Best Salvage Shops 2011: Coast to Coast

Shopping Guide

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Whether you're putting in a garden path and need paving stones or you're looking for an architectural detail to make a room pop, consider buying used. It's (generally) cheaper, greener, and infinitely more exciting. We've updated last year's guide to offer you a bigger, better list of the best salvaged treasure troves across the country.

National

5094037dd9127e2f06000554. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Need doors, paint, cabinets? With stores located in hundreds of cities across the US and Canada, chances are your local ReStore has something that you need in stock for not much money, and your payment helps to support Habitat for Humanity projects.

Ann Arbor

509419e4d9127e2f1c0005e0. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The ReUse Center
Recycle Ann Arbor’s ReUse Center offers more than 20,000 square feet of store space, selling a huge variety of household and building materials at affordable prices. The inventory changes every hour, seven days a week!

Baltimore

509419e7dbd0cb032f000677. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Loading Dock
They have great deals — like a changing weekly special (dishwashers for $5!) — and neat finds for people who need inexpensive housing improvement and building materials. They also offer hands-on home repair workshops and free paint distribution to members.

Berkeley

509404d4dbd0cb033a0005d5. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Urban Ore EcoPark
Part excellent thrift store, part overwhelming trash heap, Urban ore EcoPark is 3 acres of pure scavenging heaven. A mecca for those seeking vintage building materials, you could also easily spend hours in here and not even notice the rows of toilets and tubs outside.

Boston

5123b123dbd0cb501c003264. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Boston Building Resources
A consumer co-op and a reuse center that together provide high-value, affordable materials with a special focus on kitchen cabinetry, windows, doors, energy-saving products, and green products. Anyone can join, but you can also shop without joining.

509406d2d9127e2f1c000567. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Restoration Resources
This is Boston's largest architectural salvage store. Owner Bill Raymer and long-time store manager Walter Santory have amassed a staggering collection of Boston-specific architectural elements including mantels, doors, ironwork, stained glass, and hardware.

Boulder

509419ecd9127e2f0a000583. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop ReSource
Well-known for great deals on reclaimed building materials (from sinks to lumber to hardware) and tax deductions for donations, ReSource is also a place for local activism, recycling answers and community and educational outreach.

Chicago

5094047cdbd0cb0335000569. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop American Barn Company
After watching the destruction of dozens of beautiful Midwestern barns, general contractor Jay Wikary started recycling materials from the demolitions and making them into wood furniture, tongue-and-groove flooring, and custom home installations.

5093ff29d9127e2f2e000503. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Salvage One
As one of the largest salvage stores for architectural elements, this 30-year-old Chicago spot is a good place to look for bathroom fixtures, room dividers, or just plain decoration. They also have a nice selection of mod and industrial furniture.

509414f4d9127e2f210005ae. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Rebuilding Exchange
Most of its donated materials come from sustainable deconstruction projects. From vintage ovens to lumber to lighting fixtures, the Rebuilding Exchange has things you want, but also things you may need.

Minneapolis

509419f5dbd0cb03580006ae. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Architectural Antiques
Former owner Don Riggott, now retired, started the business more than 30 years ago when he began selling stained glass windows at flea markets. Today, Architectural Antiques salvages all kinds of items, many of them historic.

New York City

509419eedbd0cb035400061a. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Build It Green!NYC
A division of the Community Environmental Center, BIG has a huge, 17,500 square feet warehouse in Astoria, Queens. They sell everything from "plumbing and lighting fixtures to wood, windows and everything in between."

506ae59374c5b64b16000eff. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Olde Good Things
Their Manhattan store has two big floors of STUFF, and they have a huge warehouse in Scranton, PA where they keep the big treasures. "A junkyard for design aficionados," the store is perfect for those looking for original architectural details.

509419f2dbd0cb033a00065e. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Demolition Depot
A unique source of vintage plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, shutters, railings, gates, grills, mantels, stone and terracotta pieces, religious objects and much, much more. Go explore their 3 story warehouse in East Harlem.

Pittsburgh

509419f3d9127e2f2e0005ea. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Construction Junction
Find gently and not so gently used furniture, building supplies, lighting, and plenty of hard-to-find, no longer manufactured period items. The warehouse is massive and if you take the time to look, there are some seriously cool treasures here.

Portland

509409dedbd0cb03350005aa. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The ReBuilding Center
This non-profit aims to make home repair affordable to everyone through salvaged and reclaimed materials. They have a huge selection of just about everything that structurally makes up a home and they offer deconstruction services.

Roanoke

509419f9dbd0cb035400061b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Black Dog Salvage
They specializes in reclaiming and renewing architectural antiques from the past from stained glass to wrought iron to antique store counters. Tour the 40,000 square feet warehouse of treasures with Sally the Salvage Dog.

San Francisco

5094018bd9127e2f1000052a. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Building REsources
Bursting with useful things they do not picture on their website, like salvaged bricks, flooring, lumber, molding, and more. There's also an assortment of bathtubs, cabinetry, lighting, tools, and many workshops on sustainable building and re-appropriation practices.

5093ff43d9127e2f260004e9. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Ohmega Salvage
A great source for bathroom fixtures and hardware, Ohmega has vintage clawfoot tubs ranging in price from the low hundreds to low thousands. They also have reproduction tubs, sinks, and bathroom and kitchen fixtures.

Southern California

509401a4dbd0cb034f000593. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Whole House Building Supply & Salvage
The company has a warehouse and salvage yard just off the freeway in East Palo Alto. They sell items salvaged from area homes (and they work with East Palo Alto non-profits so that all donations are tax-deductible).

50940334d9127e2f2e00053c. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Gayle's Pasadena Architectural Salvage
All the inventory here is recycled from homes that were junked or renovated, but these folks have picked over the rubble and hauled back top-notch quality items: everything from front doors to knobs to stained glass windows to antique grate covers.

509405c3d9127e2f2600053b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Taipan Architectural Salvage and Furniture
They have an array of reclaimed doors, hardware, fixtures, windows, lighting, lumber... you name it. They also specialize in original modern furniture and licensed reproductions.

Washington DC

509404e5d9127e2f2100053b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Community Forklift - Salvage and Donations
They're a non-profit selling building materials that would otherwise wind up in a landfill. You'll find toilets, bathtubs, doors, windows, lumber, and an assortment of miscellaneous hardware and fixtures.

Article by Emily Nichols

Top Photo: Psyberartist used under Creative Commons License 2.0

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