Demolition Sales

I went to my first demolition sale yesterday. Our family gave us Christmas money to use for our ongoing renovation projects, so we were on the hunt for some deals.
We originally went because they were selling an entire basement suite (kitchen cabinets, newish fridge and stove, bathroom vanity and fixtures, etc.) for $675. We were understandably keen on that, but unfortunately we were #5 on the list and #2 got it. They did have some other interesting things though, so we didn’t come home empty handed.
While not particularly glamorous, we were thrilled to get the toilet from the upstairs bathroom for next to nothing. It’s almost new and is an expensive low-flow model to boot.
We also got a couple of small wood-frame windows to make cold frames for the garden (for $5).

We went back this morning to remove the toilet, and picked up this gorgeous cabinet with leaded glass doors as well (it’s nicer in person, the photo emphasizes the construction dust). It was originally a built-in unit in the music room, so we’ll have to finish it a bit. I just love it – I’ve never bought myself an antique anything before.

We ended up buying the Jotul wood stove that we looked at the other night (saving ourselves about $1300 over buying a new one!), and will have to rework our existing fireplace a little bit to install it. With this in mind, we also bought the antique fireplace surround/mantle.
We’re going back just before the house comes down to take away a few interior doors with gorgeous glass door knobs, a garden gate, and he’s giving us (for free!!) the leaded glass windows as long as we remove them ourselves. They’re the same pattern as the doors in the cabinet above. We don’t plan on using them as actual windows because they’re so inefficient and breezy, but we’re thinking they’ll make gorgeous cabinet doors for future carpentry projects (any other brilliant ideas out there?).
For some reason they had several of these galvanized boxes lying around too. I’m going to use them to hold my onions and potatoes in the pantry.I think I may be a budding demo sale addict. It was so agonizing to see such a gorgeous old home being demolished that I was desperate to try and save as much of it as I could. This particular house was apparently built by a man as a wedding gift for his new bride at the turn of the century. It’s reassuring to know that so much of it will be used elsewhere, but it’s still sad. On another note, it was raining so hard this morning that our crawlspace was flooded with several inches of water, but by the time we got home from collecting our demo sale treasures the sky had cleared, and this was the view (through our neighbors’ patio) while I was hanging the laundry in the afternoon.

10 thoughts on “Demolition Sales”

  • Great stove! Good window find. They go used around her for 10 or more each?!?! Good snag on the metal buckets. I have some of those and really like them—wish I had more of them. They hold up well and are multi use that’s for sure. When we lived in Dallas/Ft worth Texas—there was lots more to get cheap even on trash day. Guess people in the country scavange a bit more still and know what those windows are worth πŸ™‚

  • I’m so jealous you got to go to a demolition sale. It looks like you got some fabulous finds. Those old houses have some real treasures. I love the cabinet with the leaded windows. It’s sad about the house though. I hate to hear about them tearing up those old houses. I suppose some developer wants to build condos.

  • We had some sun yesterday as well. It felt so nice to get some sunlight.

    What great finds! I would think that it would be sad as well to go to sales with a story like the one you mentioned. Yippie for saving some of it.

  • Look out! Once you get a little antiquing under your belt, you may have created a monster. Hee hee! Seriously, what great finds – I think you are definitely helping to save the history by buying/taking these items. I also have antique items and I feel much the same. We have a very very old dining room set and we always say, “if this table could talk, the stories it could tell us”. The leaded glass cabinet is wonderful.

  • Phelan – Thanks for the link, I’ll look into the Canadian listings. I love the Habitat for Humanity ReStores too.

    Monica – I know, we’re getting such a great deal on everything. This guy is the home owner and he’s just selling everything off himself, so I don’t think he’s trying for as much as he could be getting. The windows and doors would cost a mint at some of the salvage stores around here. His prices also seem to be coming down the closer it gets to the demolition date (we got the cabinet and mantle for a third of what he’d asked for it on our first trip there).

    Carla – It is sad to see, but thankfully they aren’t putting in condos. They apparently tried to save the house but there was too much wrong with it structurally.

    Chelee – A little sun definitely helps ward off the winter blahs!

    Lu – It sounds like you speak from experience! πŸ˜‰
    My in-laws are British and they have a house full of antiques with wonderful stories attached to them, I love it.

  • Rockport – It just means they’re selling off as many of a house’s reusable fixtures before knocking it down. They’re a great place to get deals on construction materials!

  • It is amazing what you can buy at these demolition sales. Some of the deconstruction companies (like Bahm Demolition that was listed above) try to salvage/reclaim as much material as possible from their demolition projects. Then, they of course sale it to make a profit. Get idea instead of putting everything in the landfill.

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