Reclaimed, Up-cycled and Re-cycled WOOD !!
Social media is buzzing with feature walls, reclaimed headboards and do-it-yourselfers constructing furniture out of their newly found or acquired wood.
Its not difficult to see the draw to old weathered wood. It looks amazing in just about any setting its put into, and if done in moderation really can tie your room together.
As a builder, I love to see people excited about throwing their hats into the ring and constructing their own pieces for their own homes. Thats not to say that Im not always happy and grateful when I'm asked to make pieces for people if they might not have the expertise or the time, I just love to see the creativity that comes from committed weekend warriors.
Reclaimed wood is kinda the same as opinions at your family reunion. You can usually get it everywhere but it takes a bit to sift through the shit to find some good stuff. If this isn't familiar to you, by all means come to one of our family reunions and you can see exactly what I'm talking about.
Where do I get some?
With the latest craze in reclaimed wood, it can be more and more difficult to find in the “wild” especially close to larger city areas. More often than not, if you do find wood and ask the land owner about how much they want for it they are so out to lunch on what its worth its not even funny. Sometimes owners of old barns and sheds will allow you to take their old structures apart as long as you take all of it and burn whats left. If this sounds difficult to you, it is. I only recommend committing to something like this if you have access to trucks, trailers and have enough power tools to be featured in a Home Depot commercial. Seriously though, demolition is no joke and not always safe, so please before you go tearing down a barn ask a friend who is in the know and find out if its a good idea.
Who's got it all?
The best option and the most realistic I have found are professionals that actually reclaim wood for a living! Yup, thats right. These Gals and Guys rip down structures with the sole purpose of reselling them at a whole sale value. These prices are (typically) very fair and with a little bit of homework on your end, you can come out with some great stuff at a fair price. You wont even have to tear the barn down.
There are a few disclaimers that you should know about first if you are thinking reclaimed wood belongs in your house.
Sounds great, but how much $$?
The price you get for wood at big box stores like Home Depot, Rona, Home Hardware etc are wood prices direct from a saw mill. These prices are lower than what is typically charged for reclaimed wood because of all the work to get the wood from standing in a field to ripped down, safetied, trucked, prepped, packaged and shipped to you. All I'm trying to say, is be fair with people who are brokering the wood. There is a reason it cost more than new wood.
The stuff you need to know.
Wood that has been sitting in the elements can become warped and misshapen and can become difficult to work with.
Weathered wood typically isn't smooth and nicely finished. It can be, but its not likely. Splinters and slivers are a very real possibility with wood in the home that is unsanded.
Wood that has paint that looks old and has that antique look like this, typically looks like that because it is covered in a lead based paint. It looks beautiful but if you are unaware of what lead can do to you, its not good. Think the movie Tommy Boy with Chris Farley, “You eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?”. Seriously though, there are ways to get wood to look like it has old paint on it rather than exposing you and yours to something as shitty as lead poisoning.
When done right reclaimed wood looks outstanding and really adds the perfect amount of character to any home regardless of size and style. If you have any other questions regarding reclaimed wood or anything else you DIYers might be interested in, please let us know and we will try to fill you in on what we know or you can watch us fumble through our first time!
Always Be Creating