Why you should support salvage businesses and reclamation yards

Supporting salvage and reclamation yards is something that everyone should do. These businesses are often small, and the numbers of them going under every year is saddening. So help these heroes who keep the culture and tradition of design alive for all to have! The hard work that goes into running a salvage business is often overlooked, but this is an industry that makes the decor in hipster coffee shops possible!

One man and a dog

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In this case one man and his pigs!

More often than not running a reclaim business is lonely. It’s usually just one man, his dog and a van. We can say from experience that going to a cold warehouse in the middle of January isn’t easy. There’s no cosy office, canteen, or chatting with the boys from accounts about the weekend’s football. It’s hard work, but the reward is all worth it. Also, we get the occasional surprise visitor to the workshop!

 Getting good salvage is hard

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Now, this is what we call good quality salvage!

We know how hard it is to find good quality salvage. Surprising as it may seem lots of salvage isn’t very good. It’s normally been abused by previous owners and left to rot before someone saves it. The amount of work we put into finding good quality reclaim is unbelievable. But then it does mean that we only provide our customers with doors they will love. Sometimes we’ll upcycle reclaim into other materials, which you can see in our upcycled salvage section.¬†This helps to give something a new lease of life.

Working in salvage can be dangerous

Something that comes as part of the job is dealing with danger. This can come in a variety of forms. Asbestos and lead paint exposure have long-term health effects which are well documented. But there are also other risks. Splinters, cuts, bruises, broken bones and injuries from tool accidents are relatively commonplace. When we renovate our doors we often wash them in a caustic dip to remove the paint. Let us tell you, you don’t want that stuff on your fingers! (Disclaimer: All our doors are thoroughly washed after caustic dipping)

There was one time where I came very close to death. I had just finished unloading some reclaimed Victorian doors into the new racking in the warehouse. After unloading the last of them, I walked out to the van to get my phone. As I stepped out the door there was creak and a snap, followed by an almighty crash as the new racking couldn’t take the weight. Around a hundred doors had toppled over like dominoes, and had I been in there it wouldn’t have been pretty. Safe to say we double reinforce the racks now!

Reclaim yards are the great recyclers

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Toil and tears go into renovating Victorian front doors like this one!

Reclaim businesses are there to recycle. In this era of global warming and climate change, reusing old materials is more important than ever. As the great cog of globalisation turns, and we import our chairs, tables, wood, metal, medicines, food etc from abroad, our carbon footprint gets bigger and bigger. Reclaim changes that. We try to source as locally as possible, and we also prefer to sell locally as well. Redistribution of old materials is as important as putting the tins in the recycling.

Reclaim yards will try to help you

Plenty of reclaim owners will try to help you find what you’re looking for. There are millions of pieces of reclaim flying around the UK, and the only people who know where the good stuff is are the experts. You might chance upon a perfect set of vintage radiators every now and then, but the reclaim guys see it every day. They have an experienced eye that knows quality, even if it does come in disguise sometimes. Harness their expertise and you’ll get exactly what you need.