If construction is in your future — either with a new home build or a remodel — using recycled building materials for the project is definitely the way to go. Not only is using recycled materials good for the environment, but it is often much cheaper. Sometimes, you can even find recycled materials for free! To help you with your upcoming construction or DIY project, here is a list of some of the best places to find recycled items and materials.

red neon pawn shop sign

Pawn shops

You can find some pretty amazing brand name power tools at your local pawn shop. So, it doesn’t hurt to stop by one near you and see what they have. You can even tell them what you are looking for and they could call you when the right item comes into the store.

The most important thing to remember when you want to use recycled building materials for your construction project is to tell people — don’t keep it a secret! Write posts about what you are looking for on social media, post an online classified, talk to your friends and family, make some calls to local contractors or post a flyer around a town.

You don’t know if you don’t ask. When you do, you will most likely find some pretty amazing deals that can help your construction project be eco-friendly.

Habitat for Humanity Restore

Outlets that accept building material donations are a gold mine, especially when you are planning a construction project. Habitat for Humanity Restore sells donated items to the general public. You can find things like furniture, appliances, building materials and housewares, and they will cost you just pennies compared to what you would find at a regular home store.

If you can’t find a Habitat for Humanity Restore in your area, there are other non-profits located throughout the country that also sell recycled building materials. All it takes is a quick Google search.

Related: Green-roofed home is built of waste bricks and wood in Poland

piles of recycled wood

Wood recycling stores

There are places all over the United States where you can find recycled and reclaimed wood for things like flooring, paneling and furniture. Not only does using recycled and reclaimed wood have environmental benefits, but it can give your home character.

The Building Materials Reuse Association has an online directory that you can use to find a location near you where you can find recycled and reclaimed wood for your next construction project.

Scratch and dent stores

If you have never heard of a scratch and dent store, they are outlets that sell items that have been damaged, refurbished, are out of the box or have been discontinued. Scratch and dent items can be a lot cheaper than retail, they sometimes have a manufacturer warranty and the damage is usually just cosmetic.

However, you will be responsible for getting rid of your old appliances and installing the new ones. There is also a risk that you could buy a lemon. So, make sure that you can swap your appliance out if you end up with one that is causing problems.

You can find slightly imperfect appliances at the Sears Outlet website or at one of their outlet stores. You can also buy scratch and dent furniture online at Goedeker’s. Again, a quick Google search will help you find the scratch and dent stores in your area.

tear down site

Tear-down sites

When a contractor is tearing down a building or remodeling a residential or commercial site they usually have to get rid of a few things. This means that you can get your hands on items like building materials, cabinets, sinks and toilets, and help the contractor dispose of their waste.

Contact local contractors and tell them what you are looking for, then ask if you can take a look at one of their sites. Be prepared for some resistance because there could be safety and liability concerns. But, you just might find a contractor who wants to avoid waste just as much as you do and will be more than willing to set some things aside.

Freecycle and Planet Reuse

This non-profit website is all about exchanging things for free. It has millions of members from around the globe and the goal is to keep things from ending up in landfills. Membership is free and you can find items like tools, tiles and wood.

Related: Eco-friendly options for decluttering waste

Another great online option is PlanetReuse, which is a marketplace where you can buy recycled materials from both residential and commercial buildings. They also offer a consulting service if you need help with using recycled materials for your construction or DIY projects. Not to mention, they will also make sure to stay within your budget.

Also, don’t be afraid to post an online classified ad on Craigslist, in a Facebook group or your general social media network. You might just be surprised who has something you could use just hanging out in their backyard.

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