Homeowners and property developers fall into two categories: modernises and restorers. Modernisers like to buy a property and remove all trace of original features which don’t fit in with their more up-to-date tastes and contemporary lifestyles. Out go old fireplaces; in come central heating systems. Down come old brick walls; up go plasterboard partitions.
Restorers, on the other hand, prefer to keep the enamelled bath, kitchen range, and turn of the century tiles. And what previous owners have removed is now hunted down so that reinstatement can complete their restoration plan, returning the property to its former glory.
Architectural salvagers take advantage of this never-ending cycle of disposal by the modernisers and reinstatement by the restorers. One is only too glad to rid themselves of items which stand in the way of their modernizing programme; the other is desperately in search of those very pieces which have been discarded. Many salvage items can command high prices, either because of their scarcity or because of new trends.
Most important in this business is having suitable storage pace. Architectural salvage tends to be big and heavy: columns, larble fireplaces, cast iron items. An old warehouse is ideal, iransport suitable for the job is also important, and consideration ust be given to lifting and moving, especially heavy items. Link up with builders and demolition firms who would be happy to have someone save them the trouble of disposal. Stock can be marketed through renovation specialists, interior designers and even garden centres – as well as to homeowners keen on DIY
This will appeal if
– You have an interest in buildings and antiques.
– You have a good eye for spotting marketable pieces.
– You are fit – if you intend to physically handle pieces.
– You can get on with a wide range of people.
– Stock can be acquired cheaply.
– New trends can often boost the value of items already in stock.
– Restoring original features to properties is popular.
– Trade customers are easy to target.
– Space – could be a costly overhead.
– Building up stock levels may take time.
– Additional staff needed – for moving stock or dealing with customers.
– A heavy goods vehicle is vital Future possibilities
– Reproduce and sell copies of popular items.
– Import and/or export items abroad.
– Set up operations in other countries.
– Specialise in a particular range of items, eg garden monuments
– Set up an advisory service for renovators.
– Offer a fitting, renovation and design service.
– Hire items: to film and television companies; conference organisers; events organisers; photographers etc.