Save on home remodeling with reclaimed materials, fixtures and furnishings

Combine a limited home remodeling budget with a green frame of mind, and you can find great ways to save on your next DIY project.

There are a lot of worthwhile, beautiful home materials ready to be reclaimed and reused thanks to savvy dealers, demolition experts and everyday folks who rescue them from a landfill fate.

Here are a few resources for trimming your project costs as you create and improve.

  • Architectural salvage yards: Modern green-building principles meet the architecture of the past in these gardens of historical finds. Take a stroll through a dealer's offerings, and you may find replacement hardware, a period-correct fixture or an amazing garden ornament. Salvage gurus travel far and wide to collect the nearly-priceless artifacts that renovations and demolitions leave behind, and their breadth of knowledge is as valuable as their road stories are amazing. Visit the online yards of Ohmega Salvage and Recycling The Past to get a coast-to-coast feel for the latest in salvage finds, and then dig in with a visit to your local dealer.

  • House-part recycling centers: Less-glamorous but equally usable items like cabinets and flooring are brought to these green operations for your project-shopping pleasure. Contractors and homeowners alike donate excess new materials and remodeling cast-offs for recycling by others. Several of these centers also extend the goodwill by donating some or all of their profits to support needed services and green endeavors in their communities.
  • Online classifieds: Be sure to browse online destinations like Craigslist for local deals and steals. You can find everything from new entry doors to railroad ties for landscaping projects among the listings, and with a careful, common sense approach, arrange to purchase and pick up items in record time.
  • Internet-based boutiques: Other online collectives like Etsy feature a number of independent vendors offering great vintage furnishings, fixtures and fittings alongside original art and handcrafts. Claim an Eames-era chair for your remodeled living area and accessorize with a nouveau-retro, artist-signed print all in one stop!

Tom Kraeutler is the AOL'S Home Improvement Editor and co-author of My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. He delivers home remodeling tips each week as host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program.

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