the do's and don'ts of recycling barn wood.
1. Don't take on a barn reclamation project yourself.
The cost of labor and time makes a barn wood recycling project a costly venture.
Most barns have 10,000 board feet or more of good used building materials, much more than you can use in one home project.
I have received many calls from people who have good intentions.
They want to recycle lumber from an old barn but..
In the end they destroy a great deal of lumber.
They will use the weathered siding for some projects. Maybe they will use a few of the loft boards for other things.
Then they stack the used lumber outside fully intending to use it, but…
They don't know how to store the timbers properly. They have no way to re manufacture the timbers into other useful products such as recycled wood flooring and recycled wood molding.
A couple years go by. They see that big stack of recycled building materials rotting away. They call me to see if I can help. By then, it is too late. The beams and lumber have been improperly stored and have rotted too much.
2. Do, Buy reclaimed barn wood locally. There are many reasons for this.
Less fossil fuels are used to ship your lumber.
Your money stays in the local economy.
It helps your personal economy, local lumber almost always costs less.
3. Don't Buy reclaimed lumber.
If you are looking for wood that is clear of defects and is consistent in color then you do not want reclaimed wood. You must absolutely love the defects and imperfections in the surface of the old barn wood.
4. Do it yourself.
If properly prepared used lumber can be used on a wide variety of recycling projects. Such as birdhouses and farmhouse dining tables. We can properly prepare reclaimed wood for you to use in almost any project.
5. Do educate your contractor.
Make sure he or she understands that you want to use reclaimed wood in your project. Be sure to let your builder know that it takes more time and attention to detail to use recycled building materials properly, for the best shabby chic look.
If you tell them this from the beginning it will prevent problems in your project.
6. Don't be afraid to use your imagination.
Reclaimed wood can be used a great number of ways. From bird houses to gazebos. Flooring to fireplace mantles. Wall and ceiling coverings to furniture. The possibilities are endless.
7. Do get started.
Old barns are disappearing quickly the more reclaimed lumber that is purchased, the more barns we can recycle.
8. Do tell your friends.
You can make a difference. The more interest we can generate in using reclaimed wood the more barns and lumber can be saved from a landfill.
Downloadable and printable barn plans available at the Barn Plans Store!