One of the chief factors in me being able to find my house, was planning: For the past 5 years I have known I was going to build, so I was able to start hoarding materials for a long time prior to construction.

The project:
Ground walls:
1st floor

interior finish:

Tools: !!

There is something very satisfying about using good quality recycled materials that where destined for land fill.
If there is one thing i'm going to miss about living in Sydney, it's the amount of free stuff that's so easily obtainable there.
My main areas for harvesting are:

Building sites have been the most fruitful. For the past few
  years I have been fortunate to find myself doing rigging on large building sites just before hand over.. At this time the dumpsters are usually overflowing with usable materials! I (usually) just ask the foreman if its OK to go through the bins.... They're (usually) fine with it.
Council tips are a great source of timber.
  I have easily saved thousands in scavanged timber. Considering the amount of hardwood needed to clad my place, the saving is probably over 10 thousand.
Council throw outs are almost as friutful.
  I can't drive past a good pile of rubbish!
Dumpster diving.
Abandoned locations... Falling down houses... Good
  for dodgy wood for formwork.
Also good for fixtures like hinges & door handles etc.
    'S' bends 3 Council throw outs 
    Copper pipe 3m Council throw outs 
    Copper connectors heaps Council throw outs 
    Formwork Building site off-cuts & Council throw outs
    Bar chairs Dumpster on the side of the road!
    Tie wire Junk pile on side of the road
    Grounf floor walls
    Damp course (50m) A very lucky find in a council throw out
    Flashing (30m) Lucky find - same throw out!
          Small sections - Building site off-cuts.
    Brick mesh (130m) Lucky find - same throw out as above!
    1st floor
    Sub floor All of it A very lucky find in a council throw out
    floorng All of it Lucky find - same throw out!
    floating floor All of it My carpenter gave it to me
          Small sections - Building site off-cuts.
    internal walls All of it Council tips
    internal doors 4 My carpenter gave it to me

    Insulation #1 building site off-cuts
        Grabbed from building sites when they over-ordered. Or fished out of dumpsters.
I (so far) only have enough for my shed and about 10% of my roof, But that's only because its so hard to find somewhere to store it... If I had had somewhere to store it I would have enough for my roof by now.
    Insulation #2 Ex-refrigeration styrophome (fire retarded)

    Exterior / windows / doors
    Ceader windows PJ ... thanks
    <Back to top>
    All these things can be found in abandoned buildings.
And I'm not talking about low-grade or worn out looking stuff. For those who have the time & patience, good quality steel light switches, brass hinges & handles etc can be found.
If you have the good fortune to work on a building site, just ask the foreman or demolisher (I did)
    Site power box Throw out at St Leonards cc
    Power points and light Abandoned warehouses about to be demolished cc
    switches (over 100) Council clean ups
    Light fixtures Give aways
    Heeeaps Abandoned buildings cc  
    Wire - 300m+ Building site off-cuts
      Council throw outs cc
    10mm conduit - 60m Fox studios Dumpster
    20mm conduit - 20m + Building site off-cuts / dumpsters
    30mm conduit - 20m + Building site off-cuts / dumpsters
    20mm flexible conduit - 3m Building site off-cuts / dumpsters
    30mm flexible conduit - 5m Building site off-cuts / dumpsters
    <Back to top>
    Interior finish:
    Doors - hardwood 10 Rubbish tip / Council trow outs
    Acetraves 60m+ Throw out at St Leonards cc / Katoomba tip
    Skirting 20m +   Katoomba tip
    Venison blinds   Friends
    <Back to top>
    Kitchen sink 2 If you can't find a free kitchen sink, then you ain't looking
          hard enough
    Gas stove and oven   Supplied by my brother when he redid his kitchen
    Drawer rollers:      
Heavy duty
10 sets Throw out at Alexandria cc
  Removed from drawers on council throw outs
    Kitchen hinges Heaps Abandoned buildings cc
        Removed from cupboards on council throw outs
    Kitchen handles Heaps Dumpsters
    Mini hot water heaters   Throw out at St Leonards cc
    Laundry tub 1 Council throw outs
.   Bar fridge   Mate's studio closing down
    Shower screens 2 Katoomba tip
        Bathroom rip out
    Basins 2 Bathroom rip out
        Council throw out
    toilets 2 Bathroom rip outs
    Mirrors   Abandoned buildings cc
        Council throw outs
    <Back to top>
    Army tank wheel This will look great as part of a retaining wall. Picked up from scrap yard.
    Hoses and fittings Council throw outs
    100mm Agg. line (20m) Side of road
.   100mm Agg. line   (Another 4m) Council throw outs
    20mm x 400mm Agg 3m
    Agg. fill   Brocken bricks from a mates
    Garden irrigation hose Council throw outs
    Spa bath pump Studio
    <Back to top>
    Columns Reuse the trees I had to chop down on my block
    Beams / Lintels Hardwood beams - external - Council throw outs
          - external - Storage throw out at Newtown Silos 
          - external - Abandoned buildings cc
      Softwood beams - internal - Milled myself
      Turpentine beams - Trizo
    Door & window frames Railway sleepers - Council throw outs
    Joists & Rafters Milled myself
    Floor boards Floor boards - I have collected about 20 square meters from
        demolition sites and mates back yards... I can't collect anymore until I find storage!
    Plywood Building site off-cuts
      Mate's work throw out
      Scott's old place
      Side of the road
    Bits & pieces Trizo
      building sites
      throw outs
      Scotts old place
      Katoomba tip
    Corrugated iron Easy to come by. I've got enough to make both my sheds.
    Threaded rod building site off-cuts
    angle Keep my eyes open
    Wire Throw outs
    Big brackets for beams Throw outs mainly
      Keep my eyes open cc


    Paint for whole job! Every time I walk past a tin of paint, I pick it up, if its over
        half full... I take it. Using this method (in about 2 years) I have collected almost enough paint for my whole job. I have collected well over 60 liters of white paint alone!
Easily over 100 liters all up.
Also, I've also collected over 25 liters of lacquer and oils.
    Sealant I have found about 2 milk crates worth at a mate's studio
        that was about to be demolished
    Liquid nails studio (as above :)
    Steel epoxy Abandoned building cc
    Carpet Throw outs... Since gone mouldy... OH well :)
    Besser blocks (15+) Side of the road in various spots - whenever I see one
        I grab it.
    Bricks - commons (30+) Side of the road in various spots
    <Back to top>
    Power tools
    Hammer drill - 750w - Bosch Mate's studio....Thrown out because it had stopped
    The problem ended up being a faulty power cord..... A new power cord... $15 installed! Not bad for a $1000+ drill!
    Hammer drill - Hilti Found in a rich persons junk pile at Vaucluse.
    The chuck is clogged with grime and the hammer setting dosn't work. But it makes a ballsy drill!
    Cordless Driver -18v Hilti Thrown out due to a damaged chuck
    Fixed (sort of anyway...) I permanently fixed a hex attachment to take different driver bits :)
    Cordless Drill -18v Makita Mate's studio.... Left behind due to it missing a
      battery charger.
    Mr Y made me a charger... It takes all night to charge... But that's fine!
    Cordless Drill - 12v Bosch BD throw out because it had a damaged chuck.
    Made into a paint stirrer by jamming a stirrer attachment into the chuck permanently
    Cordless Drill - 12v ozitu Foreman gave it to me!...Nothing wrong with it.
    Electric planner - Makita Tonz gave it to me! - Needed a new lead.
        (It's a beast... I owe him big time)
    16" 850w Circular saw Dad :)
    19" Circular saw - Foreman gave it to me!... Left behind due to it being
    1750w Makita   run over by a fork lift!
    A new power cord & bent frame cost $55 to fix
Some discarded & fixed tools!  
    9" grinder (X2) Thrown out Damaged power cords
    12" grinder - ozitu Foreman gave it to me!...Nothing wrong with it.
        (Apart from being an Ozitu)
    6" grinder - Bosch Given to me
    40+ grinding disks - For the last few years, every time I find one in a junk pile I pick it up.
    Vibrating sander - Makita (180w) - in a dumpster...Nothing wrong with it!
    Electric chainsaw - Makita (180w) - Council cleanup...Nothing wrong with it!
    Sharpening stones Dad
    Power board -site Found in a basement of an abandoned building cc
        Nothing wrong with it
    General tools
    Ladders - 2x 7m ladders My Mate's Studio closing down
    3m step ladder My Mate's Studio closing down

3m step ladder

Some friends found & gave to me for my birthday cc
        (Thanks Cindi, Drac, Beachbum & BlakJak)
    3m step ladder Council throw out. Damaged, but fixable.
    4m ladder My Mate's Studio closing down
    4m ladder Building site throw out (Due to the bottom rung being bent)
    Work bench (Black & Decker) Council clean up
    1.5m builders level (X2) My Mate's Studio closing down
      And one was thrown out - reason unknown (it's level)
    Screw drivers - Full sets Admittedly, pretty crappy quality.
        For the last few years, every time I find one in a junk pile I
        pick it up.
    General tools Small & large trowel
    (Usually found in Cheap hammers
    council clean-ups) String lines x2
    Flood lights Various junk piles and council throw outs
    Paint brushes & rollers Various junk piles and council throw outs
    Wheel burrow Dad found and fixed for me :)
    Picks and shovels Everywhere
    Full Gyprock set Thanks Cindi
    Power boards Mate's studio closing down
    Extension leads Mate's studio closing down
    Fluke Multimeter Found... Left on top of cooling unit in a plant room, until I
        found it years later after construction
    Useful stuff
    Buckets Empty paint buckets from building sites
    String lines Rolls of unknown stuff from abandoned buildings cc
    Sandpaper Various junk piles and council throw outs
      And quite a lot from dad
    Dust pans/brushes Around
    Sharpening stones Dad
    Tool boxes Mate's studio closing down
    <Back to top>
    Nails Everywhere  
    Screws Everywhere  
    Bolts Everywhere  
    Hinges Everywhere  
    Door handles Council throw outs  
      Abandoned building cc  
    <Back to top>
    Dolly wheels Junk piles cc  For moveable formwork
    100 dia pipe + fittings Fox studio dumpsters A lot of my plumbing came from fox studios, when they were cleaning out their yard after filming the 'Matrix II & III'
    50 dia pipe + fittings Fox studio dumpsters
    Selves Mate's studio  
    Cupboards Mates studio  
    1m X 1m granite bench Mates studio  
    External air con fans Abandoned building cc  
    20lt hot water heater Abandoned building cc Gunna use it for chip oil
<Back to top>
    Footings Besser blocks / Bricks  
      Steel beams  
    Base Brick pallets  
    Walls roof Timber scraps, mostly from Throw out at Newtown silos  
      Various roof sheetings  
    Doors frames Steel one from building site  
      Throw out at Newtown silos  
    Doors Scott's throw out  
    Windows Cedar double hung --- From PJ  
    Shelves Mate's work  
    Kitchen cupboards Mates studio closing down  
    Carpet Scott   
    Slow combustion Tim