Using reclaimed construction materials

Reclaiming old materials make sense on many levels. Sustainability,  Preservation – to name two.

In 2005, my wife and I had enclosed our side porch and made it into a den. I saved the columns that came with the original house, which were hollow core pine and were manufactured in the 1920s. I restored them and now have incorporated them into new my back porch. It’s added a classic look to a new living space.

What I think I like best about the new columns is that they represent sustainability. A lot of times materials like this are chucked into the landfill. By saving them, I make sure no unnecessary trees were chopped down to build my porch. Plus I have preserved a piece of history. Sure, I could have built new columns that looked exactly like the old ones…except that they would not be. Old that is. You just can’t replace some things.

If you don’t have old materials to strip and recondition, you can always go to an architectural salvage yard. They’re like a playground for people like me.

Here are three:

Caravati’s Inc. (Richmond)

Peninsula Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Newport News)

Black Dog Salvage (Roanoke)

If you have another favorite spot for pickup up antiques and reclaimed construction materials, let me know!

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