An architectural salvage yard is a store that sells used home decor and furniture. They are similar to thrift shops, but instead of re-purposed clothing they deal exclusively in re-purposed home furnishings. They are great places to find odds and end pieces at discounted prices. In this article I will discuss where to find your local architectural salvage store, how they work, what you can expect to find, and how the architectural salvage yards near me work.

Map of Architectural Salvage Yards Near Me

For “Architectural Salvage Yards Near Me” or “Architectural Salvage Stores Near Me”, see the map below…

Operations of Architectural Salvage Yards Near Me

Architectural salvage stores are part of the recycling industry because they take in and re-purpose used goods back into the market. These are privately run businesses, some for profit and some not for profit. Both follow a business model similar to your local thrift shop or Salvation Army, with a few minor differences in how they obtain their inventory. Depending on the store they will provide junk haul away services, obtain pieces at auctions, get public donations, buy directly from the public, or haul away from deconstruction sites of houses, apartments, or commercial buildings.

Non Profit

Non Profit architectural salvage yards serve the community and the environment. They provide haul away services at a charge to the consumer and then donate the used pieces to charities like Rebuilding Together. The money they charge for haul away is only used to pay their administrative fees and overhead expenses. These places don’t often maintain a store, they maintain a warehouse where they hold the used merchandise for donation. You can often contact them to make donations as well.

Profit

The profit architectural salvages use a store to interface with customers. These businesses also provide haul away services sometimes for free to get inventory to resell. They will buy used furniture and home decor at auctions, take donations, and buy cheap pieces online. They then resell the used furnishings in their store and sometimes on their website or Ebay. Their goal like any private business is to make a profit.

Home and Building Salvage Yards Near Me – What Can You Find

If you have never been to one, its kind of hard to imagine. They feel like a mix of walking into a time capsule and a movie prop set. The building salvage store near me is a warehouse broken into sections of similar items. There are sections dedicated to couches, doors, bath tubs, bedroom furniture, chairs, kitchen sinks, trimmings, mantels, coffee tables, desks, office furniture, windows and more. Think of it like spending the day at Ikea, but all the products inside are used. Some even have outdoors sections with garden, patio, and stone. Some though have sections that look like they are parts from a fancy building lobby.

 

You can expect to find new pieces and old throwback pieces from different eras. New pieces come and go from de-constructed office buildings, places that went out of business, people who moved, and people who junked new stuff for various reasons. Older pieces often come through haul away and auctions. You can find some great old school items from eras like Art Deco, Victorian, and Gothic. I’ve seen pieces from churches like alters, stained glass windows, and even pews.

 

If you want to find things at a salvage store faster, the best thing to do is see if they have an online inventory. my local architectural doesn’t keep all of their inventory online, but they keep the popular items on their website. This will save you time and help you secure the best deals, before someone else beats you to it. Another way to shop used furniture more efficiently is to call ahead and ask if they have what you need. For example you ask questions like: “Do you have a set of French doors”, “do you have art deco pieces”, or “do you have vintage bath tubs”, or “What do you have in wrought iron”.

 

Pretty much if an item was on a property, commercial or private, it can be found at one of these places. Some of the weirdest odds and ends you will ever see are at these places.

Architectural Salvage Yards Near Me

Why Buy From Architectural Salvage Yards

There are many reasons why these places rock. The two most obvious are you can save a lot of money and you can find really interesting pieces. Some of what you can find is just not available anywhere else except at an auction. In addition to getting hard to find furnishings, these are the special pieces that set a room up to a particular look and feel. You can create an homage to an era sometimes with one simple piece in a room. These become your conversation starters.

 

The other major reason is for environmental consciousness. This is a form of recycling and keeps home furnishings, lumber, stone, brick, and masonry, out of landfills. Its better than your local recycling because it’s more of a direct connection and it keeps the pieces in tack. Your local recycling plant for example, might break down a used desk into pieces of wood to be re-purposed. Your architectural salvage store, will leave it in tact for someone to buy and use or possible restore and refinish.

What to Be Aware of Before You Buy Used Home Goods

You can never be sure about what condition something is in at any kind of junkayrd. at the architectural salvage yards near me, they do a fair job of pricing based on condition. It is a buyer beware market though so it’s your job to thoroughly inspect something prior to purchasing it. I’ve seen these places sell cast iron tubs with huge cracks in them. Know what you are buying and if you are getting something in poor condition have a plan to fix it. Buying from architectural salvages is not like buying new, there are no guarantees or warranties on what you purchase. Everything you get is sold “as is”.

 

My other recommendation is to go in with a budget and a fixed plan for what you need. I have spent entire days in these places and walked out with nothing. I have also spent a few minutes and walked out with everything that I didn’t actually need. Have a plan, have a budget, and stick to it…trust me!

What Does an Architectural Salvage Store Look Like?…

If you haven’t had the experience, then you may not be sure what to expect. This video has a good walk through and shows some of the various materials and items you will discover.

 

Architectural Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion

If you are a designer, home re-modeler, home stager, real estate agent, or just a savvy home owner…these places are your mecca. You can save money, find really interesting stuff, and help the environment at the same time. If you are a first time used furniture shopper, go in with a plan and a budget. Learn to shop like the pros and check to see if your local home salvo has inventory online and if not call ahead and ask questions. This is what I have learned in my experience with the Architectural salvage yards near me. Now go find some hidden home treasures!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Does Architectural Salavge Work?

An Architectural Salavge is a place that buys and sells old parts of buildings and structires as well as antiques. You can find old marble, iron bath tobs, antique furniture, or old an old mantle. The inventory comes from demolished or remodled buildings and then the collected pieces of value are repurposed to the public.

How Does an Architectural Salavge Business Make Money?

Architectural salvage stores rely on buying and selling of antique collectibles and furniture. They must try and obtain materials at the lowest price in order to mark them up for a profit. A large part of the business is seeded in furniture restoration. They purchase a piece of junk furniture and restore it back to a usable condition, then sell it.

Do Architectural Salvage Stores Buy Used Furniture?

Some stores will, but not all. The price you get for an item will vary based on what it is, the age, the condition, and the price you are asking. It is in the best interest of the salvage store to obtain your item at the lowest possible price, becuase they need to mark it up for resale.

Do Architectural Salvage Stores Do Furniture Restoration?

Some salvae stores will do restoration, while other are just merchandise flippers. Many find restration as a way to get items at lower cost and then restore them in order to turn a high profit. There are a few that also do restoration as a separate side business that are available for special projects for hire.

What are the Benefits of Buying Architectural Salvage?

Buying architectural salvage has many benefits. First in some instances you can save money vs buying new. Second you can find interesting one of a kind time period pieces from old buildings and construction that you can;t find anywhere else. Lastly you are supporting recycling and sustainability by reusing materials.