Minneapolis Reclaimed Barnwood and Lumber

The Pros and Cons of Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Home Remodel

Reclaimed wood is all the rage in design. It’s surge in popularity can be attributed to the emergence of green building and remodeling practices as well as the rustic beauty and history associated with using a reclaimed product. Reclaimed lumber is simply wood that was used for something previously and it has now been salvaged for reuse. It comes from a variety of sources including pallets, barns, old buildings, bridges, warehouse, fences, storage crates and more. You can purchase material that has been un-altered still dirty and full of nails or you can purchase it cleaned, de-nailed, kiln dried and even milled into beautiful new products such as hardwood flooring.

CONS OF USING RECLAIMED LUMBER

  • Toxins – Depending on how the wood was used previsously, it could have been treated with chemicals or lead based pain, adhesives, preservatives or insecticides.  It is possible to test the wood yourself for toxins, however, this may be more work than you’re interseted in.
  • Price – Reclaimed lumber is usually more expensive than the wood you would buy from Home Depot or Menards, however, it’s also a much better quality product. Wood from the big box chains is usually twisted, knotty pine that comes from China. Nobody likes working with that junk. You get what you pay for applies here. Reclaimed wood can be purchased cheaper if you’re willing to clean and de-nail it yourself.
  • Pests and Bugs – The best way to get rid of pests and bugs in reclaimed lumber is to fumigate it or kiln dry it. Wood that is heated in a kiln at 105+ degrees for seven hours should kill anything living in it making it pest free. Some reclaimed lumber companies will also fumigate the wood.

PROS OF USING RECLAIMED LUMBER IN YOUR PROJECT

  • Quality and Strength – Reclaimed lumber comes from old-growth trees instead of first generation forests or Chinese imports. Reclaimed wood can be up to 40 points harder on the Janka hardness scale compared to young trees.
  • Environmental and Green – By using reclaimed lumber you are saving the material from being discarded in landfills and you help curb deforestation. Anytime you can reuse something, you’re helping the environment.
  • Appearance and Design Asthetic – Aged and weathered wood has a very desirable look that is difficult to replicate with new wood.
  • Interesting History – There is a story to tell when you include reclaimed lumber in your project. It’s super cool to tell people visiting your home that your floors came from a 200 year old barn or the beams in your home are from a 100 year old bridge or decomissioned building or railroad.

WHERE CAN I BUY RECLAIMED LUMBER FOR MY HOME?

There are a number of suppliers around the country including Vintage Timber Works (vintagetimber.com),  MRL (mtreclaimed.com) and The Old Grain Co (https://getreclaimed.com/blogs/reclaimed-wood-projects). You can also check Craigslist for local suppliers in your area.

3 Comments
  • Jesse
    Posted at 17:11h, 04 November Reply

    I am a local contractor and I’ve had a huge increase in the number of people wanting remodeling projects done with reclaimed wood. As a craftsman I love working with reclaimed lumber because the quality is so much better than new wood. We have been using a lot of beams and rafters as well as barn wood for accent walls.

  • Samantha Erickson
    Posted at 18:44h, 05 November Reply

    I recently hired a local real estate agent who suggested that I make some updates to my house prior to listing it for sale. She mentioned that some of her clients have been using barn wood or other reclaimed wood products in their homes, however, I’m wondering if this might be last years trend and turn off some buyers.

    As a company who reviews real estate agents, I assume you’re current on housing trends. Do you have any thoughts on if I should listed to the advice of my real estate agent on this remodeling trend? She mentioned that there are a lot of “green” buyers out there who appreciate the environmental aspect of using old wood vs. cutting down new growth trees.

  • Daniel Hans
    Posted at 19:18h, 06 November Reply

    I’ve been looking for a place in Minnesota to buy reclaimed lumber and haven’t been able to find a place that isn’t selling dirty, rotten boards. I want wood that is clean and free of rot. Anyone have any luck in the Twin Cities finding a place?

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