Renovating your home is exciting, expensive and stressful. You might think the difficulty is over once the last coat of paint has dried, but there’s almost always one last step: dealing with the remaining building materials.
Renovation is far from an exact science, and you have little choice but to buy more hardware than you need. The tiles will break, the wood will warp and you will be run out of paint, thin glue, or nails at some point in your home improvement journey, forcing you to go to the hardware store for an entire bucket of screws when you only need four more .
Saving some of these scraps as a hedge against future repairs is a good idea. But sometimes we end up with a plot leftover home improvement materials or leftovers that don’t lend themselves to storage (no one wants to keep a one-ton pallet of bricks in their garage forever). So what can you do with all those leftovers other than throw them away? Plenty.
Donate the excess
The easiest way to get rid of excess usable home improvement materials is to donate them. Habitat for Humanity operates a chain of ReStores who accept donations of building materials, which will keep them out of landfills while helping those in need to repair and maintain their homes. You can drive your stuff to a ReStore yourself or contact the nearest store and arrange a pickup. (You will receive a receipt for your donation so you can claim it on your taxes as well.)
For small renovation materials, consult Freecycle or your neighborhood Buy Nothing Group to donate to people in your area. It’s often less work (and stress) than trying to sell everything, and it helps someone else in the negotiation.
Sell your leftovers
In many cases you can sell your leftovers on Craigslist or Facebook, you might even be able to ask someone to pay for the materials you deletion from your place if handled with care, others may find your flooring, cabinetry, or other more “classic” “obsolete” materials.
Ask your contractor if you have used one. Many contractors keep a supply of building materials to use for their jobs on the fly, or acquire interesting architectural details like light fixtures or old doors to use in renovation designs. Another option for things like doors, cabinets, and old drawer pulls is to look for an architectural salvage store near you and see if they will buy them. People are always on the hunt for vintage pieces to spice up their new renovations, so there’s a chance someone will want to buy the things you’ve just (delicately) ripped out of your house.
Do something new with them
Another option for leftover materials is to make something cool out of them. Depending on your skill, creativity, and energy, you can turn an overabundance of building materials into something awesome:
- Tile. The remaining tiles can be turned into as well, then Several things. One of the easiest projects to make from leftover tiles is a cheese platter or serving platter. Another very easy way to use extra tiles is to buy cork and create coasters. Seriously, there is a plot of ways to turn your extra tile into beautiful things.
- Wood. Wood is incredibly flexible. If you have a bit of woodworking skill, you can build a cool barn door to close your newly renovated room, or a shelf for some extra storage. An additional wooden floor can be integrated into benches, tables, desks or shelves.
- Doors. Do you have a few old doors left from a renovation? They make great tables, headboards, desks or even eclectic wall art.
Extend the renovation
Do you have leftovers after a renovation? Consider the possibility that this is the universe telling you to keep going. If you have sufficient quantities of certain materials, just keep renovating:
- Bricks. Who doesn’t look at a pile of bricks and imagine Real Life Legos? If you have enough, the remaining bricks can be used to delimit your gardens, create fire pits or planters, or create a patio or bridge in your yard.
- To paint. Accent wall anyone? While it’s a good idea to save leftover paint for future touch-ups, paint won’t last forever, so having gallons of it in the basement won’t do you any good. Paint is difficult to removehowever, a better use might be to spice up another room (or rooms) with an accent wall and a pop of color.
- Wood. You can use leftover pressure-treated lumber to build a trellis above your deck and extra studs to build a divider wall to turn one of your other rooms into a two-room.