How We Collected $7,000 in Reclaimed Construction Materials in 4 Days for $300


Just two months ago, Jesse and I quit our lives in the city and moved to our bare 5 acres of land in Idaho with the intention of building an off-grid homestead from scratch (read part 1 and part 2 of that decision). The goal of this journey isn’t simply to build an off-grid homestead, but to do it debt-free and use as little money as possible.

This means that running to Home Depot every time we are in need of a material or tool isn’t an option. We knew that there were probably loads of leftover and second-hand materials in the area that we may be able to put to use if only we could find the opportunities.

We’ve done numerous things to find second-hand materials at an extremely low cost including posting a flyer with the materials we need, utilizing Facebook, visiting pawn shops, building relationships and checking Craigslist. However, the $7,000 materials we received for $300 came from a Craigslist opportunity; more specifically, a demolition.

finding reclaimed construction materials

The Craigslist ad was strictly advertising a bunch of galvanized metal roofing for $300. We called on the ad immediately and scheduled a visit at dawn the next morning as we knew the roofing would go quickly!

One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

When we arrived at the property, we learned that there was both a house and a barn that were scheduled to be demolished in just two days’ time. Seeing as there were about 70 panels and panels can be $30/piece, we estimated that we would be able to get $2,100 in roofing for just $300. It wouldn’t be brand new, but that was fine with us as it should still be functional for many years to come.

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