With an ever-increasing emphasis on using sustainable building materials, reclaiming construction materials is becoming an increasingly popular choice- especially if you’re extending a period property or need to ensure your new home is sympathetically built to the surrounding area. Reclaimed building materials are often altered in some way, such as being re-sized, adapted or re-finished to meet your requirements, but they keep their original form.
Common building materials to reclaim
A wide range of building materials can be reclaimed, including:
· Slate roofing tiles
· Ceramic tiles
· Window frames
· Glass panels
· Stair cases
· Metal fixtures and fittings
· Steel sections
· Cobbled stones
Often, these building materials can be re-purposed, such as using a roof beam for a mantelpiece to create a stunning look to your new building.
A quick guide to using re-claimed building materials
If you’ve decided that using reclaimed building materials, our quick and easy guide will make it easier for you, your architect and your builders to successfully achieve your project.
· As early as possible, let your architect know that you want to use reclaimed materials, as this will help us and your other construction professionals to source the appropriate materials. Ordering reclaimed materials almost always takes longer than sourcing new materials.
· Try and talk to salvage and reclaimed material dealers, as they can help you to find the materials you need in the right condition and quantity.
· Try and find architects and builders who have good connections in the salvage trade, as reclaimed materials are sourced from different suppliers.
· Find out if there are any planned demolition projects close to your building site, around the same time as your construction. You can usually select and take the materials you want, as you need them.
· It’s essential to allow for some level of flexibility, as your project will need to allow for variations in the reclaimed materials used. Often, if a project uses reclaimed materials, the essential purpose and performance your require from every material.
Remember that whilst the majority of reclaimed materials are environmentally-friendly and will offer a direct saving to you, older reclaimed materials and antiques may be far more expensive due to the craftsmanship and quality.