Find used and antique items for your old house restoration... or for modern homes with an authentically historic flavor.
Time Required: Shopping can take days or years... Enjoy the process!
- Search online directories for Architectural Salvage.
- Check the yellow pages of your local telephone directory for Building Materials - Used, or Salvage and Surplus.
- Phone demolition contractors. Ask where they take their salvaged building materials.
- Contact your local historic preservation society. Ask about salvagers and antique dealers who specialize in antique building parts.
- Do business over the Internet. View photographs and inquire about shipping costs. Take advantage of online message boards and forums for buying, selling and trading.
- Place classified ads in magazines that specialize in old house restoration.
- Visit demolition sites. Check those dumpsters!
- Keep an eye on garage sales, estate sales, and auctions.
- Know when garbage night is in your and neighboring communities. Some people don't know what they've got until it's gone.
- Beware of "strippers." Reputable architectural salvagers support the cause of historic preservation by rescuing valuable artifacts that would otherwise be demolished. However, irresponsible dealers will strip a viable building, selling historic items individually to make a fast profit. It's always best to purchase salvage from a source recommended by the local historical society. When in doubt, ask where the item originated, and why it was removed.
- Some historical societies operate nonprofit salvage warehouses and other services for old-house restoration.
- Most salvage centers do not operate 9 to 5 hours. Always call before making the trip.