Salvaged building materials such as doors and windows offer new use possibilities outside landfills.

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Salvaged building products such as doors and windows offer new use possibilities outside garbage dumps.

Remodeling jobs in older houses usually include including brand-new windows and doors – which generally implies disposing of the old ones in garbage dumps. However, those old doors are handy pieces of lumber that have a variety of functional and decorative uses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests reusing, selling or contributing doors – along with other structure products – as alternatives to discarding doors in landfills. (See Reference 1)

Desks and Workbenches

Turn a smooth-surfaced hollow core door horizontal over sawhorses for a fast, portable work surface, indoors or out. For a long-lasting workbench or office desk, mount the door over short, matched shelfs or declaring cabinets, place racks dealing with outward on each end, or declaring cabinets facing forward, for ease of access. Use a sheet of glass to create a smooth writing area, or, leading with tiles or several coats of enamel paint to complete.

Room Dividers

Place depends upon the inside edges of three doors to make a tall folding space divider panel. For included security, include angle brackets or wood cross bracing to the bottoms. Paint or cover the doors with material or posters for an ornamental touch.

Shelves and Closets

Fasten doors together as you’d shelving – using long screws or dowels to attach 2 or even more doors horizontally between 2 upright doors of the same size. The resulting deep racks offer a sturdy solution for keeping heavy products in the garage or basement. Alternatively, utilizing the exact same concept, position the fastened doors upright to create partitions for closets or small cubicles.


Build two flat ladder-like structures of 2-by-4-inch lumber for end supports, then hang 2 doors horizontally in between them, with even more 2-by-4-inch boards as side supports, to produce the platforms for bunk bed mattresses. Make a Pullman-style guest bed by mounting a door on the wall with a heavy piano hinge, utilize chains anchored to wall studs and to bolts with the outside corners to support the door in the ‘down’ position. Pull upward and secure the door against the wall when not needed, use a futon mattress, which can be rolled up and kept when not in use. Put a message board or mirror on the underside, for a beneficial function when it isn’t being used as a bed.