Cutting Costs: Using Reclaimed Materials vs. Buying New


When it comes to cutting costs for a development, building supplies are one of the first considerations for many. Why? Because they are expensive. Sure you can opt for budget material, but often this doesn’t provide you with the quality you need, so what’s the next best option? Let’s take a look:

Reclaimed Materials

There are a lot of benefits to using reclaimed materials in your build; including:

• They’re more environmentally friendly
• They provides a rustic, unique look
• They can bring quality at a budget price
• Most importantly – it saves money!

Yes, saving the environment is great but that isn’t going to help you turn a profit. But low cost building materials will provide you with a much larger margin than buying new from the supplier.

However, it isn’t all sunshine and smiles with reclaimed materials; there are some downsides, including:

• It can be difficult to find large qualities
• Often reclaimed materials won’t match
• There is damage to some material
• Sometimes it is not fit for the intended purpose and so is re-purposed (ie: roof beam turned into a mantelpiece)
• You may have to find materials from multiple sources

Buying New

This is the most common avenue for builders to go down when it comes to projects and the benefits really speak for themselves; these include:

• Having standard sizes, quantities and quality
• Easy to find and acquire
• A set price – easy to compare suppliers
• Large quantities are easy to find
• Many suppliers will stock everything you need

In fact, the only true downside to buying new materials is that they tend to cost a lot more. This begs the question then, is cutting costs by using reclaimed building supplies actually worth it?

Buy Cheap,Sell Expensive

Everybody wants a home with character, something that makes it unique and special and this is something that reclaimed materials can deliver. You could throw together 5 houses using reclaimed material, using the exact same blueprints, and the differing materials will make them individual. This exclusivity is not only cheaper for you to build, but allows you to put a mark-up on the cost of the home as it will make them more desirable. That means that the hard work you put into sourcing materials, re-purposing them and utilising them to create a unique property, will really pay off.

Is it Practical?

For a small development this makes a lot of sense, but on larger projects this can be much more hassle than it is worth.
In these situations, it may be worth combining both new and reclaimed features, this will help you to save some of the cost without having to scour every demolition, re-modelling project or salvage centre for the bits and pieces you need. This combination of new and reclaimed materials is becoming increasingly popular, although there are no government incentives currently to assist the purchase of these recycled parts. However, if you strike while the iron is hot you will find that reclaimed materials are an untapped market – currently only about 1% of materials in new building projects are reclaimed.

If you’re really interested in saving money then make sure you use a development finance broker to get the best rates. This will help save you a small fortune every month and, combined with the use of reclaimed materials, will make your profit margin much more appealing.


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