How to use, reuse or sell leftover renovation materials

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Renovating your home is exciting, expensive, and stressful. You might think the difficulty is over once the last coat of paint dries, but there’s almost always one final step: taking care of leftover building materials.

Rehabilitation is far from an exact science, and you practically have no choice but to buy more material than you need. The shingles will crack, the wood will warp, and you Will ran out of paint, adhesive, or nails at some point in your renovation process, prompting a hurried trip to the hardware store to buy a full bucket of screws when you only need four more.

Keeping some of those leftovers as protection against future repairs is a good idea. But sometimes we end up with a batch of leftover renovation materials, or leftovers that don’t lend themselves to storage (no one wants to have a one-ton pallet of bricks in their garage forever). So what can you do with all that leftover stuff besides throw it away? Much.

donate excess

The easiest way to get rid of excess usable renovation material is to donate it. Habitat for Humanity operates a chain of Restores that accept donations of building materials, which will keep them out of landfills while helping people in need repair and maintain their homes. You can bring your stuff to a ReStore location yourself or contact the nearest location and schedule a pickup. (You’ll get a receipt for your donation so you can claim it on your taxes, too.)

For smaller renovation materials, check out free cycle or your neighborhood buy nothing group to donate to people in your area. This is often less work (and stress) than trying to sell everything, and it helps someone else in the deal.

sell your leftovers

In many cases, you can sell your leftover stuff on Craigslist or Facebook, you could even make someone pay for the materials you are removing from your house if it has been handled carefully, other people may find your floors, cabinets or other materials “obsolete” more “classic”.

Ask your contractor if he used one. Many contractors keep a supply of building materials to use on their jobs in a pinch, or purchase interesting architectural details like fixtures or old doors to use in renovation designs. Another option for things like old doors, cabinets, and drawer pulls is find an architectural salvage shop near you and see if they will buy them. People are always looking for vintage pieces to spice up their new renovations, so there’s a chance someone might want to buy the stuff you just (gently) ripped out of your house.

Do something new with them.

Another option for leftover materials is to make something cool out of them. Depending on how skillful, creative, and energetic you are, you can transform a surplus of building materials into something great:

  • Roof tile. Leftover tiles can be transformed into like this, so many things. One of the easiest projects that can be made with leftover tiles is a cheese board or serving tray. Another super easy way to use additional mosaic tiles is to buy some cork and create coasters. Seriously, there is a batch of ways to turn your additional mosaic into beautiful things.
  • Wood. Wood is incredibly flexible. If you have a bit of woodworking skill, you can build a cool barn door to close your newly renovated room, or a shelf for some extra storage. An additional wooden floor can be incorporated benches, tables, desks or shelves.
  • Doors. Do you have some old doors left from a reindeer? They make great tables, headboards, desks, or even eclectic wall art.

extend the renewal

Got stuff left over after a renovation? Consider the possibility that it is the universe telling you to continue. If you have sufficient quantities of some materials, keep renewing:

  • Bricks. Who doesn’t look at a pile of bricks and imagine real-life Legos? If you have enough, the leftover bricks can be used to border your gardens, create fire holes or planters, or create a patio or runway in your yard
  • Paint. Accent wall anyone? While it’s smart to save some leftover paint for future touch-ups, paint won’t store forever, so keeping gallons in your basement won’t do you any good. Paint is difficult to removehowever, a better use might be to liven up another room (or rooms) with an accent wall and a splash of color.
  • Wood. You can use leftover pressure-treated lumber to build a trellis over your patio and extra studs to build a partition wall to turn one of your other rooms into two rooms.

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