Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Saturday was a fun wander around a local salvage yard.

We are planning a mud room & being really cheap we are hoping to get windows and doors second hand.

There were none on Craigslist or Freecycle so we went looking for some salvaged ones.

Part of the reason we are being cheap with the windows and doors is because our house has brick facing. So the mud room needs the same or it’ll look like we’re jumped up trailer trash from West Virginia just tacking on lumber where needed.

oh, wait…..

Anyway. The bricks, even the half brick facing, will cost almost as much as everything else we need to make the mudroom. So everything else needs to be as cheap as  possible.

The local salvage yard is odd. They guy who used to own it died and his son inherited it.

The place says its only open weekends but there is no one around on weekends. It took a bit of asking around at the local gas & go, but we discovered the son lives up the road & you have to go to his house & tell him you are going to be poking around & then when you find stuff you want, you load it into your truck & drive it to the guy’s house & he’ll give you a price. Haggling is encouraged.

This is the country, we trust people not to run off with windows without paying.

Or possibly he really doesn’t care that much.

His son doesn’t really want to run a salvage yard. So he isn’t making much effort.  But what do you do when you have inherited, free & clear, a couple acres full of randomly assembled out buildings stuffed with….stuff. It’s not like you can have it hauled off to the dump. It would cost a fortune. And you can’t sell the land for development because of years of build up of stuff like this.


How many decades of soil build up, erosion, etc will need to pass before it safe to  build a home on acres of broken glass?

So he’s sort of stuck with it & making the best of it.

It is a treasure trove of stuff too.

Old rusty tractors

salvage weekly (2)

lots of toilets and sinks

salvage weekly (7)

a veritable graveyard of plumbing fixtures


This building had a tree in it


You can tell it was built around the tree because the top is growing outside the roof


this building was stacked with doors inside & windows outside


and there were many many more windows

salvage weekly (3)

many more


jeebus the windows


So what windows did we end up with?

None so far.

We just took measurements of ones that we like & that there seemed to be sufficient unbroken frames. Many have broken glass but probably that can be salvaged from others with broken frames.

The windows on the left stack of last photo are the ones we are inclined to use but we also like the ones on the right stack of the first windows photo. Plus 2-3 others.

DH has some home builder program that he uses to work up the design with the various windows & now we have a choice of a couple styles we likes, assuming we can find enough decent windows in that size, then we need to find two more of general size, that ‘match’ the others.

We also need a screen door. We found one we liked the look of, but it was about 3 feet wide.

Next weekend we are getting a sitter so we can explore the buildings better. The doors all appear to be in buildings & we didn’t go in them with the boys around (Yes we let the boys run wild in a salvage yard full of rusty things and broken glass, had we been home they would have been playing with the hedge trimmers so really, six of one, half dozen of another). Hopefully we’ll at least get the windows so we finally have fixed measurements to work with.


Lizziemade said...

Wow, I never knew there were sooooo many windows in the whole world, as there are at this salvage yard! I see your point about the poor "inheriting" son... I suppose he may as well take the money whenever someone turns up with something and let the rest alone. I don't think this could happen in UK nowadays - some developer would probably turn up and offer him lots of money for the site - glass and all! Land is valuable (or it was before the recession bit - it will be again some time as we're so squeezed for space on this bit of an island. Even mountain-tops are in demand, to site masts and wind turbines. I daresay by the time DS grows up, there'll be high-rises on the Pennines and Snowdon will have vanished under a development of "desirable new homes in a prime location"!!).
This project sounds quite fun, so long as you can keep going. All this talk of bricks and floors and doors and screens and windows... Exciting!
I laughed at the bit about the boys and the chainsaw. Good thing it's not real ... (lol!)
Have fun!

SciFi Dad said...

I think, depending on where the salvage yard is located, I'm sure there's developers who would take the scrap, pull up a foot of soil, and build on that.

Comfy Mom said...

Out here in the boonies, too far from a decent sized town & too small to be more than one or two houses, it will be ages before anyone wants to take it for building, but someone might want to actually run it for a salvage yard, which is what I think the guy is hoping.

Comfy Mom said...

Unfortunately location, land use & plot size regulations limit this property to maybe two houses, possibly even one. I'm not sure which county it is in & one has like a 7 acre per single family home requirement. The other doesn't care but the general wet marshiness of it would probably limit it to two. And the costs of making it build-able are too much for a family or two, especially when a half mile down the road you can get better land cheaper.

LosingBrownies said...

Wow! I had no idea you could find so much at a salvage yard! Best of luck with your mud room!

Rinda1961 said...

I really like the first set of windows.

Andrea @ The Creative Junkie said...

My ex-husband is a contractor and gets a huge amount of items from salvage yards - you cannot believe what people will throw away - there's a fortune in them thar garbage heaps!