A popular way to salvage building supplies is to visit a local architectural salvage center. Local demolition contractors and historic preservation societies are also good resources for finding salvage material.
Online directories and the Yellow Pages are excellent places for finding local architectural salvage centers. In the Yellow Pages, the listings come under "salvage and surplus" and "building materials." Not all localities feature salvage centers. When this is the case, contacting demolition contractors and asking them if they have used building materials is a viable alternative. In addition, historic preservation societies sometimes keep materials they no longer need. Old barns and mills are good for finding unused virgin timber. The majority of salvage warehouses are in urban locations, which means those living in rural areas need to turn to online sources. Some eBay sellers feature architectural parts, as do ReUseIt Network and Craigslist users.
Many architectural salvage centers look like junk yards, which means finding the right item takes time and patience. There are some opportunities to negotiate on the price, but this is best avoided if a charity or preservation society is selling the item. It is often necessary to take tools to a building to remove items, especially when they are scheduled for demolition.