Finding great architectural salvage treasures is truly a unique and "outside of the box" adventure where
new shopping rules and road maps apply. The typical antique "treasure map" or antique guide, trade journal or flyer on the shelf of your local antique store will not lead you to the "gold at the end of the rainbow".
So just where do you find the "treasure troves"?
Here is a online search guide to help your quest:
1. Start your search on your favorite search engine. It is important to know that each search engine has different listings, orders and web sites. As a salvage dealer myself I am always amazed at the difference in ranking, links, and new listings that I find depending on what search engine I use. Try the "major" engines and you will find different unique paths to wander.
2. Here are some search phrases to try:
- a) architectural salvage in ( add your region i.e.
- b) use the term "architectural salvage" in front of the category you are looking for (such as architectural windows, architectural doors, etc.). Use advanced search option to locate the same category by your region.
- c) the term "demolition companies" by your desired region.
- d) another fertile area is the term "old building materials" by your region.
- e) try "salvage building materials" regionally.
3. Larger more complete phone books will also yield pay dirt under some of these categories.
4. Trade journals will sometimes list salvage resources.
5. Several architectural salvage directories now appear on the internet. Key in "Architectural Salvage Directory" and many times they will provide salvage yard listings by State.
6.Ebay "stores" are a source of location of serious architectural salvage yards. When you do product look ups of architectural items, look for multiple listings of the same dealer and then see if they have a "visit our store" page in the header on the upper right side of the listing.
7. The higher end Flea Markets now have some savvy dealers selling really unusual salvage finds. The larger monthly shows are usually more productive because the dealers have a month to restock and pursue their own sourcing networks.
Habitat for Humanity in addition to doing very good humanitarian work also is a potential treasure trove. They specialize in recycling building materials. Some "Habitat stores" have a orientation for older materials....others are primarily new materials. Give them a call ask about their stocks.
Remember in all of these potential resources there is a "one of a kind" type of assortment by nature. Most salvage yards have relatively "high rates of sale" meaning their merchandise both arrives and departs fairly quickly. There are always a steady source of "architectural salvage" customers looking for the great finds. When you find a convenient place (whose specialty in price and taste fits yours) develop a relationship with the operator visiting them often. You also may be able to leave your name and number with some of them requesting contacts when particularly tasty arrivals come in!
The "deeper you dig" and the more time you spend in the "search" the "LUCKIER YOU WILL GET!"!! Think outside of the box and look for alternative sources of new treasures. The reward will be the architectural gems you desire!
Good luck, great shopping and treasure hunting!