How To Get Free Building Materials

Do you dream of building your own furniture or even your own home someday? Who doesn’t?

It is one of the ultimate forms of self-sufficiency. Being able to create what you want and need, with your own two hands, is an incredible feeling. But building can get expensive. All that material, not to mention the tools, and the extra material in case of mistakes. It can add up quite quickly.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could just skip that part altogether and get the materials for free? No money spent, only time. Doesn’t that sound nice?

why would anyone give materials away for free?

Well, first of all, it depends on what you deem to be materials. Construction sites, home builds, companies - basically anyone doing some renovating, can have leftover materials once the job is done. They have no use for them, they’re in their way and they just want them gone asap. That’s where you come in.

The list of things building materials and things for building your own home and furniture that you can get for free goes on and on. Just the last couple of weeks I have seen ads for people trying to get rid of the following:

  • Pallets (free wood)

  • Leftover wood

  • Insulation

  • Bathtub, sink and loo

  • Paint, tiles and wallpaper

  • Soil

  • Cement

Once you start looking for it, you’ll see these kinds of ads everywhere. Check Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, ask friends and family or simply put up a note in your local grocery store. You’ll be surprised to see how much of what you need for your furniture- or house build that you can get completely free, while being kind to the environment.

But I don’t know how to build yet?

No one knows how to do anything before they learn how to. You don’t know how to build but you want to learn how to? Find people around you who are building their own place, or doing some sort of building project and need an extra pair of hands. You will help them and get free lessons and experience in building. Take a course as well if you want to, but learning by doing is the absolute best way there is.

It is incredibly difficult to find a place to live today, no matter where in the world you are looking or what kind of job you have. Homelessness is becoming a worldwide issue and the rent and prices you have to pay for even a small one bedroom apartment is ridiculous these days.

Because of this, there are people all over the world in all sorts of situations, trying to learn about tiny house living, living off grid and building their own home. Some live in vans, some in caravans, some convert buses or boats, some live in yurts or tipis and some build their own houses or tiny houses on wheels. People of all ages, genders, colours are learning how to become more self-reliant and how to simplify and learn how to build.

If they can do it, why would you not be able to? Just decide to do it.

how can I use those free materials to build with?

In this crazy world we live in today, people have lost most of the amazing skills that used to be so common just 50-60 years ago. People pay to get people to do things for them today, rather than having the knowledge and skills to do it themselves. But fortunately for us, some of those who do know what they’re doing, are keen on sharing their skills with the world and do so through YouTube. You can find all kinds of how to-s on building there, and hundreds, if not thousands of people having built homes out of salvaged/donated materials, pallets, waste - you name it.

If you are keen to learn, grab a notepad, turn on YouTube and start taking notes. Find places where you can lend a hand and learn how to build at the same time. Talk to people about your plans and reach out to people who can help you reach your goal. Find a place where you can stay and build your place, or where you can set up your movable home, and use that place to store materials whenever you find them for free.

Eventually you will have the materials you need, the skills you need and the contacts you need to get yourself through the building process.

But what if it goes wrong?

Stop thinking like an adult. I know we all have to do some adulting during the weeks, but when it comes to your future and creativity, it is best to see life through the eyes of a child. How would a child think of the situation?

The answer is, with excitement. They would see the possibilities, the opportunities and they wouldn’t even think “What if I can’t do it?” or “What will people think of someone like me attempting something like this?”

Stop belittling yourself and making yourself out to be less than you are.

When a child is learning how to walk, and they fall, they don’t think “What if this is not for me?”. They get up again, keep trying, and before you know it, they are walking.

You want freedom, yes?

You want your own place?

You want to learn how to build with your own two hands, be it furniture or your own home?

Then just start.

All you have to do is decide that this is what you want to do, and before you get to go all adult in your mind, say ‘fuck it’ and just go for it.

Do you think all those bloggers and YouTuber’s who built their own furniture, their own homes, their own verandas, didn’t have doubt? Didn’t have doubters, people in close proximity to them who thought their ideas and plans were ridiculous? That it was absurd that they should attempt such an endeavour?

Do you think they listened?

Of course not.

Take a chance. Get the experience. Learn the skills. Find the free materials.

Before you know it, you will be standing next to your very own creation, that didn’t take money, but creativity, gumption and skill to achieve.