Whole House Building Supply & Salvage

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Salvageability of Items

Easy to salvage:

Doors, door jambs & casing (molding) -- removing the whole door as a pre-hung unit makes it really easy to put up again. Base boards, crown moldings, chair & picture rails -- pull finish nails from the back and the piece is as good as new. Windows, jambs & casing are easy to pull out, except that windows encased in stucco are more work to get out. Kitchen cabinets and formica countertops are relatively easy. Sinks are easy, except ones surrounded by tile. Wood siding is easy but requires patience.

More simple and easy items: toilets; skylights; fireplace mantels (usually); mirrors fixed to the wall with screw tabs; shower doors & newer angled showers; decks, trellises & gazebos; carpet & pad; bricks layed in sand; closet shelving & storage systems; acoustical ceilings; iron railings & gates.

Salvage that requires more work:

Hardwood flooring can be pulled up at 80 sq ft per hour or so, depending on your speed. It takes time to pull nails too. Tubs take 1-2 hours or more depending on how built-in they are. Removing bricks in mortar can be easy or difficult, depending on how soft the mortar is. Furnaces, air conditioners & hot water heaters take an hour or more. The entire forced-air duct work is salvageable. A garage vehicle door takes an hour or more.

Salvage that requires extra caution:

Anything electrical -- lights, fans & appliances, etc. must be removed by a licensed person. Anything that must be pulled off a roof or high place such as ceramic roof tiles, TV antennas, spark arrestors, etc. means a danger of falling. Removing any structural parts of buildings, such as rafters, beams, wall framing, floor joists and plywood are time consuming, and could cause collapse of the building.

Salvage that requires moderate care & patience:

Removing interior & exterior siding, cedar closet linings and the like. Removing mirrors glued to a wall is difficult, but we've discovered some procedures that work.

Salvage that requires extreme care and patience:

Removing tile of any sort. It is possible to remove whole sections of wall tile and replace as whole sections.

Impossible to salvage:

Sheetrock; linoleum; plaster work; composition and gravel roofing. If a cabinet is built in place it usually is impossible to salvage in one piece. Chimney brick is more work than it is worth.

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