How To Find Free Lumber For Woodworking or DIY Projects?

If you’re a carpenter, then you know lumber is an expensive material. After setting up a workshop with extravagant tools, lumber prices might strike you and lead you to look for some cheap options. However, if you are a novice in this field or want to decorate your home with some wooden furniture, I would suggest it better to go for free lumber instead of buying some from the market—all you have to know from where you can get some free wood for your DIY project.

Construction Site

construction site

Construction sites are undoubtedly a good source of free lumber. In most locations, some construction sites are good locations for scrap wood. Sites tearing down old hoses or buildings remove old wood planks to make room for new projects. You can take that advantage easily.

Well, you can apply two ways to collect those reclaimed wood. One way is to talk to the site manager or supervisor. For this first, find out the suitable site adjacent to your house. It will give an extra advantage to carry them back to your workshop. After going there, ask any of the employees about the manager or supervisor. Once you have met someone, the authority asks them whether you can take some scrap wood from there. I am pretty sure they will comply. There is a budget for this project, and free removal services will save some money. 

The second way to get some free lumber is by offering the manager a free transportation service for scrap and debris. Make a deal with them to go there regularly and take the garbage in exchange for free lumber. I think they won’t disappoint you. You can insist on leaving a trailer at the site where they will dump all the scrap. If they agree with you, then cheers. Bring the trailer full of scrap at home (every day or once a week, depending on the amount of debris) and then go through it, keep the usable lumber and discard what you don’t want.

If you want to go for the second option, you can ask them to keep two separate trailers- one for wood plank or lumber and the other for the rest. It will save you some time to manage everything, however a little extra work for them. But there is no harm in asking for this little favor.

Old Building/ Furniture

old building furnitureThe old building is waiting for renovation or old furniture is ready to be disposed of for a new one. Check them out carefully. Even if the major part is not salvageable, there might be something still worth to be used. For example, if you find an old bed, you can toss the mattress and check the wooden frame. You can tear some pieces usable for another project. At least the details can serve you as a source of free firewood.

The same goes for an old wooden house, shed, or barn. Before tearing down the entire structure, take some extra time to look for lumber in good condition.  


DumpsterThere is no other better place than a dumpster to find out the “garbage” that you need. I hope you understood what I mean. Well, a dumpster is a place where you can find furniture that someone wants to get rid of, even lumber that they won’t use. 

You can also drive around before the trash pickup and see if anyone has left unused lumber in the trash bin or kept them besides. If you find any, do not forget to take permission before picking carry up. That lumber may seem unnecessary since it is in the trash bin, but still, that is someone’s property, and legally you can’t take it until the dump service removes it.   

Pallet wood

Pallet woodPallet wood can be an excellent choice for some DIY projects. If you want to find some pallet wood for a DIY project or some other woodworking project, then you should have an idea about how to find an excellent quality free pallet. 

Raw material shipment for restaurant or bakeries usually come in large wooden pallet. Instead of recycling them, the owners of bakeries or restaurants generally throw them. You can contact them and get that pallet for your project. 

Another good source of pallets is industrial areas. There is one of these industrial areas in every town, and every industrial area has so many pallets than you can even imagine. You may find someone outside piled up and tagged “free.”

Some companies generate so much scrap wood that they put “free wood” bins outside the parking lot. Could you not believe me? So hop in your car, and I am sure you will find these free wood bins full of scrap wood near you, maybe within a few miles. 

A Warning

Most of this scrap wood is not of good quality and probably can’t help you in any project. However, if you want to find free firewood, I am sure you have already got your answer.  


If you are not lucky enough to get some free wood in your vicinity, then don’t be disheartened. There are some great sites to help you out. Craigslist, Freecycle.orgGumtree Ads, and Letgo are excellent sources to get whatever you want. If you need some lumber, just put up a want ad or a new trade in exchange for lumber. Before placing the ad, get a clear idea of why you need the lumber or pallet. If you have anything that you want to get rid of, then it can be an excellent trade, or maybe someone already has excess lumber that they want to give away free of cost or minimal rate. If you are lucky enough, you might get free delivery too.

Now a friendly reminder. Do not forget social networking sites like Facebook, and Twitter. Join the local Facebook groups that are dealing with these types of free stuff. 

Closing Notes 

After finishing any project, whether professional or something build-out of hobby, save the rest of the lumber. It will use for some other project. If you feel you don’t need this anymore, you can give it for free just like you collected it. 

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