Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeBarndominium7 ways to get your building materials cheap or free!

7 ways to get your building materials cheap or free!

The first few things we’re going to go over may seem kind of trivial to some readers but remember, there are some people out there who have access to the same technologies as you do but not the same knowledge. So, bear with me in the beginning as we start to gradually build some momentum; these are all great ideas and worthy of mentioning. 



Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are everyone’s obvious first stop when searching for anything used. It’s an excellent resource for free or cheap items in your area and it’s no secret, social buying/selling platforms are just as popular these days as the social media platforms that support them. In some rare cases, someone will have taken down a barn and will just need the wood hauled off. It’s always important to keep an eye on current posts in your area as they are first come first served in most instances. In other situations, maybe someone has leftover materials from a project they just completed and needs it all out of the way fast. These types of situations happen every day in and around your area and really do benefit both parties and happen relatively often on these types of social buying platforms. Items can be added and sold at a moment’s notice, making it an incredibly competitive atmosphere, but if you don’t mind competing with other people to get the best deal Facebook and Craigslist would definitely be my first stop when searching for any type of free or cheap building material in my area. Hint” I typically like to browse the farm & garden category,  General sales and I also urge you to take full advantage of the item notification alert, you can tell craigslist or marketplace either one what specific types of items your looking for and when a post is created that meet that criteria you’ll be alerted, this helps to be one of the first to see a post and giving you a better opportunity to buy before the masses start flooding in. 


  eBay and online auction sites can be a fantastic way to get cheap materials if you have the necessary skills to actually get the deals you want. Having deep knowledge of the items you are purchasing can be crucial to getting the best deals on online auctions, knowing what the item is worth and what your cut-off is, and sticking to a strict bidding code is key if you want to save money and make smart choices. Many times when bidding if you come to lose a bidding war you can still have the opportunity to purchase from the winning bidder after the auction has ended, not always but this can happen and it really won’t hurt to send a message to the winning bidder just to feel them out and gauge their interest, you wouldn’t believe how many auctions I’ve lost throughout the years and still ended up walking away with some if not all of the product I was bidding on originally. Be a go-getter and make things happen for yourself.  


 Material resale and reuse centers are popular in my area, they are sort of like the goodwill of hardware stores. I’ve got deals on everything from bathroom sinks to wood flooring at these types of stores. Many times, these stores take on warehouse overstock items, but they will also take in items that have been returned to the store due to blemishes or any other reason you can dream up so keep your eyes peeled and be aware while shopping in these stores just simply look over the item prior to purchase and you’ll be just fine. Some of these stores run specials on certain days as well. I remodeled my entire bathroom floor to ceiling and everything in between with materials that I was able to purchase at a very cool discounted price at my local resale store.  

Construction sites and online demolition listings are a couple more obscure ways to get cheap or free materials, if you know the boss of a construction job the larger the job the better in most cases, but there’s typically an enormous amount of waste associated with construction sites, and you can probably get a lot of free materials from the foreman or boss with nothing more than a polite conversation. If you’re lucky enough to come across a listing looking for demolition services you can usually get all the material you want when it comes to hauling off demolition debris, this can be bricks, wood, metal, aluminum, you name it and if it goes into a build, you can likely find it on a construction site or demolition site. 

Estate sales are goldmines and depending on the time of year and your location, the competition may even be in your favor. Not as many people actually take the time and extra effort to go out to estate sales but when you make that extra effort you can be blessed with some absolutely amazing, one-of-a-kind deals, you seriously cannot find anywhere else. Accent columns, trim molding, porch swings, outbuildings, wood picket fences, mailboxes, plywood, many things can be bought on the spot at estate sales at the lowest possible prices because everything must go if it does not sell it’s being thrown away. I always stick around after the show because you can potentially make offers on items that did not sell the first time around and if you are lucky, you may get some freebies just for hauling things away after the sale. A lot of these deals are just a matter of positioning yourself in the right situation to take advantage of and seize opportunities when they are presented.  

Yard sales and garage sales are popular in the fall and spring mostly but can be immensely helpful when looking for cheap materials. Not the most reliable source of materials to purchase for your new construction but you can luck out on occasion and find some especially useful materials, nails, tools, sawhorses, drills, wood, shingles, and the best part of all is most of these are plentiful at yard sales at little to no cost to you. Plus, it is just loads of fun to get your best friend and pile into the car and hop from yard sale to yard sale searching for the best deals around on building materials.


 Social media posts can benefit you tremendously if constructed properly and depending on the number of people that you personally have access to, to get started simply create a post stating that you are interested in any spare building materials that have been leftover from previous jobs or any donations would be gladly accepted as well. Social media post nowadays has the potential to reach a larger number of people in the shortest amount of time compared to similar options, with social media you can create a post and sit back to see if you get any bites, trading and bartering items for the materials that you need to build your barndominium can kind of go hand in hand with social media. People are generally extremely helpful and generous and if someone you know has something that could help you out and they don’t need the materials more than likely you can get it cheap or free.  

I’m sure there are plenty of ways to find construction materials cheap or free that I’ve neglected to mention or simply haven’t heard of yet, I’m always looking for new ways to save money on building costs hopefully one of these ideas I’ve mentioned today has planted a seed in your mind that will grow into a lifelong quest to never pay the retail cost again when there are great deals to be had all around you if you look.

Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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