shed seplace: a trip to the architectural salvage

It’s no wonder we tend to put off the projects in our lives. As promised, we are indeed moving ahead on our modern shed project, but boy, is it going slowly. Case in point: it occurred to us that before we could tear down our current shed, we had to find a place to put the lawn mower, wheelbarrow, and other garden tools. The good news is, we found the solution at Earthwise, one of our local architectural salvage stores.

It’s no secret to anyone around me that I just love this place — it’s filled with items that are fascinating to poke through, even if we don’t personally have a use for them. I’ve seen metal doors that look like they came off an old school building, wooden lanes from a torn down bowling alley, and an entire grand wooden staircase fit for a house about ten times the size of mine. Another great thing about architectural salvage places is that you get the weird odds and ends that the folks taking down the building no longer want — the great old office chairs above, for instance.

Before we’d even entered the building, we were able to scratch two items off our list: the first was an old metal garden shed that we purchased for about 1/4 of what one would cost new. It’s a little rough (it will need some new paint and a new latch) but it has modern lines that will go nicely with the shed we’re building. I was also thrilled to find the very first item on the MD100 materials list — concrete piers that will form the shed’s foundation, for about half what we’d pay at the local hardware store.

Next up: finding a door for our shed. To maximize cool breezes, we’re going to go with a sliding glass door or French doors and rework the MD100 plans to match. I’ll keep you posted. –Mary T.

P.S. As several of our helpful readers pointed out, you can build along with us — the plans are available here.

From our partners

a client bought old Egyptian gates at a salvage…so wonderful

I really need to get myself down there one of these days.

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Earthwise is the coolest!


I am looking for salvage sites in NJ. I heard that royalport in Salem Nj is up and coming any feed back would be appreciated. Thanks, Joe

Did you ever finish this project – I don’t think I’m seplaceing the site right, but would love some insider info.

Mary S

Chrissy, I am ashamed to say that no, we never did. Our two silly cross-country moves put the kibosh on it for awhile. Sigh.