Vintage, reclaimed, repurposed, recycled, upcycled, and any other variation of buying used has become chic in the past 15 years. It’s even more chic to talk about and seek reclaimed everything in the past 10 years thanks to a rough economic cycle.
It is a buzzword in clothing, where thrift gained popularity in the grunge era, with a new name — vintage. It has overtaken the junkyard where automobiles go to die, and where demolished buildings are laid to rest. The latter is part of today’s topic, which is focused on why people should buy reclaimed bricks.
While it might seem that re-using old building materials should be very economical, it is and it is not. Here’s why. Well, surely musty old bricks are no longer wanted and are like a reward to the company that owns a building it is demolishing. Right?
After all, they get to resell what they can no longer use. Yet, they do not want to hold onto the parts, so they should be grateful to sell at any price, right? Not really. This is where market value steps into the game.
It turns out that to make something akin to Chicago brick circa the early 20th Century will cost more. After all, maybe they would need to make them by hand, or buy a different, old school, type of kiln. The process to make the old-looking brick could take longer and be more inefficient, which costs more money.
For many, then, the idea of buying reclaimed bricks has more to do with these two factors: 1. Reusing, and 2. getting the right look. For this customer, saving money is not necessarily the priority. While they could buy new for less, they could save the environment, get a more “vintage” or hand-hewn look, while recycling. So, there are the most compelling reasons that people go with reclaimed bricks.
Matching Present Look
For others, there is a much more practical reason that they need to buy reclaimed. It is to go with an existing older home’s style. For one family, it may be that they need to replace some of their old patio or old brick barbecue pit’s bricks. Others may want to cap off their new addition to their old home with the same look.
For such projects, going with the reclaimed materials allows for greater variety of products that are the closest match. Still, others simply have fallen in love with the weathered or worn-in styles that the reclaimed product lines offer.
While it may seem that the best way to go is with the new, less expensive materials, that’s not always the wisest option visually speaking. Instead, find out what reclaimed product lines are already made and ready to go for your home or business.
There are many options for every budget, running from approximately $1 per square foot upwards of $10 and more per square foot. Choose wisely, and be sure that you buy extra to ensure you do not run out of materials.