Construction is big business – it always has been, and it always will be. But construction s not just about building, it is also about tearing down and demolition. And it is the demolition side of the business that is getting increasingly interesting as salvage and upcycling of materials are becoming a very lucrative market. So, if you have a property and are planning on doing some renovations you should be looking to factor income from salvage into the overall project budget. Nothing should be thrown away without thinking about it first. So, before you begin, here are some ideas of things that are sought after in salvage yard and in re and up-cycling plants.
Metals make magic
They might not be the thing that you see in antique shops or displayed at salvage warehouses, but industrial pipes, conduits and plumbing are a great thing for recycling. Their uses are many: they can simply be cleaned and reused. If they are metal, they can be melted and resold in ingot form. They are versatile and easy to repurpose, and, in many instances, they are almost as good as new when taken out of the building.
Don’t just rip up the flooring of whatever building you are working on. Look first to see what you are taking out. If it is a wooden floor you could be standing on a goldmine. Parquet tiles can easily be resold and there is a big market for them. But even pine or oak flooring is easy to offload. The floor itself and the beams that support it tend to come up beautifully when sanded down or planed. The wood might look rough at first glance, but that is because it has been sitting under the floor for a long time. Give it a bit of love and attention and you are on to a winner.
Never underestimate what there is a demand for. To you it might just be an old bath or toilet that you are ripping out to replace with something more fashionable and state-of-the-art, but to somebody else they may be vintage pieces, perfectly suited for their Art Deco refurbishment. Or, it could just be a case of somebody looking to do a project on a tight budget, and they are happy to make do with your old cast-offs. Whatever the case old fittings are easy to offload and can fetch very good prices. Think bathroom fittings, cupboards and tiles. They all go down a storm.
We mentioned the flooring already, but things like window and doors are also huge wins for the urban recycler. Wood that comes out of the roof as well can be very nicely aged and easy to repurpose. There are so many houses these days built out of recycled materials that the market for these products is big. People in the market to build often spend weekends scouring scrap or salvage yards looking for these types of products. So, when you demolish make sure that your builders remove the useful parts carefully so that you can sell them and have them live again.