The idea of finding resources for free building materials may not seem possible to some. With perseverance and some luck, you can find free flooring materials, lumber, kitchen and bath fixtures and just about everything else you need.

Method 1
Method 1 of 7:

Goods Out for Collection

Method 3
Method 3 of 7:

Free Construction Material from Trading or Swapping Services

  1. Perhaps you can find someone who has something you need, and you can arrange a trade. Newspapers and some online websites often have an area set aside for trades. You list what you have to trade and what you need while checking out the ads placed by others.[2]
    • You can also offer to clean out a basement, garage or storage building in return for the contents of the area. This is often an excellent resource for free flooring materials such as carpeting or area rugs and lighting fixtures.
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Method 5
Method 5 of 7:

Free Construction Materials from the City Dump

  1. Wear heavy duty clothing, gloves and eye protection as you never know what you will encounter. Many construction companies use the city dumps to dispose of material that they can't use or that they feel is not worth reclaiming. But you won't have the labor costs involved to strip paint from old windows and doors or to remove nails from lumber that the company would have, so it could be a great find for you.
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Method 6
Method 6 of 7:

Free Construction Materials from Stores

  1. Many times the paint color is not quite what the customer wanted, and they return it to the store. Rather than dispose of it, the store offers it to customers for free.
  2. They often give away small sections of carpeting that may be stained or too small to sell, odd lots of tiles or pieces of vinyl flooring. While they may be too small by themselves to cover a floor, you could mix and match remnants to cover a room.
  3. Even if what you find is not useful as construction material, you may be able to trade it for something useful to you, such as nails, screws or other odds and ends.
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Method 7
Method 7 of 7:

Freebies from Freecycle

  1. You can do this by entering the word Freecycle with your county and state or province in your search engine.
  2. [3]
  3. Explain what you're looking for in the "Wanted" part.[4]
  4. This makes the whole deal nice and reciprocal.
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Community Q&A

  • Question
    Where else could I find boards that are free, aside from your already mentioned tips?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Maybe go to a construction site and ask the superior if he will give you sheetrock and other surplus materials.
  • Question
    My roof is in bad shape and leaks. What can I do if I cannot afford insurance?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    You can try to repair the roof yourself. Get the tiles off your roof and put some building plastic as underlayment that hangs in the gutter. This does not fix the issue, but it is an effective and cheap temporary fix.
  • Question
    Where can I find salvaged kitchen cabinets?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    If you have a Habitat For Humanity in your area, they often have stores that sell used items to repair your house. We bought several of our kitchen cabinets there. They have odds and ends of hardware, furniture, bathroom items, etc.


  • When trading services, familiarize yourself with the income tax laws involved. Some trading might be viewed as bartering, so check with your accountant.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Tools as needed
  • Vehicle for hauling construction materials

About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 14 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 210,903 times.
457 votes - 80%
Co-authors: 14
Updated: November 10, 2023
Views: 210,903
Article SummaryX

Getting free building materials can be tricky, but with some perseverance and a little luck, you might be able to make it happen! Drive through neighborhoods right before bulk city pick-ups, since you might be able to find old furniture you can repurpose. While you're driving around, check the dumpsters of apartment buildings for discarded furniture. You'll often find more stuff in dumpsters at the end of the month right before people move out. Another way to get free building materials is to visit your local recycling center since local recycling centers usually have a free section. If they don't provide free materials, you can always call your city dump and see if they allow you to take things. To learn how to use the Freecycle program, read on!

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