On the hunt for old house parts?

November 5, 2013 , In: Field Notes, Quick Thoughts , With: No Comments
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refabstl

I get a lot of emails from people asking if I know any good resources for vintage house parts. And the answer, of course, is YES!

I’m a thrifter from way back, with a husband who shares my love of architectural salvage, so I’ve spent many a day hunting for unusual treasures. I’ve also restored an old house from top to bottom, so I’ve learned to scrounge for materials in all kinds of places: estate sales, demolition sales, scrap yards, you name it. And let me tell you, nothing beats a good architectural salvage shop.

St. Louis has a few – some are listed below – but the one I’m especially excited about lately is ReFab STL. Open since 2012, this large, dimly lit warehouse in South City is packed with all manner of vintage house parts, from windows and doors to light fixtures, furniture and unique built-ins. The selection of 50s bathroom pieces (like pink porcelain TP holders) is pretty good, plus there’s also a mountain of old bushel baskets just waiting for some creative reuse, and a yard full of huge wooden spools.

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The inventory is ever changing here, so you never know what you’ll find. But the coolest thing about ReFab is that they also train people in “house recycling,” a green building trade that’s thriving in many cities and saving countless tons of usable materials from landfills. So if you need something to do on a Saturday between 10am and 4pm, I highly recommend a visit to this local nonprofit:

ReFab STL: 3130 Gravois Ave 63118 (NEW ADDRESS & NEW HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday 9-5)

My other favorite local sources for vintage house parts are:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – St. Louis: 3763 Forest Park 63108 & 2117 Sams Drive 63131

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – St. Charles: 186 Mid Rivers Center 63376

Fellenz Antiques: 439 N. Euclid 63108

Architectural Artifacts: 2711 Lafayette Ave 63104 (Saturdays 10-2)

Perhat Lumber: 6023 South Broadway 63111

Please note that most of these places are a little bit dirty and dangerous (some more than others), so come prepared with closed-toe shoes, gloves, flashlight, etc. A tape measure is also a good idea.

And if you’re looking to donate old house parts as opposed to salvaging them, may I direct you to you this handy guide from St. Louis County.

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Shannon Howard

Realtor / Old House Specialist

The Howard Team • MORE Realtors • (314) 359-5927 • shannon@STLhomeswithsoul.com

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