Is Getting Free Building Materials Really Possible?
As strange as the concept may be to some, obtaining free building materials for woodworking projects is not only possible, it's fairly common and reliably easy to do. It just requires a bit of imagination and tenacity. It can also be a fun thing to do with the family on the weekend. I'm certain many of you are chuckling right about now, or maybe even laughing out loud. But it's true, and I can attest to this as I grow up doing exactly that. To put this into perspective, let's consider where we are most likely to find free building materials.
Sources for Getting Free Building Materials
This is where having an effective imagination comes in handy, and one of the things that makes this potentially fun family outing. Think about the industries in your area. Try to remember where you saw a commercial building or a house being torn down. If you live in the country you're really in luck, because many farm building have fallen into disrepair and are no longer in use. If you're looking to build a new garden shed, old barns are a rich and abundant source for placking and some really practical hardware and other materials.
Watch for garage and barn sales. These are often plentiful sources for scrap lumber or other building materials. You may have to spend a bit, but it will not cost close to what you've paid for new materials. Involve the kids in this "game", and they'll feel like they're part of the project, and that their input has value. They often, as my siblings and I did, come up with the best and most creative ideas! Get the kids excited and involved and you may be surprised at the resources they learn about at school. Driving around looking for these freebies is a lot of fun.
A Real Life Example or Two
I must confess that although I grew up as a city slicker, I found my true liking when my family moved to a farm when I was 13. I really enjoyed farm animals, and raised cattle and chickens. I was always asking Dad for money for building materials I needed for chicken coops, rabbit hutches, cattle sheds and other farm related structures. My dad grown tired of handing over cash, but came up with the "game" I've previously described. The family got involved and we had many memorable experiences together searching for free building materials.
One I remember vividly is when we drve past a farm and noticed a man pushing down some fairly nice, commercial chicken coops with a dozer. We approached him and discovered he intended to burn the piles of lumber. It did not take much persuading to convince him to let us remove the lumber instead. It took some work for sure, but we harvested enough free building material to build a number of farm buildings, including a brand "new" chicken coop. Once they had a new coat of paint, no one could ever tell us built them from re-purposed materials that we got for free!
Well let's get back to the city for a moment. I've also found plentiful supplies of free building materials in shipyards and other industrial areas. Businesses often pile scrap lumber along the front of their properties with "free wood" signs attached. Sometimes it's usable, sometimes it's not, but it's always free. At the very least it makes great firewood. And the drives through the country and even the industrial areas are interesting and fun adventures for the family.
I hope these tales inspire you to get your family involved in your building projects, and to save huge dollars in the process. It truly can be fun and rewarding, and yes, getting free building materials is possible.
Copyright 2011, Arne James, All rights reserved
Source by Arne James