One of the biggest components of building our house is being able to salvage the majority of our material. A lot of what we’ve found so far was destined for the dumpster – or was already in a dumpster. If I hadn’t personally climbed into a number of these dumpsters to retrieve brand new 2x4s I wouldn’t have believed that anyone could throw out materials in such great shape. Maybe it is because I come from a long line of people who will hold onto every scrap of “useful” materials, “just in case!” we’ll need it down the road, or maybe it is because we’re poor and can’t stand the thought of spending money on wood when it is so readily available for free with just a little searching. We plan to build our house for under $5000, including appliances and solar set up. I’ll be working up a budget comparison of the cost of the supplies that we have salvaged if we had had to purchase them new; it’s more of a comparison between having a little patience and willingness to get our hands dirty and taking the most convenient route to gathering supplies.
Money aside, we want to show that a nice, solid, beautiful home can be built without having to use new supplies and contribute more waste to already overfull landfills. Our house, among many other things, will hopefully embody what a little resourcefulness and real recycling can do.