Building from the Ground Up
A house constructed from natural materials such as wood, straw and earth can be further complimented with the reuse of building materials.
These materials are available from recycling specialists, who normally have the items on display cleaned up, and ready to fit.
The most popular components are windows and doors, so it is best to request these well in advance of the fitting dates to give the recycling specialist time to source them.
There are very few building construction materials which cannot be reused. However, you never should reuse recycled gas and electric appliances. Recycled sanitary ware such as toilets and shower units complete with hoses and shower heads, should be purchased new as it is much safer and more hygienic to purchase new units.
When the buildings are being demolished, the recycling specialist is usually notified and he will extract the items he can recycle. He will probably take the furniture as well, so you may be lucky to pick up some items in this category as well. Such items may include wooden tables and chairs, but again, avoid any soft furnishings; it is best to get these at auctions.
This may be an opportune moment to warn about buying from auctions. Always have in your mind the highest price you are willing to pay for the items and stick to this. My wife and I attend auctions, mainly for wood furniture, tools and garden items, but the amount of times we have got carried away and overbid for items are numerous. Still, I console myself by remembering we are saving the environment by not buying new.
This article is a continuation of my previous articles, where I have described the use of natural materials and building methods.
I have based the article on recycled building materials suitable for use in a rammed earth dwelling. I shall begin by listing the materials suitable and the things to look out for when selecting them.