Building, Renovation, Demolition Resources

Resource List for Renovators and Upcyclers Working with Secondhand Materials

Brand new… a mix of old and new… old upcycled into new designs…

When you build or renovate a home there are hundreds of decisions to be made about building style, design, functionality, materials, furnishings and hardware. Suddenly you need to research and understand lots of details you’ve never thought about before.

This page brings together resources we come across to help make your building, renovation or demolition journey easier.

The Junk Map focuses on vintage and salvage businesses, recycled building materials and upcycled furnishings. We can help you find vintage furniture to dress a new build; period salvage for renovations; or inspiration and materials for unconventional and creative projects.

Obviously brand new is not our thing. But, even new builds can require demolition of the existing building. A little time to investigate the options could save both resources and money.

House deconstruction by Renovate Restore Recycle, Bendigo
Salvaging timber flooring for reuse, Renovate Restore Recycle, Bendigo.

Demolition or Deconstruction

What is Demolition?
Demolition generally means knocking down a building with large machinery. Materials are broken as they fall and, if separated and recycled, are suitable for basic recycled products like crushed concrete and wood chip mulch. A high proportion of mixed demolition rubble ends up in landfill.

What is Deconstruction?
Deconstruction generally means dismantling a building by hand in the reverse order of construction. This is slower than demolition but allows workers to salvage materials for reuse including doors, windows, joinery, lighting, plumbing, roofing, flooring and hardware. Depending on the style of home, and method of disposal, almost all of a building can be recycled.

House deconstruction information booklet
Includes time and cost comparisons of deconstruction/selective deconstruction/demolition for different house types. (Source: Dept of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW)

How to recycle building materials from your house demolition
Answers to frequently asked questions on The Junk Map. Businesses that carry out deconstruction; articles; marketplaces for recycled materials.

Your Home: Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes
Australian Government guide to passive design, materials, energy and housing for the future.


Working with Heritage Buildings

Modern Heritage Matters – Information and advice for owners, developers and managers of heritage buildings. Heritage impact statements, design consulting, historic building profiles.

What House is That – A PDF guide to Victoria’s housing styles from early Victorian to Modern.


Renovation Safety

Asbestos Awareness – What is it; types of asbestos; FAQ; detection, disposal and legalities.

Asbestos Wise – Information and resources on asbestos. Which homes are at risk; where asbestos was used in homes; types of asbestos.

Even small projects can be hazardous if you don’t know what to look for.

“As I re-purpose a lot of lights, I occasionally come across old stage and industrial ones which have asbestos sleeves over the wiring or are insulated with it. It was used to protect the electrics and other components from the heat generated by high wattage lights. As a consequence, these lights will be full of asbestos dust, so disassembling them needs to be done carefully.” – Rick Beresford, Industriana

Lead Alert: The six step guide to painting your home – Australian Government Department of Environment info booklet.

Lead in Stained Glass – Working with stained glass, lead solder and dust.

Reclaimed Wood… Trendy or Toxic? – An article that makes you think twice about DIY projects and kids.

 

Deck and Balcony Safety – What to look for; timber, concrete and masonry structures; maintenance checklist.


Where to Find Recycled Building Materials

Find Salvage Yards – The Junk Map gives you detailed descriptions, contact details and photos of salvage yards, recycled timber specialists and recycled brick suppliers around Australia.

Love Upcycling and Reuse?

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