Reclaimed history…modern sustainability.
Advantages of using reclaimed wood products:
Reclaimed materials have several advantages, the first being the unique beauty of reclaimed wood. Time, weather and wear create patina, depth and history unlike any other material. In addition to their beauty antique woods make any project a living piece of history. Our reclaimed wood comes from some of the oldest, most historical structures in American history. Finally, using reclaimed flooring, timber and siding is recycling at its best. A large part of the demand for reclaimed materials in recent years is due to the growing Green Movement. Not only are we saving perfectly usable and beautiful wood, but we are also creating less waste and less demand for the manufacturing of new lumber.
Uses for reclaimed wood:
Reclaimed wood is beautiful and functional in so many applications. It can be repurposed as flooring, exterior siding, interior siding, paneling, structural beams, aesthetic beams or even as an entire structure! The degrees of character are also endless. Reclaimed wood flooring or siding can add to the most rustic or modern home.
Reclaimed/Green building products and LEED points:
We are happy to work with LEED projects and our materials do qualify for LEED points. LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and provides a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Compliance with these standards on any given project offer points which result in tax credits in most jurisdictions.
Reclaimed wood is anything that has been saved/salvaged/reclaimed from an existing, antique structure. We reclaim flooring, siding, beams, grainary boards and architectural pieces from circa 1700 and 1800 barns, log homes, schools, and churches.
Types of Reclaimed Materials:
When dismantling a building, we save anything and everything that can be used. Our most common reclaimed products are siding, flooring and beams. However, we also save ladders, doors, stairways, trim and other architectural pieces.
Harvesting reclaimed materials:
The first step in finding reclaimed materials is to find antique structures. In the reclaimed business, we do not demolish, but dismantle each structure. We painstakingly remove evey single board and beam from a building, grading and sorting it on site. When the frame of a building is intact and in good condition, we tag each piece of the frame, remove the pegs and take it down to rebuild as an entire structure.
Raw vs. finished product:
We sell our materials in several different forms. The first is “raw” which means the customer receives it exactly as it was removed from the building. Large companies who manufacture flooring or contractors who have equipment on hand will often buy the material raw or “in the rough” and mill it themselves. We also offer “finished” materials which have been milled, dry and are ready to install. In addition to raw and finished we offer some products that we’ve done only part of the milling and the customer will finish (for example we will cut beams into planks and the customer will put a tongue and groove on the boards).
Species of wood:
Recovered woods come in every species. Most predominant in our part of the country are oak, pine and hemlock. However, we often come across chestnut, hickory, heart pine and even cherry or maple.
Some things you should keep in mind when using reclaimed wood:
Reclaimed wood has a much higher “waste factor” than new wood, particularly when using raw material. An industry rule of thumb is that 30-40% will be lost in grading and milling. We grade our material extremely hard and when using raw material (i.e. buying siding to put on a wall, raw flooring that you intend to square edge and butt-joint on site), we recommend using the figure of 20-25%. The reason for the higher waste in reclaimed than new wood is that 1) it has not yet been milled so you’ll lose a percentage cutting straight edges and ends 2) reclaimed materials are random in all directions; width, length and thickness and you’ll often create several like widths, etc (i.e. cut everything from 6″ wide to just under 8″ down to 6″, everything from 8″ wide to just under 10″ wide down to 8″, etc) and 3) everyone likes a different degree of character. The harder you grade, the higher the waste factor. We can, however, say with confidence that if you don’t think we grade hard enough, you probably shouldn’t be looking at reclaimed wood as an option.
Lead paint was used in every building in America prior to 1978….if you are buying painted material and it will be in an area where lead paint could be dangerous, please ask us to check it for lead. There are many reclaimed products that have paint that was pre- lead paint and are safe.
We are fanatics about bugs and rot. With an expert eye, which we believe we have, it is pretty easy to determine if bugs are living in wood. Bug holes are not an indication of bugs currently living in the wood. In fact, a great deal of reclaimed wood does have bug holes. New sawdust is what indicates current bug life and we have never had an issue with bugs. However, the only way to guarantee against bugs is to either kiln dry (if boards), fumigate or treat with Borate or a similar chemical. For almost all applications, we do recommend doing one or the other. If you are buying raw material, it will be sold untreated and without kiln drying unless otherwise requested.