We are looking at building a 12x12 or possibly 14x14 A-frame cabin on our property. Very low budget, looking for ideas on the best places to look for used or recycled materials, besides Craigslist, and in Eugene there is BRING and the Habitate for Humanity used building supplies stores. We are looking for something very simple, cheap and green as possible. The plans on this forum look great.
Find a conventional builder who is about to break ground at a site. Tell him you will save him a few hundred dollars by carting off all the waste from the site (maybe he will even pay you for this "service"). He doesn't have to rent a 20-yard dumpster; you get to salvage all his throw-aways.
I'd be willing to bet if you could pull this off, you will get all the drywall, OSB, and carpeting you need for your project.
posted 6 years ago
Great idea, I do have a utility trailer, so we could do this. Thanks.
We're doing the same thing here in Georgia. Back before the building crash here in 2008, you couldn't pick up free supplies fast enough, I was a commercial contractor and once tossed 372 sliding glass windows to my subs to break all the glass out of and recycle the aluminum. Man, I miss those days. Now, at least around here, builders are being very tight.
I recently heard of a commercial contractor who is reusing his 16 foot 2x4's as temporary hand railings over and over. 6 years ago they would have been dumpster bound after one use.
Anyway, for way cheap/free building supplies, I'd be done if it wasn't for Craig's List. We've scrounged a lot of really decent materials, but it's pretty apparent we're not the only ones doing it. Free building materials don't last long at all. I'm talking a couple hours.
But a really cool building supply option on CL has been old play sets. People must have bought the hell out of those huge wooden play sets with the swings and slides cause it seems there are two a week that people are looking to give away free. You get a dozen 8 ft 4x4's and two 18 foot 4x6's and a whole mess of 2x6's & 2x8's. And I've got swings & trapezes coming out my wazoo. The steering wheels and slides I have no idea what to do with yet. At least not until I build my own tree fort!
Pallets are worth looking at too. I'm still trying to get the hang of re-purposing them, but there is some neat wood in a pallet.
if this is meant for your own personal year round use, I would reconsider an a-frame... They are cheap and very easy to build, but you sacrifice alot of usable space with them, with that small of a footprint, you may not be happy after spending some time in it. a partial a-frame is a good way to go about this, while still saving money over a conventional design, straight walled first floor with a barn roof second story will save money and give you a nice usable living space downstairs with a loft upstairs for sleeping where the sloping walls won't be as much of a hassle.
That's just my opinion though. If you haven't ever spent time in an a-frame it may be worth it to search for a cabin rental place nearby that has one, take a little mini-vacation and spend a weekend in one. Sure it's money spent that could go to your home, but it will at least give you an insiders view of one....
Now, if this isn't a year round residence, then nevemind what I said haha, it'll be a great little getaway cabin!
Ajila Ama Farm Western North Carolina
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