Building with Reclaimed Materials—Get Inspired!

Lately, I’ve come across several inspirational stories of people building homes or other structures with reclaimed materials—materials that would have otherwise been hauled away to a landfill.

Some common materials include wood from old barns that were being torn down, wooden beams, old sinks or bathroom fixtures, bathtubs, windows, bricks, and rock or cement pieces. When building with such materials, you not only save money, but you can also feel a sense of history in what you’re creating. In the photo above, the kitchen counter was hand-built using reclaimed wooden blocks.

The story of Guy and Kay Baker is especially impressive. This Alabama couple built their family’s home—a gorgeous cabin in Alabama—using almost entirely reclaimed materials. Guy had long had a fascination with the antique building materials he saw while working on tear-down buildings in the area. He was impressed with the materials’ quality and durability. He saw the antiques he’d collected as heirlooms of a bygone era that valued craftsmanship over speed.

Read the Bakers’ story and learn about the many different kinds of reclaimed building materials you can use in The Joys of Building a Home Together.

For resources on where to find reusable items, visit Build or Remodel with Salvaged Materials.

Photo by Michael Shopenn

3 DIY Projects that Keep Your Stuff Out of the Recycling Bin


Chris G.
.2 years ago

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Chris G.
.2 years ago

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susan k.
susan k5 years ago

Great ideas .

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Kamryn M.
Kay M5 years ago


Susan S.
Paul Stephan5 years ago

Great ideas.

Anastasia J.
Anastasia J5 years ago

I've seen some amazingly creative (small) homes made out of "trash." There are limitations, but it's amazing what you can do with "junk."

Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

my house is ALOT of reclaimed wood and materials. My living room (prior occupants) used old houses from and old district that used the housing for the workers that helped take care of a dam in Washington State, thus makes up the cathedral ceiling. When I have used new materials I feel my house might go into shock! My house is old, but warm and humble.

Wen Ping
Lea Thng5 years ago

Thank you =)

Tammy K.
Tammy K5 years ago