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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.