View Full Version : Wood Sources

07-28-2007, 06:24 PM

we're going to start construction next week and due to the haunt being six times the size it was last year, we are in a crunch....I mean a SERIOUS crunch for wood.
We have very limited funds, so going to Lowes or Home Depot to purchase it is completely out of the question. I don't want to use pallets as we already have a few pallet walls which really aren't the best choice, in my book.

So, with that said....

Anyone have any wood source suggestions? We're desperate! :(

07-28-2007, 10:59 PM
a cheap wall design we have used in the past is to frame out the walls using 2x3 lumber with corner braces made of 1/4 ply then use a fire retardant black plastic (http://www.americover.com/Products/FRBlackPlastic.html) as the canvas for the wall. Granted these walls are far from bomb proof but can serve as light weight filler walls for hallways etc. the plastic is 4 mill thick so it can take a decent beating. hope this helps and best of luck this season.

Jim Warfield
07-29-2007, 09:31 AM
Have your crew be on the lookout for old doors being thrown out, near the curb, the dumpster, construction sites. I once bought 25 new doors for 25 cents each because they had imperfections, they weren't heavilly made but they lasted for a long time.
I made an outdoor fence by stringing a heavy steel cable between trees and screwing the doors to the cable at the top with sheet metal scraps. These were metal doors all changed out from a housing project. You can't beat being in the right place at the right time, of course then I also rented a truck and a trailer to get them 10 miles home, 46? doors?
Most of these oppotunitys happened for me when I decided to go haunting full-time. Then I was available during the day to do such things, if you have to wait til you get off "work" to get such things it will be too late, usually.
If you can get the word out that you need and are looking for items people will begin bringing stuff to your door, then you have to become picky so as not to become a lamdfill!
Construction items get real heavy real fast for any mere car, you will need the services of a truck.

Frighteners Entertainment
07-29-2007, 09:58 AM
If you're still a non profit, you may benefit from Lowes, Menards and Home Depot. With your non paper work, you should get at least $300 for materails at each location.

It's not much, but will help :)

07-29-2007, 06:33 PM

Yup! We're still a 501(c)3, but the Lowes and Home Depots around here aren't as generous. :(

Jim! YES...I like the door idea!! With us being a clinic, the door idea is just grand. We could mark them as Doc's offices, exam rooms and all sorts of things. I believe you told me this before, but I'm so use to thinking IN the box, that I forget how thinking OUT of it can be the solution. THANKS!! :D

Frighteners Entertainment
07-29-2007, 08:20 PM
That's too bad. Maybe checking other lumber yards might be a good move.
Like 84 lumber, Wicks, Carter Lumber, Meek's...these are a few that may help.

07-29-2007, 09:11 PM
Hey Empress, Lowes and Home Depots here in Omaha sometimes have bundles of lumber that are either old or they were part of an order that fell through or it might be returned as extra wood from a jobsite. Anyway, if you catch them at the right time you can get "monster" deals on this wood. About a year ago I bought a bundle of lumber that had about 30 12' 2X4's mixed in with some bad stuff, but I got the whole bundle for $50, not a joke. I would go in and talk to the guys in the lumber end of the store. Don't bother with customer service or some management office. You might be able to leave them your name and # and have them call you with anything they end up with. Also check craigslist in your area. I have scored free doors and misc building materials that way too. Good luck!!!

Jim Warfield
07-30-2007, 08:37 AM
Busy builders in new subdivisions sometimes hire all their clean-up work done by a company that only does this and they end up with alot of wood of all kinds. Some of this and that, some not quite perfect, some with mud crusted onto it, big deal!
I attended such an auction once and got alot of usable wood for very little money and it was all profit to them since they didn't buy the wood and were paid to take it away.
(Of course many of us wondered if all of that beautiful wood left the job site under the light of day or not?)

07-31-2007, 10:30 AM
Emp, you may also want to ask general contractors in your area about a recycle/re-use program they may participate in. Unfortunately, you never know what they'll have available (and some of it may be damaged - most of it will not be matchable), but they may be willing to cut you deals as a non-profit.

Someone mentioned trying a Habitat for Humanity resale store. I'm not aware of any of these in my area, but maybe there are some in yours? Apparently, it's the same type of deal - basically where they drop off their extra materials and sell them to the public to make money for their cause.

If you go the door route, you can always call installers in your area. My mother's best friend worked for a company that only removed and installed new doors. They left all the old "trash" doors - some with frames - behind their store for the garbage. Maybe they'd set them aside for you if you were willing to pick them up? It's worth a shot, all they can say is no, right?

08-02-2007, 09:22 AM
Thanks to a tip from a member here who just happens to live in my county, I scored 61 panels of OSB yesterday -- 43 for $5.00 (perfect sheets) and 18 for $2.50 (they have small cracks on the side). With OSB going for $7.97 + tax at Home Depot, I say I got a pretty good deal! They guy I bought them from gets them all the time and said when he gathered more, he'd bring them to us.

Now, I'm going to hit the door installers and see what I can get from them.....

Frighteners Entertainment
08-02-2007, 09:25 AM
Fantastic score Gwen!!

08-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Craigslist. So far for the haunt, I scored a rototiller a sailboat (ok, that is for me and not for the haunt), and a free horse saddle with the promise that it would never be on a horse again. Ghost horse...my trademark is a horse...hearse in cemetary....horse drawn, you do the math :D

08-03-2007, 08:57 AM
Gwen, that's great! And with the promise of "more to come" it's even better! Let me know if the door thing pans out for you.

Sean Coleman
08-03-2007, 01:30 PM
I know it's a ways a way, but give Urban Ore in Berkeley a call and see if they have or can get you anything. Also, they have some great props (it's a salvage company).


Jim Warfield
08-04-2007, 03:22 PM
My memory on this is not full of all of the details but does anyone remember a fire that happened and the blaze burnt too quickly and later it was determined that some wrong glue had been used in the plywood construction, making it burn too fast but it was "On Sale" (because the product was made with the wrong glue.)

Similairly a new house in which everyone living in the house was sick, later it was discovered the new carpet had been made using alot of formaldaheid, this happened not far from me, it seems someone had just went into the carpet production business and didn't really know what you weren't supposed to be using.

People and companys don't want to get stuck with some product they can't legally sell but they sell it anyway!

08-06-2007, 09:16 PM
Well, I picked up my first door from craigslist about 30 minutes ago. I loved how it looked from the front, but got a HUGE surprise when I saw the back -- half is painted a bright yellowish green, the other half a putrid green and the top painted white.....PERFECT for our klown klinic! Here's a pic of it from the front:


With the two doors I had from last season, that makes a total of three. Only nine more to go~ :D

Frighteners Entertainment
08-07-2007, 03:19 AM
You know what, I had forgotten that you could stop by your Apt. complexes.
5-6 years ago I picked up 30 + doors.

08-07-2007, 06:52 AM
try this... drive behind a best buy, hhgreg, or circut city..and you might find full sheets of osb that they just throw away..... they use them to load appliances, and after that have no use..... thats what a buddy of mine did to get all wood walls for his haunt
good luck

Kevin Dells
08-07-2007, 01:30 PM
If you have any countryside in your area i would say hit the farmers up.

I had found a two story barn a few years back that was almost to the ground, i knocked on the door and an elderly woman answered. I asked about the barn and she stated that the city was citing her for having a fallen down building on her property yet everybody that quoted her to take it down was trying to get 10,000+ to do it.
This lady was a widow, she had very limited funds and we said we would remove it in trade for the wood.DONE! we completley removed the barn including the huge beams,numbered a lot of the beams and rebuilt it at our haunt only slightly smaller in size, the rest of the already distressed wood we used to build special effects rooms and we still had a ton left.

We also got the tin roof already rusted and distressed as well,all free of charge just blood sweat and tears. You cant find better haunt wood pre distressed than barn wood but keep in mind you will need to fire retard it really well.

Best deal i ever made!

Jim Warfield
08-07-2007, 09:02 PM
My step-son pulled up here one day with a truckload of 3/4 inch plywood pieces for me. They were from 6 to 8 feet long by 2 foot wide, YES! I can make use of them! (who couldn't?)
The computer rebuilding company he works for uses brand new 3/4 plywood to send their products back to the customer in but always have all these 2 foot wide scraps, everybody that works there has so many of these that it is like a plague so finally a truckload found it's way all the way to my house 120 miles away!
I tore down a 150 year old farmhouse just before I officially owned my house , just to be ready.
I hand-sawed off the beams with an 18inch bladed little wood saw like you might trim shrubbery with, it was work but the closest electricity was a mile away.
I worked hard, ate alot of plaster dust to free some old cut real 2 by full 4 inch beams that were maybe 14 feet long, only to find they were oak! Impervious to nails! I was told it wasn't as hard 150 years ago when they put those old cast iron square nails through it? (Cast iron nails snap and come flying back at you sometimes.)
Building materials are where you find them.

08-08-2007, 04:30 AM
Building materials are where you find them.
Yes, they are, Jim...aren't they? Ya just gotta get creative and know where to find them.

I went on to Freecycle and put in a request for doors yesterday. I've gotten several responses. I also called several door installers and most have huge jobs coming up and will have doors available in the coming weeks.

I went to a construction site last weekend asking for the 2x4s they had laying around. He told me to come back today and he'd see what they had. Keeping my fingers crossed -- we start building today!

Kevin Dells
08-08-2007, 01:09 PM
Jim, it's not the good old days anymore! use your battery drill and pre drill that oak before you pound the nail through it!
Another very good carpenter hint for having to drive a screw or nail through any wood is wax the tip of the nail. I buy a toilet gasket wax ring and i have a little container in my tool pouch, run the tip of the nail or screw through and it goes in much easier.

Thats Bob Vila's Tip O' the Day, Folks!