Where to find recycled materials for your projects

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start finding second-hand materials for recycled building projects. Nowadays there are a growing number of shops and picking yards springing up where you can browse through recyled lumber, finishings, and antiques. 

These are a great place to start but you can also keep an eye on the good old classified ads. Lot’s of times you’ll find people looking to get rid of all manner of “junk” that is readily reusable.

And recently I learnt to never judge a book by it’s cover. When you work closely with locals and let them know about your desire to recycle and upcycle you get to hear about hidden gems. I was told a while back about a truck load of wood that was for sale for $130 (R2,000).

Thinking it was old pine siding I was stunned to find out that it was in fact Brazilian hardwood, worth 10 to 20 times what I paid if bought new. Whilst I would never consider buying Brazilian hardwood new and contributing to the clearing of the rainforest, buying it second hand when it was going to be thrown away, was a double bargain – reduce impact on the planet and save a packet.

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