Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

By HomeAdvisor

Updated August 30, 2017

Reclaimed furniture

Homeowners with a taste for history and authenticity can now readily find classic materials and fixtures for their properties by making use of architectural salvage. Architectural salvage offers homeowners a unique and interesting alternative to the products offered by chain home improvement centers. Dressing your home with reclaimed materials has a few other benefits that are worth looking into. If you are in the market for a home makeover, understanding the ins and outs of architectural salvage may give you a new outlook on older materials, and in some cases a better remodel, too.

Financial Benefits of Reclaimed Materials

The price of salvaged building materials, fixtures and furniture can vary dramatically from one instance to another. While you may be able to find a great cast iron tub at a phenomenal price, luck plays a very important role in how often great deals come along. In some cases, reclaimed materials are actually more expensive than buying new; however, just like other vintage items, the value of your purchase is likely to go up over time. While new items might offer a cheaper initial price, buying reclaimed may actually be a better investment in some cases.

Environmental Benefits of Reclaimed Materials

Not only can outfitting your house with reclaimed materials be financially lucrative, it is also an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious. Producing new materials requires a lot of energy, and the more people who demand those materials, the more the manufacturers must supply. Removing fixtures and materials that already exist, on the other hand, requires a much different kind of energy. Though removing floor boards from an old building might take a lot of diligence and difficult labor, the impact on the environment is a far cry from producing new floor boards. By choosing reclaimed materials for your next remodel, you can get a high quality material and make an impact on energy consumption, as well.

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Aesthetic Benefits of Reclaimed Materials

There are surely some people out there who buy vintage items to reduce their environmental footprint, and there are certainly collectors who do it for financial gain, but for the majority of us, purchasing a classic item is more a matter of aesthetics than anything else. In a country where just about everything is becoming more sterile and uniform, there’s no question that many homeowners are seeking a bit of individuality when they remodel. By finding fixtures that have history and items that are one of a kind, you don’t have to work too hard to create a space that is unlike any other. Though new materials certainly have the benefit of gloss, when properly refurbished and installed, fixtures that are several decades old can shine just as bright, but in a way that a newly produced materials haven’t had the time to perfect.

Where to Find Architectural Salvage

Years ago, finding vintage materials was a matter of stumbling on a shop that happened to be carrying something you want. Today, however, the internet has made it possible to find just about anything you want quickly and conveniently. To be sure, there are architectural salvage companies with warehouses where you can physically search or have your interior designer find the piece you need, but online inventories are much easier to dig through. If you use the internet to find not only your materials, but the company you want to restore and/or install them, you may be able to plan the majority of your remodel without ever leaving the comfort of home!

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