Salvaged Materials - Share your experience
Emily Hurley
October 31, 2013
Have you used salvaged materials or fixtures for projects in your home? What did you learn along the way and how did your projects turn out?

Share your experience here! (Photos encouraged)

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dianahb
We recently renovated our detached 1927 garage and potting shed into a working studio. The potting shed, added to the garage in 1930, had narrow heart-pine flooring. The building was in terrible shape, and not used for anything. We were able to save some of the heart pine flooring, though, and I had the carpenters make me a sliding barn door with what was salvageable (from a barn door design I saw on Houzz!). The barn door now separates the studio from the office area (what was the potting shed). It turned out beautifully. Two of the exterior doors were picked up from Habitat and work perfectly.
5 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 9:32AM
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libradesigneye
I bought a salvage exterior door from the 50's to hang between a dining room and kitchen on natural iron finish Rolling Door hardware - with a bright coat of paint, it became a feature - added some finger pulls from Rocky Mountain hardware
6 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 12:32PM
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dianahb
Oh, I love that, libradesigneye. Love the blue and the door itself-- and the sort of blue/gray floor. Really looks nice. I love sliding barn doors. Here's a picture of mine I forgot to add. This was when it was first finished-- not much in there at this point-- but that's my door. :)
5 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 12:52PM
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PRO
Rustica Hardware
If your in the market for a barn door or hardware take a look on our website we have a great selection. You can get some good ideas and pricing. See: http://rusticahardware.com/barn-door-hardware/
    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Emily Hurley
Are yours salvaged?
    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Linda
I have used salvage products extensively in various projects. Cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, doors, siding, wood flooring and trimwork, some relocated within the project. I have obtained salvage items from ReStore and ReBuilding Exchange and I have also gone to demolition sales and done the removal myself.

Lesson 1 - Nothing is free
There is a tremendous amount of labor involved in removing, and preparing materials for reuse and labor isn't free, even when it is your own. Items bought from a specialist salvage business are expensive because that type of business is very difficult to run. If you're trying to save money, think about all the miscellaneous costs you may incur. If you are just looking for low cost materials, look for demolition sales where you can get many different items at one time. Then, be sure to snag everything associated with what you want - related pieces, accessories, hardware (potentially expensive or impossible to replace). Don't accidently leave the jamb side of door hinges or the strike plate behind

Lesson 2 - Vintage salvage materials can be unusual sizes or configurations and require extensive design work or customization to fit into the new location. Standard sizes have evolved over the years - older doors were often 24, 26 or 28 inches wide where modern construction would place a 30 or 32 inch door. Height is another issue with old doors...openings for 83 or 84 inch doors are difficult to retrofit and 80 inch doors won't work in many old houses.

Lesson 3 - Look very carefully for quality problems in reused materials. Cracks, chips, dents, dings...nail holes are character, missing pieces are harder to disguise and typically expensive or impossible to replace. I once had my eye on a gorgeous double wide ceramic utility sink until I noticed the hairline crack in one basin. Small damage can become a major problem by the time the item is removed, transported and reinstalled.

Lesson 4 - Concentrate on quality and unique items. Salvaging lower end interior doors is only a deal if you are able to get a large number for almost free because they aren't expensive to buy new. FInding a vintage entry door, especially with trim and sidelights is a find as a knockout new entry door is hundreds or thousands of collars.

Lesson 5 - Think practicalities before you spend your money. Make sure you have adequate labor, transportation and storage space for the item. Measure carefully to be sure the item will fit or be easily adapted for reuse. Salvage items are no refund, no exchange.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Linda
Be creative
This bed was made from salvaged materials...the only new part is the knockdown hardware. The four posts were originally newel posts and the headboard was the second floor hallway railing. The footboard was constructed by taking the stair railing apart, cutting each section straight and reassembling the unit as a shorter railing. The rails are solid oak 1 by planks from a huge 1980s fluorescent light grid picked from the ReStore free pile. You can see the marks from the corner newel post where the second railing was originally attached

My partner thought I was totally and utterly crazy when I told him why I wanted that railing. Now he loves to tell people this creative reuse story.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Linda
Here's the bed in its original form
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 5:43PM
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dclostboy
Everything in this bathroom was salvaged...love the way it turned out.
7 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 5:46PM
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Kenyon McIntyre Inc.
that's pretty cool linda, I'll have to upload a clear vertical grain 4x redwood table my dad and I made from an arbor we took town. its pretty cool. but nice work on the bed frame. also yeah correct it can be more trouble than its worth to try and salvage things at times.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    October 31, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Emily Hurley
Love all the photos. It's so neat to see examples from people's homes.
    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:30AM
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nouterbud
We made two tables from one. The farm table legs originally had the coffee table top on it but it was too small for our family so we removed the legs and made a bigger top with salvaged oak boards. We fixed up the old top which was totally falling apart and added feet that a friend pulled out of a dumpster and use that as a coffee table. Two tables for the price of one! And only $20.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 3, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Emily Hurley
That is a gorgeous table. Well done.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:09PM
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bungalowmo
WOW....Linda...Lostboy and Nouterbud. All 3 of your projects could fit right into my house! :0) Beautiful pieces made from great old stock! From the bedroom to the bath to the living & dining rooms. Total old school LOVE here!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:23PM
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bungalowmo
dclostboy...where did you buy the wooden shade? Locally? You know I'm only an hour away! :0) Out in Fro Ro! haha
    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:32PM
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bungalowmo
This was sort of salvaged....my neighbor was going to toss it!

When I went over to get it...he had "washed it" for me...in Murphys! Blech! Man that stuff is horrible. Took forever to get rid of that nasty smell...and the greasy finish.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 6, 2013 at 2:34PM
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PRO
Rustica Hardware
Hi Emily, we do have some salvaged doors or doors that are made from salvaged barn wood. Take a look on our website there are many options. http://rusticahardware.com/barn-doors/
    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:52PM
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