How Do I Choose the Best Used Building Materials?

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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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When it comes to choosing used building materials, you have several different options. You can buy building materials that are reclaimed, second-hand, recycled, vintage or reused. When you are evaluating these types of building materials, you want to review the type of project, quality, style and the price of each item prior to deciding which type of used building materials are the best for the project you are completing.

The first step you should evaluate is the type of building project you are trying to complete. For example, if you are replacing or building a roof for your home, reclaiming roofing materials from an old home is not a project that used building materials are recommended for. You can, however choose recycled roofing materials such as rubber or tin.

If you are adding crown molding to your home, you have a couple of different options. You have the option to go to companies that sell reclaimed or vintage building materials. Some owners of older properties that are being renovated or torn down may open them up for people to come in and choose the crown molding or other used building materials they want.


Quality is another primary factor you should consider when choosing used building materials. Although the materials are used, they should still be fully functional, and able to be repaired or refinished if necessary. For example, you may find an old home with an original hardwood floor that the property owner is willing to sell. Inspect the floor or even run a polish test on an area of the floor to make sure that it can be refinished to return it to its original glory.

Style is another issue to consider when choosing used building materials. Vintage, traditional and older styles of building materials are more readily available from certain places, such as older properties or companies that reclaim the items and then sell them. If you’re looking for modern styled materials, you may have to consider building materials that are recycled from used items.

Price is another factor that should be considered. Recycled items and reclaimed items tend to be more expensive than brand new manufactured items. This is primarily due to two factors. The first is that the process to reclaim or recycle old items into new items can be costly. The second reason is that used building materials that are vintage or antique are often unique or one of a kind and are priced accordingly. They are considered to be more valuable due to the original materials used and detailed workmanship which may not be available at a typical building materials store.


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