Do you have a project coming up. Do you want to add a shed or garage or maybe a cabin at the lake. If you have some land hidden away in the forest and maybe you would like to build yourself a nice home and save heaps. There are ways to save a lot of money if you are prepared to do a bit of hard work yourself. You could use recycled building materials and save lots of cash. You can buy at auctions and save lots of cash. There are other ways to save lots if you want a real budget project.

First of all we need to dispel some myths. There is nothing wrong with using recycled building materials. In fact, you will find that some of the old lumber that was used years ago is a better quality than you can get today. The trees were bigger in those days and the lumber that was cut from them was just better. It is well seasoned now and certainly is not going to shrink any more which is a plus. If it still has the old nails sticking out of it everywhere you will have to de-nail it. Usually they will just break off when you bend them a couple of times. When you are cutting and shaping this lumber just be careful not to cut through any nails as you will be always sharpening your saw blade. Getting a nail back into this old hard lumber can be difficult too and you may have to drill for each nail. All in all, a bit of extra work but when it is done you will have a solid stable job that is not going to move from shrinkage.

Second hand lumber is usually fairly cheap to pick up because there are not many who are prepared to put in the work. If you check out demolition sites you can often pick it up for free because the demolition gang are only interested in any prime items and usually dump the rest. If you are going to use recycled lumber on a new job it will pay to check with the local building authorities first because sometimes they like to inspect it before you use it. Another source of cheap lumber of all sorts is at clearance auctions.

Lumber manufacturers and distributors sell tons of lumber as you can imagine and it is usually sold by the pack lot. When the lumber is sorted there is always a range that is not quite first grade and this is packed separate and often dumped at auction sites to clear. This can be all sorts of construction lumber, fit out lumber and decorative lumber, fencing and decking etc. These packs sometimes sell really cheaply and as with all auctions it depends on the amount available and the amount of buyers. These auctions are often held weekly and if one week there are heaps of packs and not many buyers you are laughing and can pick up a house lot of lumber for a song. Because it is second grade you will have to pick through it and cut out the knots etc. but all in all you can save heaps. Just check the packs before you bid as you don’t want a pack that is full of very short pieces.

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