This weekend….Salvaging Building Materials and Junk!

Warning – sheer grunge follows!!

There is no gardening going on here this weekend but Roger is busy, busy. Most of our materials for outside have been salvaged from somewhere or another and a couple of weeks ago Roger heard about a new vineyard going in next to the farm where he works. To make way for it they are pulling down old shearing sheds and yards with hundreds of metres of timber fencing. Roger went around to see the contractor and told him he was interested in some timber for both fences and gates (we have to fence off the whole garden which would be no small cost if we were to buy it new) The guy took his number then rung him last night to come and take whatever he wanted because it is going to be demolished on Monday.

We went around last night to see if we wanted anything other than the fencing he had seen, Β these fences you see at the side go for miles and some will be coming here. They aren’t as old as some of the timber.Β this building is between 80 -100 years old.


Gates galore.IMG_3910

And 3 sets of these cute old indoor swinging gates (I have no idea what we are going to do with those!)


And really old gates covered in lichen which Roger will make something with, but a mountain of these.IMG_3914

Inside is a long feed trough made from a really heavy old wood. It’s about 8 foot long and will go in front of the house for plants.


This old hand basin doesn’t look flash all grubby but it’s a fabulous old thing, much bigger than a usual hand basin, there is no damage to it anywhere. We both liked it and are hoping we can use it downstairs.


Some old cubby shelves.


And there were treasures that were nothing at all to do with timber or fittings. Roger bought these home – they are interesting! Not good for anything but looking tatty somewhere πŸ™‚


Tomorrow our carport will be full of what to anyone else (yes, I know what you are thinking! lol) but to us all of it has potential. It needs a damn good clean, but this represents a huge saving on building materials for us. On top of that we get a pile of junk we cetainly don’t need but can do something with. I am not even going to show the old cupboard because everyone will think we are madder than we really are. Maybe one day πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

If you don’t ask you don’t get and Roger will ask if he knows something is going to be thrown out or burned (me, no, I won’t ask) But I am just thinking of a conversation we had with a young guy here about 6 months ago. When they moved here he couldn’t find work and things were pretty grim for him and his family. He saw a farmer getting his sheep in one day while they were out driving. He stopped the car, bolted the fence and bowled up to the farmer asking if he did 2 days work could he have a sheep to eat. The farmer didn’t hesitate and he got the animal butchered by the farmer all ready for the freezer.

During the week the old church down the road was pulled down, it was damaged too much in last years earthquakes. We didn’t know until later but I imagine (I certainly HOPE) that they managed to save the lovely old windows and some of the timber.

46 thoughts on “This weekend….Salvaging Building Materials and Junk!

  1. You two crack me up! But when you are collecting fabulous old timber like that and are going to put it to good use then it is perfect! The solidity of those gates and doors is amazing – today they would be half that thickness. I would have scooped up everything too had I been you. I do know that usually when things get pulled down the contractor sells them on so you got lucky! Good job!!


    • Oh, I know, we have our weird and wonderful ways lol.

      That timber is not only Pine, but Douglas Fir, Rimu, Kauri, Totara and Australian hardwood…we are rapt! Got alot of scrubbing to do but that’s ok. One day they will look nice again.

      The contractors workmen got what they wanted apparently, I don’t suppose any of this stuff looked very inviting to them πŸ™‚


    • Yes it is nice πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I am glad other people appreciate that it’s decent stuff lol. Roger is very excited about it all and is bringing home wall boards as well…I don’t know where it’s all going to go though!


      • My husband built a small mezzanine floor in the top of our carport and uses this to store quite a lot of stuff until it is needed. He also has put straps that hang from the middle of his shed and he can put long pieces of plastic pipe etc through these to store out the way. He’s quite tall so he has to duck under it sometimes lol. We also salvaged some shelving units that sit along the long side of one wall in the shed and that is full of stuff and wood etc. Both of us are hoarders of stuff so we have to have a serious look at what to keep every now and then. We use freecycle or put it on the curb at pick up time and it usually gets repurposed. Love those rustic gates btw πŸ™‚


  2. anthonypickering says:

    Nice Finds πŸ™‚

    I have been banned as a net importer of hard rubbish till I finish some projects πŸ™‚ references of step toe and sons has been made πŸ™‚


    • Hiya πŸ™‚ I can relate to that, when Roger mentioned this I rolled my eyes! I know there are some treasures here but….yep the junk will come too and what is trash and treasure will be determined in years to come with yet more trips to the tip!


  3. Junk? Wash out thy mouth! πŸ˜‰
    Awesome salvage and well done having the brass to ask! I too can’t ask to save myself. That’s why I have Martin! πŸ˜‰
    I can’t wait to see what your construction materials become. πŸ™‚


  4. RT says:

    Great salvage. Congratulations on collecting such good stuff. I love it when people can look at something old or unwanted and find new ways to use it. That is not one of my talents but you two sure have the knack!


    • Thank you πŸ™‚ It’s funny how lack of money creates creativity which then turns into a passion that just grows. Ideally one day we would like to earn a living this way but for now, while working, there is little time. Roger has that many projects underway around the place πŸ™‚


  5. reneeliamrhys says:

    Fabulous fabulous score. All that wood so aged and wonderful. You’ll have to give some pictures when you make use of your haul finds. Old is indeed best in the case of this wonderfully aged wood….and already made into serviceable gates:)
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia


  6. Wendy, I read this post a few times on my phone but never had the chance to comment until now. Sorry life has been crazy lately. πŸ˜‰ I love your finds!! All those items have such character and I can’t wait to see how you use it all. The fencing was a huge find and look at those gates. Your free fencing is much nicer than the fencing around my new home, but I will be inheriting it and free is better than purchase new any day. The swinging doors are so cute I can even see them as shutters around a window. What’s not to love in those finds, the horse trough is amazing too. can’t wait to see it filled. You have plenty to keep you busy for a while.


    • I know your life is crazy lately πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Yes, they do all have character! I love the swinging doors too and the trough. Roger forgot to get the trough but dropped in on the way to work yesterday and got it before workmen got there. A lovely piece of old craftsmanship – I think it will be a new strawberry planter.
      Free IS better than purchase new and fencing doesn’t have to be anything flash I don’t think. Our front fence was awful but we covered it in ivy, slow but looks nicer a few years later. I imagine you are very excited Lois, I can’t wait to see your new home take shape as you put your own stamp on it.


  7. I crown you both the “Salvage Queen and King” of all time! That is amazing stuff + I have no doubt you both will make it amazng!!!! What a great mentor you both are to the rest of us.
    I have been outside + had company this week, so I miss some great posts when I don’t check in but soon snow will be flying and I will be here every day while you are out creating great stuff with all your neat finds!


    • πŸ™‚ Hi Robbie. I dunno, did you ever see Steptoe and Son in USA? Our front yard is resembling their place at the moment, with all the best will in the world I don’t think we can use that much stuff lol.
      We have had lovely weather here so getting a taste of summer all ready. The first week of Spring and I was outside gardening yesterday and took the time to just lie on the lawn and sunbathe….bliss!!


  8. I hope they saved some of those windows in the church too…. you know your Hubby and Mine would make good neighbours LOL.. πŸ™‚ And it those swinging gates I am sure you will eventually put them to good use.. Great Salvaging.. And good to be catching up with you xox Sue


  9. Sorry I am late to this post, been snowed under with studies and the garden but I decided that I was going to spend a day tackling my RSS Feed Reader so I managed to get to “Q” πŸ™‚ massive SCORE on the wood! I won’t show Steve as he will start grinding his teeth with envy. We are going to have to pay for some timber to extend the dogs compound fence soon and we have to corner that poor moth eaten sock under the bed that is already trying to slink off…excellent score guys, you rock! πŸ™‚


    • Roger is still getting it as they still haven’t pulled it down. I am exasperated Fran….we don’t need THAT MUCH fencing, we only have a little property. God knows what he is going to do with it all! What a shame you don’t live closer.


      • Twitch…twitch…LOL Is it wrong to move to another country just to take advantage of some cheap wooden fencing?! Surely not? ;). You can share the love around. What you don’t need (and lets face it, Roger is likely to use it all so you really don’t need this option) you could put on gumtree. I can imaging the great ediface to frugality that Roger has planned. Maybe he is going to make a tree house? Maybe he is going to add another story to your house? How exciting! πŸ˜‰


  10. Every time I see a warning like that, I just know I’m going to fall in love and be green with envy, all at once! Not ONE bit of ‘junk’ in that amazing haul, my friend!! I fell in love with the shed and all, just as it is; wish I could just move in and live there, stone fence, wee gates and everything! Just my sort of thing . . .

    That sink! I am awestricken with greenness . . . and it has two wee cubbies for your delicious hand-made soap! Could anything be more perfect?

    I hope you share a photo of the cupboard, too. I, for one, will drool . . . and judging from the comments above, so will many more . . .

    What you two need is a piece of property; then you’d have room to store, room to re-purpose, room to display . . . room just to love all the fascinating bits and bobs you accumulate.

    This was such fun to read, Wendy! Thanks lots (even if I AM still drooling!) ~ Linne


    • πŸ™‚ Hi Linne.

      I have always had a thing about converting a barn or farm shed into a home so yep, would’ve loved this. And yes, a piece of land would be nice so we had more room…honestly I think he has nearly bought home the whole shed!! I love the hand basin too!!
      The cupboard actually is lovely but someone sprayed green fleuro wording on the front, I have to find a way to get it off without stripping back the finish on the cupboard because we don’t want to change anything else about it. It stinks of oil so will have to go on the front porch.
      We planted the feeder with strawberries and it looks great πŸ™‚


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