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Architectural Salvage Information

Architectural Salvage Overview

In recent decades Architectural Salvage has developed as a separate niche within the building industry. 'Reclaimed building materials' and 'reclamation yards' are also terms which have now become commonplace throughout the industry. Almost every traditional building product that can be purchased has its reclaimed equivalent. The most common salvage products are reclaimed bricks, second-hand slates, reclaimed floorboards and railway sleepers....more

Architectural Salvage

Featured Architectural Salvage Companies (3 of 8)


Architectural Salvage Explained

The term Architectural Salvage is generally used to describe any building materials, fittings (external or internal) or decorative architectural features that were once part of a building's construction or the surrounding built environment, and have since been removed for reuse.

Architectural Salvage materials are also sometimes referred to as reclaimed materials or reused materials and represent a form of recycling as all materials have previously been manufactured or finished for use on a previous building or within an element of the built environment.

The phenomenon of utilising salvaged materials is not a new one and has been taking place for hundreds of years in various shapes and forms. One of the most notable examples is the historical reuse of core building materials, such as natural stone and timbers, taken from castle ruins and reused for building houses within the local area. However, the reuse of reclaimed materials has gained increasing popularity over recent years as an alternative source of building materials, which can be used to provide an individual appearance or period look to a building. The reuse of materials is also seen as 'green' and 'sustainable'.

Architectural salvage is generally available from architectural salvage companies who store and trade their reclaimed materials from reclamation yards and salvage yards. Their yards can usually be visited to view the latest stock. Available stock is likely to change regularly and most items are likely to be rare and often unique, with only one example offered for sale, with the exception of reclaimed bricks where bulk quantities are likely to be available. Due to the old age of many of the materials sold by reclamation yards, often called conservation yards, the items can be perceived as being architectural antiques. However, there is no minimum age for an architectural salvage item.

Some architectural salvage companies follow the Salvo Code, which represents a voluntary best practice trading procedure. The Code is not a compulsory illegal requirement in the UK and was introduced in 1995 to give customers greater assurance that antique and salvage items being traded were not stolen. To meet the code traders must not buy any items that they suspect have been stolen or removed from listed or historical buildings. Traders must also keep a record of the vehicle registration numbers and ask for proof of identity from those offering items for sale, that they do not know. The practice also states that the history of an item, such as date of manufacture and previous owners, should be recorded where possible.

A diverse range of architectural salvage is available with essential materials, such as reclaimed tiles and bricks, readily available from dismantled whole buildings. Reclaimed bricks and tiles are commonly used to construct period property extensions, where bricks that match the original weathered bricks of the property are favoured to allow the new extension to blend in to its surroundings. Wire cut bricks can also be sourced to maintain a traditional period look. Salvage yards are valuable sources of quarry tiles and flagstones, should items be needed to replace cracked or missing ones.

Salvaged timber can be purchased as an alternative to new timber, with reclaimed timber prices likely to be less than equivalent new timber prices. Reclaimed timber beams and reclaimed timber flooring are both popular reclaimed timber product choices. Traditional oak floors are also sort after as they are fully matured and already appear aged. Many salvage yards will also stock a selection of period doors, whether you are looking for Victorian gothic doors or more traditional solid oak doors, it is worth visiting your local salvage specialist.

A range of ornate internal salvage items including period stone fireplaces and Edwardian fireplaces can be used to help create a focal point for your room. Reclaimed furniture or antique furniture has been a popular choice for many years. Many every day period domestic fittings, now no longer available new, can be purchased second hand. Examples include bathroom fittings from period bathroom taps to genuine Victorian slipper baths.

Ornate decorative ironwork can be purchased to provide that unique touch to give your home individuality, with decorative hinges and brass door furniture to name but a few options. Decorative iron window fasteners and wrought iron hinges make for good robust period fittings. Even stained glass windows and church pews can be obtained from some salvage yards to give that added bespoke feel to any property.

External salvage items can be used to provide a feature within any garden or house surroundings. Classic choices include garden statues and garden fountains. Even Victorian lamp posts and stone troughs have a strong aesthetic appeal and will complete any scene. Other smaller items like reclaimed chimney pots will help give your property an interesting traditional look and set it apart from others on the street.

Architectural salvage items have many applications and can provide that individual finishing touch to your building project or current home.