Tiny House Update – 10.20.10 or How to Find Money

TinyHouse_removingDeck09There isn’t much to report on the build front. However, Crystal and I have gotten busy lately stripping the trailer and the remains of the camper part that were still visible. This included some plywood decking (all rotted, of course), a bit of linoleum, the old gas lines, some rusted out metal bolts, and the camper slide-out “stairs.”

There was a bit of an alterior motive to our stripping the trailer down. The first reason is to expose all DOT labels and all weight ratings. The second was to turn the old metal into “found money.” Certainly everyone knows about “found money?” It involves a little time, a few tools, a pickup truck or a utility trailer, and access to a salvage yard. For us, “found money” is turning salvageable metal into money.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. There is just so much of it to be found it’s almost like it comes to you. Just take a walk down your street or cruise around your county and for every few hundred yards you’ll more than likely notice quite a few discarded metal items. Cans are the most common but, bits of wire, hub caps, and all sorts of other things appear as well. Each of these items mentioned have a value. In some cases their value might be small but, remember, it all adds up. When you accumulate, say, 50 pounds of something, then you’re starting to talk about money. For example, if you have 50 pounds of aluminum and the current rate for it is 25 cents a lb. then you have about $12 sitting there. Even if it’s iron (which is heavy and 50 pounds of it is easy to find) it could be worth 50 or 60 cents.

You may still be thinking; “That’s still peanuts and it wouldn’t be worth my trouble”. Think about it again. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take very long to accumulate 50 pounds of metal. Aluminum and iron are the most commonly found and they add up very quickly. A few aluminum doors and some gutters and you have fifty pounds. A wheelbarrel load of iron pipe and you have 75 to a 100 pounds of iron. If you really have an eye for spotting it you can collect 200 pounds of metal in short order.

In our case we had the aluminum flooring, a few hubs, some metal pipe, screw and bolts, and some random straps and lines. We are going to be selling about 150 lbs. worth of metal this weekend at the salvage yard. The cool thing is that it is recycling, its put money into the Tiny House budget (or on a sushi lunch depending on Crystal’s desire at the time), and it helps us move one step closer to the Tiny r(E)volution!


  1. Thesimplepoppy says

    I can attest to this being a great way to “find” money. My husband works with and around metal and has collected enough scrap to make a couple of hundred dollars a few times a year. Scrap metal is not too hard to find, especially in the city. A lot of people don’t realize what they are throwing away!

    • says

      You are SO right about this ‘poppy.’ We go about twice a year. It is no inconvenience at all and provides some nice “mad money,” if you will.

      BTW – Thank you for joining the conversation. You are welcome back anytime!

  2. says

    Great post nice to see someone talking scrap metal and recycling watch out that you have your #1, #2’s & #3’s if your scrap is not “clean” iron, aluminum, copper, brass, etc., you will get less cents per pound

    Now are you saving glass (brown, blue, clear and green)
    Clothes to sell for rags

    When you get going with these then your in the Scrap/Salvage recycling biz <|;-)

    Keep up the great work I enjoy your posts



    • anotherkindofdrew says

      We do separate out our metals. However, in the state of NC we get no money for glass. We simply recycle it at our local recycling center. Same with cardboard. 

      As for clothing. We separate the nicer items we come across into consignment, goodwill, or rags. 

      Thank you for keeping up with us Annie. Love being part of your community too!

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