Antique victorian house salvage fixtures, $20.

To find out the importance of old house hardware, just do a search for architectural salvage warehouses or antique home restoration hardware. Notice the incredible prices these places are getting for the very stuff that people pass by all the time without even noticing. Open your eyes, find out what you're really looking at and make money.

If you choose to check out the places selling this sort of old house fixtures and hardware, a couple of things will happen. First, your eyes will open to the incredible varitey of stuff that these companies and salvage warehouses search out and stockpile for the people who really want it.

You'll also notice that most all of this stuff costs a bundle. Antique home salvage hardware like the pieces in this entry are much more expensive than it seems they should be, for sure. But what I have here is just the tip of the iceberg, as they say.

Several years ago, for example, I spotted two milk crates full of old hindges at a little local auction I frequent, and ended up getting all of it for $20. I listed those old hindges in lots of six just to see what would happen, and was startled when bids jumped immediately to over $50! I was actually emailing my bidders to make sure they knew what they were bidding on! I ended up unloading them for an average of about $15 apiece.

So, why the high prices for this stuff? Well, just remember that when you're refurbishing or restoring an old house, the stuff you need hardware-wise will not be available down at your local home improvement store. Hence the antique house salvage yards I mentioned earlier, where you can go to buy all sorts of parts, pieces and hardware reclaimed from old homes that have been gutted or demolished. Although you're going to have to pay up at these places, just remember that it's this fact that keeps the prices high on eBay!

Although all the pieces in this example are brass or bronze, you're also likely to run across examples made from cast iron. Always be careful to check for damage on anything made from cast iron, because although brass may dent and bend when abused, cast iron is more likely to break!

Photo of antique victorian home salvage fixtures