Today’s homeowners value more than location and space; many are looking for the unique and authentic in not just their decor, but in the materials used to build homes. That can mean big business for those who are able to salvage and provide building elements from vacant and derelict structures.

Credit: The Ingle Group

History, Quality, And Old-Fashioned Durability

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Secondhand wood, steel, brick, glass, and other building materials have gained new value thanks to their potential to be repurposed and resold instead of being dumped in a landfill. Some construction industry professionals are taking great pains to carefully remove fixtures, windows, steel beams, and other items so they can be incorporated into new buildings or sold as new products. In addition to cutting down on waste, the practice is a way to character, history, and in some cases, an old-fashioned level of quality and durability that can’t be found new and off-the-shelf today.

Image Source: Construction Dive

Building Businesses From Scrap And Salvage

The reclaiming trend has become so prominent, that people have been able to build businesses selling salvage materials for custom flooring and walls, countertops, accent windows, decorative brickwork, and more. By repurposing materials, homeowners are getting more than a rustic look; sometimes they’re getting exceptional quality, especially with materials like steel.

Steel Showing Its Age And Strength

While today’s building components are made to suit very specific requirements—based on a structure and updated building regulations—steel salvaged from older buildings has been said to offer as much as double the strength required. As C1S Group construction manager, Dustin White told Construction Dive, manufacturers of the past lacked our modern ability to carefully calculate material strength needed for a specific architectural design. Instead, building elements were simply made stronger to compensate for any potential errors or irregularities, which makes them of superior strength and quality compared to today’s standards.


What are your thoughts on this trend that has made construction salvage chic and desirable? Comment and let us know.

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