Before buying used building materials, ensure that you have enough room to store them; otherwise, they might get ruined. Have a list of exactly what materials you need, in order to avoid purchasing anything that you are not likely to use. Keep this list in your car and next to your computer. This way, you are ready to get used materials whenever the occasion presents itself.
When you find a deal that might work for you, be sure to check the material as much as possible. This way, you avoid purchasing something that is unusable. For reclaimed wood, ensure that it was stored in a dry space, and leave it at home for a couple of days before using it.
When it comes to used bricks and tiles, have a look at the base, as some of them may come with attached concrete. Also, have a look at their depth, as mixing depths and sizes can create surfaces that are uneven. For purchasing of used iron radiators and sinks, ensure that there aren't any cracks.
Be sure to talk to your handyman or builder about what you're hoping to achieve. Some handymen are not fully prepared to work with second-hand materials; others may not want to do so. It might be a good idea to invite the handyman to come with you when you're looking at a material, so that he can tell you whether he can work with it or not.