How To Find FREE Bricks For A Garden Pathway or Patio

If the idea of a FREE brick garden pathway or patio for your yard appeals to you, then here is a step-by-step guide to help you obtain the bricks. 

  1. WHERE do I find FREE bricks?
    Potentially, wherever you find building demolition work (tearing down of old schools, hospitals, commercial buildings, jails, etc.).
  2. HOW do I find these places?
    There’s a number of ways to find these construction sites – your local school board; local news media of upcoming construction projects; or as you’re doing your every-day driving to the grocery store, school, church, work, and see these sites in your driving route.
  3. Once I locate one of these demolition/construction sites, THEN WHAT?
    Look for jobsite trailers.  The goal of this step is to get the name and phone number of the jobsite manager.

    Once a project gets started you’ll see jobsite trailers appear.  These trailers usually stay onsite for the duration of the project, which can be years, while contractors tear down and rebuild the buildings.

    Look for a trailer that says either “general contractor” or “construction manager”.  If you don’t see one with this description, contact any of the companies with onsite trailers (electricians and mechanical contractors normally have onsite trailers as well) and ask for the name and phone number of the “jobsite general contractor” or “jobsite construction manager”.

    If none of the trailers have a phone number posted on their trailer sign, contact the main office of one of the contractors (or the owner – school, hospital, jail, etc.) and ask for the jobsite phone number for the trailer out at the ABC construction site (ABC Middle School, ABC Hospital…).  (I worked with such companies and construction sites for nearly a decade, so the terminology I’m using is part of the construction industry).  Then work your way to the “general contractor” or “construction manager” – sometimes the general contractor is simply referred to as the “GC”.

  4. I now have the name and phone number for the jobsite manager.  NOW WHAT?
    Call the number and tell the jobsite manager something to the effect that, “I’m interested in taking some bricks off your hands from the upcoming/recent demolition work.  Is there a good time I could swing by and load some of these into my truck?  I understand this will also help save you some money by not having to get your dumpster emptied so soon/often.”

A few helpful tips BEFORE you make the phone call.

  • Don’t get nervous about calling this person.  He/she is a regular person like you.
  • Be prepared BEFORE you make your phone call with what you will say – write it down and say it a couple times if you’re a little nervous.
  • Don’t give more information than he/she cares to know – they’re busy and on a construction schedule. 

If anyone tries this, I’d love to hear your story.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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6 comments to How To Find FREE Bricks For A Garden Pathway or Patio

  • Heather

    Very interesting idea for an article. I did something similar once…the housing addition connected to mine is only about 10% finished, so during one of the builds about three years ago, I noticed bricks had been discarded into an open-sided dumpster. I got a bunch.

    The bad news is that I ended up taking them back a few weeks later because I didn’t really know what to do with them and didn’t have a plan. Construction on another house is beginning, so if I develop a plan for some, I’m sure I’ll have a bunch to pick from again. I was amazed at how many perfectly fine bricks were discarded. I have also gotten a bunch of nice scrap wood for some various little projects from the house construction trash piles.

    Thanks for the instructions as to who to contact at the jobsites. I’m sure your past experience helped in that area. My sister and I did something similar once and were able to get several nice large landscaping rocks each. We could have gotten more if we were able to lift/transport them.

  • Mel

    What a great idea! I have been asking my husband to create a stone or brick path through a flower garden area I’ve been working on — this is an excellent money-saving idea! Would it be acceptable if I reference and create link to this entry on my blog sometime in the future?

    • Holly

      Mel – I’m glad this post was helpful. If only the hard work and sweat were free too ;); but I’m sure you (or your husband) will find that to be a very rewarding experience.

      I would be honored if you had a small excerpt of this post on your site, with a link back to my full post.

      I hope to hear back from you on the successful acquisition of your garden pathway. :)

  • LOVE the idea! Very helpful post. Thanks!
    Janna

  • Sadly, this often doesn’t work, especially in these tight economic times. The bricks are valuable unto themselves, and the demolition team can either reuse them, or sell them.

    Still, it’s definitely worth a shot!

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