What is Architectural Salvage?

Sheri Cyprus

Architectural salvage refers to items recycled or salvaged from old buildings that are going to be demolished. The pieces could be from the building's interior or exterior and may be construction materials such as bricks, tiles and wood or decor items such as benches, lighting and bookcases. Many beautiful artifacts can be recycled and reused from old homes, hotels, farmhouses, churches and schools slated to be torn down. Architectural salvage companies reclaim pieces locally or worldwide and resell them to homeowners to use as unique pieces in their home or garden.

Weather vanes are popular architectural salvage items.
Weather vanes are popular architectural salvage items.

Salvaged garden items may include antique fountains or wrought iron benches. Large, decorative urns or old weather vanes may be other types of salvaged items to use outdoors. Wrought iron gates and fences are other salvage possibilities. It's important to use imagination when choosing architectural salvage for home d├ęcor, as doing this can create one-of-a-kind pieces. For example, a salvaged wrought iron gate or fence portion could make a dramatic and beautiful headboard in a bedroom.

Salvaged bricks from a building may be recycled and used as a garden pathway.
Salvaged bricks from a building may be recycled and used as a garden pathway.

Unique decorative tiles from a salvaged home could be showcased in a kitchen backsplash. Tiles for backsplashes behind stoves and sinks don't have to match as long as they coordinate with a kitchen's style and colors. Some architectural salvage, such as a stained glass window from an old church, can be used as is when building a new home. This gives a great option to using only modern architectural items. Careful measurements should be taken as the salvaged fixtures may not be made to fit in the standard-size window and door openings used in current building methods.

Doors recycled from architectural salvage may not have hardware attached, so new hardware may first need to be refinished with a coating that looks antique or distressed so it suits the rest of the door. Items salvaged from old farmhouses are popular for rustic country looks. For example, an antique wood farmhouse table could make a useful and stylish piece of furniture in a country kitchen.

Even small salvaged pieces can change the look of a home. For example, old-fashioned cut glass door knobs can add much glamour and sparkle to French and other doors in a home. Pieces of reclaimed granite may be used in a kitchen remodeling project, such as to create a top for a custom kitchen island.

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Discussion Comments


architectural salvage is a really good thing to be in to i guess.

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