Salvage and Save on Home Building Materials

So you’re remodeling your house and deconstructing your home, rather than demolishing it, good for you. You’ve hired a contractor that specializes in deconstruction practices and have secured proper storage for your salvaged materials, High five. But what can be reused and where? Is it worth all the time and effort to save wood framing, an old door, or a sink that you never liked from the get-go? What about the stuff you don’t to keep? Let’s break down what’s worth saving vs what to let go.

Don’t Dump It

Research shows 25% to 30% of landfill waste comes from construction and demolition. By making the decision to not toss it all in the dump, you’ve already made a big impact for our planet. Reducing the amount of construction materials that you dispose of can have a positive effect on our environment. Less waste means less air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution, which benefit everyone’s health and wellbeing. This can also lower soil contamination, which is better for agriculture, wildlife, and freshwater locations.

Keep It

Have you ever pulled up old carpet to discover the original hardwoods underneath? Or opened a room by removing interior framing? How about taking apart a decommissioned a chimney resulting in a pile of bricks? These materials have great potential for reuse.

Listed below are some ideas on how construction materials can be saved and repurposed back into your remodel.

ORIGINAL Options to Redo
Foundation chunks Garden patio, bench, landscaping
Lath New Rain Screen, firewood, garden stakes
De-papered sheetrock (gypsum) Soil amendment
Furnace brick Garden paths and small patio areas
Wood Framing Interior framing, countertops, furniture
Window/door/ baseboard trim Reinstall in original location, picture frames
Sewer/plumbing pipes Garden art
Flooring Refinish them or use for Island fronts, accent walls
Electrical insulators Cabinet and drawer hardware
Kitchen cabinets Relocate and install in workshop
Windows Home decor, mini green house, mirrors
Doors Reinstall, headboard, tabletop
Hinges Fridge magnets
Plastic window blinds Garden stakes, book markers and key chains
Molding Used again as decorative molding
Carpet and pad Tree/shrub weed barrier (not in gardens)
Wood framing Interior framing and kitchen island countertops
Sink Drain Decorative drawer pulls
Broken concrete sidewalk Path walkway, stepping stones

Donate it

There are plenty of reasons to renovate your home. It could be outdated, needs repair, or you want to increase the home’s value. The one thing in common with all three of these is there will be leftover construction materials that you don’t want to keep, like that sink.

Research in your area for recycling centers. Many will accept scrap metal, construction debris, non-working appliances, water heaters, flashing, carpet and pad, and roofing materials.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations accept many household items, construction materials, old and new such as tile, tools, light fixtures, tubs, working appliances, hardware and of course, that sink. And for all that old and leftover paint, go to MetroPaint of Oregon Metro. They recycle and reformulate donated latex paint into twelve new colors that then are sold in gallon size, at a fraction of competitor’s prices.

Find It

Thank you for being a part of the effort to decrease construction waste, help our environment and supporting the economy by donating. To help complete your remodel with new building materials and product to seamlessly blend with what you have salvaged and saved, shop at a PARR location near you. Visit to find out more.

Would like to learn more? Watch PARR Weekend Warriors, Redo with Q episode 3; Salvage and Save. Discover an amazing resource where you can donate and find materials for your next home project. See what homeowner, Shannon Quimby found for her remodel project called Hoffs Homestead’s, a 1911 bungalow in McMinnville, Oregon.

Shannon Quimby is an internationally acknowledged salvage designer, television personality, DIY expert and photo stylist for Better Homes & Gardens. Check out her website to find out more.