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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Salvaging For Your Cabin/Tiny House/Self-Built Home.....

 Today's post/discussion is on hardware, most specifically door knobs.

I just recently flew out to San Francisco for a guest speaking gig at a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop to talk about recycled-material building- a means to keep a vast array of material out of landfills, and a vast array of cash IN your wallet. It makes perfect sense to me, yet time and time again I find people giving this notion the "its not worth my time" shrug off. Well, that's fine by me, as it leaves more to salvage for the rest of us I suppose. No, really though, you should rethink this and give it a shot! Hear me out....

The workshop was a blast(!), by the way, and was led by Pepper Clark, and Ella Jenkins. I also got a chance to tour Ella's super-funky tiny house (a video, and photo gallery coming soon!)

MY SEAT VIEW as we're getting ready to take off from Boston to Augusta, Maine.
Anyway, while returning to Massachusetts, via Maine, in a tiny, tiny Sessna airplane, (A mere eight seats! see photo), I soon after hit Searsport, Maine. While there, at a junk/antiques barn (one of MANY), I stumbled upon this simple display of vintage door nobs for sale- YES, the kind that are overlooked on a daily basis when it comes to discarded construction materials on the side of the road, and homes being torn down. THIS STUFF CAN BE FREE.

THE CHEAPEST vintage knob set on this store rack ran for $15.00. The rarest of them, FAR higher- and this is stuff I find for nothing all of them time. Actually a lot of the stuff I've found is better, and might fetch higher dollar.

With a little elbow grease, you can add a vintage and unique touch to you home for almost ZIP, keep these non-degradable materials out of the waste stream, AND even sell the excess ones you don't want or need on ebay or craigslist- I have- many times. Heck, even if you have to fork over the cash for these items, I feel its STILL worth it, as you'll gain a look, and added character, to your home- one that others will not have. If you can't find them for free, flea markets are another great place to look- cheap, AND you can even haggle the prices down.

Hinges, hooks, latches, and more- it just may be out there waiting to be harvested. You may not save a fortune, but each piece you utilize will be far more interesting and unique than the roster of hardware you'll find in any hardware chain, and each piece may just have an interesting story to tell. 

How to find it? I don't really even go out of my way. Truthfully. I just keep my eyes peeled when I'm driving around and always have a screwdriver or drill handy (to back out the screws on any hardware I might desire). Even if you spot a busted, junky, hollow-core door, it just may be harboring some free hardware.

ABOVE: Inside the labyrinth of "TREASURES and TRASH"- A GREAT junk mine where I spotted the array of door knobs. The owner was friendly, and I wish I had hours to poke around in this place! You can find more on this store here....

 All in all, aside from the money saved, what I love about salvaged building goods, is that I can have friends over, and while sitting enjoying a beer or two, I can point out, from a single vantage point, not one or two, but a few dozen items and building materials that have been salvaged, and put to good, creative, use in my home. NONE of these items would ever be found in a hardware chain store, and all of 'em make for a funky and original look.

Advantage: Deek 

If you'd like to read more on some of my recycled-material-building ideas, there are "more than you can shake a stick at" (whatever the heck that old saying is supposed to mean!?) in my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks". 

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen