Ever heard of the Habitat for Humanity's Restore? Restore is a non profit chain that carries used building supplies, household appliances and furniture. The stores are run primarily by volunteers and the profits go back to Habitat. I knew they were in Toronto and many other metropolitan areas, but didn't know that we have some in good ole New Brunswick. I found the Restore in Moncton after a day traveling to other shops in Moncton. My Mom and I were in our glory on such a big treasure hunt... We didn't have a *particular* treasure in mind, but that made it even more exciting. My dear old Dad put up with us for a whole day, but Dave was stuck at home working on a feature for the Sydney Morning Herald. I could almost feel tears of sympathy well up, except I know that Dave was relieved to avoid a day of the junk shopping jungle. The result of our treasure hunting? Two stained glass church windows from an antique shop, one hobbit-ish arched-top door from Happy Harry's (a for-profit used building supply store) and a very cool wooden Frank-Lloyd-Wright-ish lamp from the Farmer's Market. Dave might hate the shopping, but we both love having unique elements in our home.
And you thought plastered strawbale walls and post & beam structures were unique enough? My folks also refinished some stellar antique light fixtures and gave them to us for Christmas (check this one out in the picture below out).
Another great place to find used building supplies is on the freecycle groups. These are online groups where you post items you have to give away for free, and you can post items you need (and receive them for free if someone has what you need). I recently landed some patio blocks on the freecycle Saint John group. Try it out. There are specific groups for most towns and cities.