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Jul 02

Reuse and Recycle Salvaged Building Materials

old barn

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.

31 comments

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  1. Baume Mercier Classima

    Very interesting topic will bookmark your site to check if you write more about in the future.

  2. Austin roofer

    Recycling is a good alternative but despite all the benefits recycling brings there aren’t many enthusiastic people about it in construction industry. I think the main problem here is the lack of a reliable recycling network, once we have that things will change in a lot better.

  3. Shannon

    I’ve taken down a barn, too. (It was easier than we thought!) I used the boards for benches and other craft projects. It was a win-win for me and the homeowner who was told by the city it had to come down due to safety reasons.

  4. Radiant Barrier Insulation

    I enjoyed your article. I have moved several storage sheds and small workshops. I have attempted to reuse everything, even the insulation and electrical wire and have saved a tremendous amount of money from building new. Thanks.

  5. Uncle Hildes

    This is what i am looking for, i got some ideas that i could use soon in my owned.

  6. Ranee Davance

    I truly loved this. It has been very educational as well as helpful. I will come back to check on upcoming articles.

  7. antonette jumawan

    awesome! I really like reading your story, that’s good. Recycling is one of the good deeds! Nice one. for that I want to practice how to recycle. Thanks!

  8. Pergolas

    Sometimes it is just the little things we all do as a individuals that make the real difference in the long term. I applaud any effort at recycling.

  9. Home Builders Queensland

    I know that sometimes it is a labour of love with only a small return when undertaking a renovation or restoration project like this. If we had more resources to combine our recycling efforts, and to share those items that we have saved, we would all be better off.

  10. hampers

    "…Through hard work maybe you can make a little money and help the environment at the same time…" If all people are into this mindset, this world will surely be a better place to live in. Go for going green and only eat toxic-free foods.

  11. Raymund

    My dad earned 200 bucks recycling the salvaged metals in our old guest house. It’s cool!

  12. Ashely

    Hmm…makes me think. My grandmother has a barn similar to that one. Maybe a good recycling opportunity although I don’t know if the roof is still there or not. Also, you have to be careful deconstructing building because they can easily fall on you if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  13. wire deck railing

    Using recycled materials for home building and home remodeling is a good way to help protect our environment. You can also save money. There are home remodeling contractors who also use eco-friendly building materials in their renovation projects.

  14. Karyn

    We are small business owners mini putt ice cream shack snack shack ect. and have plans to relocate our business and expanded we have a old barn that we would like to pull down and use the salvaged wood to build a rustic coffee house at a new location I spend many hours online searching for info and ideas as I know with the old wood we could build something that would be quite special! I look forward to the day when we can put the old barn to a new cherished use to be enjoyed by all

  15. home builders Missouri

    You can use recycled materials in your home remodeling project. A lot of home builders and remodeling contractors are pushing for environmentally-friendly building materials and techniques. You can do your part in contributing to the protection of our environment by adopting these practices.

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    Using recycled materials for landscaping features and garden decorations is a growing trend. I think it is a good idea to use these materials and promote an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

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    hey this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen;can include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from this side .

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    hey this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen;can include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from this side .

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    I’m a big fan of that "rustic" look. Great job!

  20. Luxury Log Homes

    I find your article really interesting as I am recycling believer myself. I keep things aside that I find that will still be useful for some other functions or projects. If the recycling idea were to be used by the government, it will help both our economy and environment. If this were to be done on a larger scale, coordination and communication are important factors.

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    Really enjoyed reading this content. You actually possess a way with words that is definitely some what unique. I actually can not wait to read some more articles by you. All the best.

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    Really enjoyed reading this content. You actually possess a way with words that is definitely some what unique. I actually can not wait to read some more articles by you. All the best.

  23. awesomeness

    That is an awesome barn! Haha, I really enjoyed this article, your a very creative writer. I never thought about this before.

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