Introducing Repurpose Lumber: the ultimate recycler’s secret weapon! Prepare to experience a triumphant sense of victory, even before you’ve figured out what to do with that delightful pile of wood. Trust me, there’s nothing quite as satisfying and reassuring as having a mountain of lumber at your beck and call. It’s like being a superhero in the world of recycling!

Gleaning discarded excess or used building materials for later use is nothing new. Truely the America we all know, and love was built on the mind set of excess and convenance. To see this all you have to do is visit or drive by any commercial building site and see what is being tossed into the dumpster. In many cases you’ll see whole uncut boards along with yards and yards of cut pieces. Many of the cut pieces are of good length and quality, just not worth the builders’ time to set aside until a purpose is found for it. Thier material list is made up by using the buildings plans and there isn’t a thought about 6′ feet of this board being saved to use on that particular section over there.

I remember traveling the east coast building, (remodeling) stores in malls and the amount of waste was unimaginable. At the completion of the job, we’d toss everything other than power tools into the dumpster. I’m talking about whole sheets of plywood, ladders, boxes of nails, screws and even rolls of carpeting. If it didn’t fit in the passenger van it would be tossed before we headed out to our next city.

Now jump ahead 30 years and the new building craze sweeping the countryside are solar fields. Each one of those solar panels are delivered in a frame made of 5/4 pressure treated deck boards and 2X6s. Literally hundreds of these per site- all tossed, buried or burnt. I was lucky enough to have someone tell me about this and the installer actually offers these up for free. I collected a truckload which I hope to use to build everything from bird houses to a bridge across our stream.

I can’t help but think if one was thrifty enough and had the time, they’d be able to collect enough trashed building materials to build a tiny house fairly easily.
Now add to that the Habitat for Humanity Restore for almost everything else and I think it could be a serious repurpose endeavor.

I can’t help but think if one was thrifty enough and had the time, they’d be able to collect enough trashed building materials to build a tiny house fairly easily. There is a certain appeal to the idea of repurposing discarded materials into a cozy and sustainable living space. Not only would it be a budget-friendly option, but it would also contribute to reducing waste and promoting a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Now, imagine combining this resourcefulness with the Habitat for Humanity Restore. The Restore is a treasure trove of affordable second-hand furniture, appliances, and other household items. By visiting the Restore, one can find almost everything they need to furnish their tiny house, all at a fraction of the original cost. This synergy between salvaged building materials and affordable second-hand items makes the journey of building a tiny house not just a practical option but also a truly transformative experience. It’s a chance to showcase creativity, resourcefulness, and a commitment to sustainable living, all while achieving the dream of owning a unique and personalized space.

Lumber Pile from Solar Array

Our local Habitat for Humanity Restore, Waterville Maine -Click Here-


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Barb Shannon
Barb Shannon
8 months ago

100% agree. We are very wasteful as a nation overall. I love when we can dig something out of the saved pile or find it at ReStore for a project.

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