In my area in Europe there are regularly classified ads for free building materials, like old wood from roofs, which looks like this:

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Would it be feasible to gather my wood from multiple such sources and build the basis of a home with it? End result should look something like this:

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For reference, in Germany this type of wood would cost about 400 EUR/m³, so if this approach is doable, I should be able to save a ton of money, which is my goal here.

closed as too broad by isherwood, Tyson, ThreePhaseEel, Daniel Griscom, Machavity Feb 12 '18 at 15:30

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  • 1
    it's very feasible, green, economic, and an all-around great idea. You might need to engineer some of your larger beams, with the help of an expert. You will want to de-nail and plane all the boards to clean them up as well, a metal-detector helps save tool blades. Lastly, as supply is inconsistent, under most cases you should be prepared to buy some new materials when needed to keep the project moving, unless authenticity is of utmost importance. – dandavis Feb 5 '18 at 23:59

Believe it or not, wood framing is a minor cost for the construction of a home.

Yes, you “could” gather enough to frame a home and save money, but at what cost: 1) TIME: There is a huge amount of time to remove it from a site, remove nails, bolts, mastic, etc. so you can use it, 2) QUALITY: You’ll need to sort the material so you have adequate amount of good, straight, clean, sound material for structural use, (i.e.: headers, floor framing so no squeaky floors, etc.), 3) UNIFORMITY: Make sure the lumber is uniform in size so walls, roofs, etc. are straight.

Meanwhile, while you’re saving a nickel on the lumber, I presume you’re paying rent monthly that could go towards mortgage payments if the house was finished sooner.

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