Reclaimed materials add character to architect Frederick Hyer’s residential projects. One of his favorite touches is to use Douglas fir salvaged from nearby commercial buildings as window casing and windowsills.

“My clients like the way it looks, with distressed marks or nail holes, and they like that it’s reusing something that would otherwise be thrown away,” he says.

To personalize the exterior of a 450-square-foot guest house in San Leandro, Calif., Hyer scoured local salvage yards to find a Porsche 924 hatchback that became the home’s front door awning. Using existing hinges from the windshield, he secured the 30-pound piece of automotive glass to the exterior for a one-of-a-kind custom touch that delighted the homeowner, a grandmother and old-car aficionado.

“It’s got a real sculptural shape to it,” he says.

In addition, a weathered farmhouse door, found in a Berkeley salvage yard, was hung from a salvaged Douglas fir beam with barn door hardware for a unique sliding bathroom door.

Green Details

  • a salvaged door was scraped, re-painted, and hung from an old douglas fir beam to be used as a bathroom door.

    Trash to Treasure

    Reclaimed materials add character to architect Frederick Hyer's residential projects.

  • Looking Up

    Pine and oak trees from the site were used in the kitchen ceiling.

  • hand-hewn cypress beams salvaged from the ringling towers hotel flank the fireplace.

    Hidden Gems

    Reclaimed materials are a hallmark of custom builder Josh Wynne's projects.

  • rough-hewn douglas fir ceiling beams were reclaimed from an old factory.

    Reclaimed Beauty

    This California home owes much of its rustic good looks to reclaimed materials.

  • windows and doors were salvaged from area buildings and incorporated into the energy star home.

    Old Is New Again

    The Flip House remodel re-used nearly all of the materials deconstructed from the original 1924 home.