Monthly Archives: August 2018

Using Salvaged or Reclaimed Materials – Setting Up A PSO?

The first question I am sure you are now asking is – WHAT THE HECK IS A PSO?

A PSO is nothing more than a Pure Salvage Outpost – Just a place that you can collect and store salvaged or reclaimed material to help others build their small house or cabin on their own land.  Many people prefer the Big House with a Mortgage with all those bells and whistles screaming at the neighbors to Look at Me!  This lifestyle of living small isn’t for everyone as much as living in a large house with immaculate landscaping isn’t something many minimalist want either.  Regardless of who you are,  choose what makes you Happy!

In my Business – by that I mean the Homesteading Website and Facebook pages that I publish – I see people who want to get away from big banks, Mortgage companies, and have a small house that they can buy or build themselves without spending a fortune. They also don’t want to worry about the ever increasing costs of new building materials and off-gassing from treated products.  Sometimes we just cant help that we need to buy these things that are so new and expensive because they aren’t available anywhere else.

Those things are available anywhere else – and its called Reclaimed Materials. They have been used and abused and lasted the test of time. Farmer Joe down the road may have built a barn many  years ago that wasn’t treated with harsh chemicals that make you sick.  I have seen many abandoned old houses on tobacco farms that were used a pack houses. Those sometimes have a great supply of old wood, doors, vintage light fixtures, or a good ole cast iron sink.

Reclaimed Material

Sometimes, a good place to start is a local Goodwill or Habitat Store to see what they have available.  Many times they have reclaimed materials, but they are still treated in some form with harmful chemicals – I don’t advocate not buying from them.  They are a great cause to help people find less expensive items that they can afford or build a house from donated materials for affordable housing.

Photo Credit: Roma Frank

What I do advocate is this – – Get with your like minded neighbors and community and start a PSO in your community. Pool together and find reclaimed items to sell at discounted prices like old lumber,  windows, fixtures and the many things you can use to build a small cabin or house.  Barter or Trade materials, tools, wisdom and advice.  You can find many items for FREE on social media or other websites that people are itching to give away. Take that money and use it to buy more reclaimed materials.  You may have something that a neighbor can use and they may have something to trade.  Best of all, help them build with your knowledge and they help you.  You will be much better off using reclaimed materials that look really cool, than buying new materials which can harm you!

My wife and I found a great business this past weekend in the Mennonite Community about a two hour drive from our place.  We were specifically wanting metal underpinning for our cabin. The local Sheet Metal and Roofing fabricators wanted $2.29 or more per foot . The shop we found sells it for .55 per foot, and in the color that we wanted.  It’s not impossible to find these deals if you look.

If you have some available property on your homestead that you aren’t doing anything with – this would be a good place to start a local outpost for reclaimed materials. It may take some time to accumulate things to make it worthwhile. You can also be a drop off site for those who are throwing things away instead of taking it to the landfill.

Personally, I would like to see these places pop up all over the country.  A great example is one that exists in Texas.  You can find it here and meet the creator!  Pure Salvage Living  

Photo Credit: Tiny Texas Houses


Wherever you plan to build your small house or cabin from reclaimed materials- with a little help from your friends – be sure to check your local zoning laws and codes to make sure its allowed.  If not, pick a place where it is allowed and get started!

Writers Note:  In this Post I have included photos submitted from Followers of our Facebook Page   Shed to House Conversions: A to Z .  Photos Credits are Given.