I recently helped a friend take down an old barn similar to the one in the photo above. His goal while taking the barn down was to salvage, reuse and recycle as much of the building materials as possible. His plan was to recycle the metal from the roof and to reuse the wood. He would take the metal to a local recycling center and take the wood for himself for another building project. The two best things were that this would be an eco barn buster and that we didn’t have to pay a dime for the materials.
The work was a little hard, but the process was pretty simple. As we took down parts of the barn we put the materials in three separate categories: metal, reusable wood and one for the dumpster. We saved all of the metal because our local recycling center even takes rusted metal. The reusable wood were those that hadn’t split, had no dry-rot and had no termite damage. What was left for the dumpster was totally unusable wood and trash that was inside the barn.
After the dust had settled, literally, we felt it was worth the sweat and scratches. He made over $100 from the local recycling center for the metal. He also now has enough good wood to build a rustic-looking gazebo. Due to our recycling and reusing, we only had to throw away a fraction of the waste. The rustic-look is a trend these days and if you want “used” building materials you can start by asking around. That’s what my friend did and quickly he found someone who was anxious to get an eyesore removed from their property.
There were two trees that were growing up against the old barn and we made it a point to not damage or have to take down the two trees. It was touch and go many times on the “Save the Trees” campaign. Fortunately, we succeeded and they are both left standing.
If you take on a project like this, think about the possibilities of the materials, clean up after yourself and try not to disturb anything and keep everything else as you first found it. In our example, all is left is a dirt patch and two trees. Through hard work maybe you can make a little money and help the environment at the same time.