parked the car in the garage? Never fear, help is on the way. You need to get rid of some of that stuff. Dont you dare call it junk. Remember, one man or womans trash is another ones treasure!

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