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To build small, spend-small, and live small, sometimes you have to “think small”– and by that, I mean keeping an eye out for often-overlooked materials when you’re gunnin’ to incorporate some free and salvaged materials in your small house (or any) project.
Today’s example (from a repeat experience (literally fifteen minutes ago)) deals with curbside doors. You’ll often see these laying around, fresh from a remodel, or demolition project, and often times, as you all well know, these doors are in less than savory shape. This methodology also applies to kitchen cabinets, hinged windows, and anything else of the “swingin'” variety.
Enter: “The think ‘smaller'” plan.
Ever cruise through the aisles of Home Depot, or whatever giant-mega-hardware store and see how much full-size door hinges cost? Well, most people chucking their old doors, don’t know, don’t care, and don’t bother with such trivial trinkets- but at $7.00 or more per set (for even the lousiest hinges), here’s where YOU swoop in, with you recycled junk-fabric superhero cape and all- “Captian Cheapo” to the rescue!
Now assuming you have your little road kit of salvage-material tools (See our older, recently reposted article), in just such a case of an “emergency”, you break ’em out, back out the screws of each and every door you find, and next thing you know, in ten minutes time, you have $25 or so in hinges- perhaps more….and if the doors DO happen to be nice looking, grab ’em too!
With my construction projects and experiments, hinges are the one thing I seem to go through like water, so I’ve had this little tip o’ thrift save my butt, and wallet, many times over. There’s nothing worse that having to stop in the midst of a project to drive out to a not-so-convenient store to buy the smallest of supplies, so next time you’re out, keep a loose lookout for even the ugliest, most-beaten, and least-luxurious of doors. Remember: There’s more beyond just the wooden door itself. And if you can find handles, locksets (with keys- it happens), and other hardware as well- it might be worth your while.
As I’m now working on a large treehouse/micro-guest sleeper/cabin for a client, the timing of finding today’s hinges couldn’t have worked out better- and I thought I’d share.
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
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