We’ve begun a new salvage project

We started a new salvage project this week, this time in Nacogdoches, Texas.

There are two old homes located on a 2.36 acre tract of commercial land for sale.  The owners want them torn down to make the land more attractive to commercial buyers.

The first home is a small cottage, approximately 900 square feet in size.  We guestimate that it was built in the 30’s.

Small frame cottage to be torn down

Small frame cottage to be torn down - 3

little cottage to be torn down

The second house is a newer ranch construction.   It measures about 1,200 square feet.

This house is nothing to write home about — it’s not that architecturally significant.

But, the owner told us that her father built the place using old building materials.    We’re hoping that will be the case and the old lumber is still in great shape.


At a minimum, we will be able to salvage the old windows, old siding, old plumbing fixtures (like the cast iron tub), structural lumber, etc. as well as “newer” items like the ceiling slats.

This one will come down quickly because we’ve already determined that the walls are not solid lumber, as is the case in the smaller home.

It is mostly drywall and acoustical ceiling tiles which will go directly into our trash trailer.

interior of ranch house to be torn down

We will try to donate the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.   We might also be able to re-use the cabinet boxes on a tiny house and just replace the cabinet doors.  Maybe.

kitchen cabinets to be donated

bathroom cabinet to be donated

Because the better lumber is in the smaller of the two houses, we decided the cottage would be the first one we salvaged.

As is always the case, we stripped all the drywall off the walls.

We knew that there was termite damage in the old living room — you could see that immediately through one platter-sized hole in the drywall.

termite damage in living room

When we stripped all the drywall out of the room, we were dismayed, but not overly surprised, to find this:  massive termite damage.

massive termite damage in living room

We also made an unexpected discovery:  one wall where an old fireplace had been.

walls reveal evidence of an old fireplace

All of the wood in the living room was removed and most planks went directly into the trash trailer.  We were able to save maybe one foot out of a few of the shiplap planks.

Wall boards eaten up by termites

Fortunately, most of the wood in the rest of the house, which was hidden behind drywall (or cheap paneling) and wallpaper, is still in pristine condition.

Beautiful shiplap under drywall and wallpaper

Totally beautiful.  Totally reusable.

Beautiful old shiplap in pristine condition


We also salvaged these cute little columns which we’ll use in one of the little houses we build

room divider columns

… and these floor boards used as wall sheathing.

floor boards using as wall sheathing

My guess is that they ran out of ship lap and used whatever they had on hand.  (It’s very common to see a mish-mash of various wood, especially on homes of this size and age.)

We discovered pretty wallpaper, too.

Well …. some of them were pretty.  Others?  Not so much.

But, I’ll let you decide which ones you like.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

old kitchenware wallpaper

blue and peach wallpaper

flowered wallpaper

close-up of flowered wallpaper

pink swan wallpaper

cabbage rose wallpaper in one room

close-up of cabbage rose wallpaper

Rose wallpaper

close-up of rose wallpaper

By the end of the third day, we had stripped most of the lumber from the interior walls.

lumber stripped from interior walls



The lumber you still see within the wall cavity is the backside of the house’s exterior siding.

The ceiling boards still remain, but I would say we’re already about 20% done.   This house is so small that it should  come down very quickly. So stay tuned for more progress posts on the NAC-2 project.

One final note that isn’t really related to this house salvage project:  check out this little house that’s just next door to our project.

It’s really cute!  I think it would be a perfect size for a guest home or lake house.   We measured it, and it’s about 490 square feet.

It’s certainly big enough for a small bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and living room.





  1. Drue Cochran says:

    Looks like y’all are busy at work again. Don’t know if we’ll get over the Nac way or not. We don’t get that way very ofen any more since Mom’s gone.

    Are you still persuing that house in Crockett?

    Love your site and the plans are really nice ones. I did contact a couple of realators we know and sent you the info to contact them. Did you get that info? I also check out the storage facility and needless to say, they have sold the facility and the new owners have gone up on the prices. I think the 10′ x 20′ is now around $75.00, but I can get that info for you if you’re still interested.

    Y’all stay safe and stay in touch.

    Hugs, Drue

    • Yes, we are still are planning to bid on the house in Crockett. We’ll let you know if we get it.

      I did hear from one realtor and haven’t had a chance to get back with her yet. We have a lead on some nice property in Palestine that we’re currently pursuing.

      We’re thinking about building another barn, but want to build first.

  2. Love the update on the new project. Not a fan of wallpaper at all, but the first one with primary colors and teapots is cute.
    Keep up the great work, really enjoy seeing the progress.
    Honey Stop The Car Vintage.

  3. I love your posts! I wish I could find someone near me that needs help with salvaging or that I could do it myself. I just don’t know where to start or to find people and places. Any suggestions for a newbie?

    • Thank you so much, Ida! Regarding your question, talk with your local officials (like Code Enforcement) concerning how they demolish condemned structures.

Speak Your Mind