Remodel your home with recycled materials and save

Renovating your home can either be a frustrating slog or a thrilling period of invention. Despite how you feel about the experience, renovations remain a part of life as homes inevitably age or grow out of style.

One way to introduce some creativity and personal style into your remodel is by using recycled materials. Using reclaimed materials ends up saving you money and saving the planet by salvaging materials that would otherwise head straight to the dumpster.

But before you go out and gather junk from your shed and start tearing up your floor, there are some issues to address when remodeling with salvaged materials.

Is it worth salvaging?

It makes sense to want to use as much old material as possible during your remodel to save on financial and environmental costs, but some materials are best left to the landfill. For example, always check for cracks or warping on wood when you’re looking to repurpose. Doing so might help you avoid having to replace the renovation in the near future.

There are also certain materials that aren’t meant to be repurposed because of recent improvements and changing design standards. Some of these single-use materials include wiring, plumbing pipes, and single-paned windows, which aren’t very effective at trapping heat and can lead to higher energy use. Drywall is also not ideal for repurposing because the pieces are often cut and the boards are vulnerable to cracking or breaking, especially if they were secured using nails.

You’ll also want to make sure the materials you hope to repurpose don’t contain toxic substances. Older roofing and flooring may contain asbestos, which can cause respiratory problems. Furthermore, paints used prior to 1978 may contain lead, so you should be careful in repurposing old windows, doors, or other painted materials.

Where can I find used building material?

What happens if you don’t have enough usable material to repurpose for your home? Fortunately it’s not difficult to find leftover building materials from local contractors, masons, stone dealers, and more. Search Craigslist and the classifieds to see if anyone is looking to unload their overstock.

Another great option is a Habitat For Humanity ReStore. These Restores sells unused or slightly used building construction items for a lot less than regular stores. Tucson alone has two locations (including the similar HabiStore), along with Gersons Used Building Materials, which sells everything from bricks to lighting fixtures.

Hire an expert

It’s tempting to set off on a DIY remodeling adventure completely on your own, but there are risks to not bringing along an expert. Hiring a contractor to oversee your work certifies that your renovations are safe and installed in a way that lasts. It’ll add a bit to your budget, but hiring an expert ensures that the job gets done right.

Vantage West can help you repurpose your remodel

Vantage West’s home loan team can help make your remodeling project a success. You can obtain a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to fund your remodel by using your home’s equity as collateral to secure the low-risk loan. This enables you to purchase the best salvaged materials you can find and turn your home into a living work of art. Contact Vantage West Credit Union at 800- 888-7882 or check out for more information.

Loans subject to approval. Rate based on LTV and creditworthiness. Certain restrictions and fees may apply. Rates subject to change. Property insurance is required. *Loan must remain open for a minimum of 2 years to avoid repayment of origination fees. Mortgage options subject to change without notice.


About Vantage West

At Vantage West, we believe that when our members and communities thrive, we thrive with them. In the spirit of collaboration, we constantly strive to create value to earn and reward member loyalty. This is important because the more engaged our members are, the more it benefits the credit union and our overall value proposition to the membership and to the communities we serve.

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