Using reclaimed materials in your new construction or renovation project can add touches of authentic charm, regardless of your architectural style. As an added bonus, salvaged construction materials can save you money and contribute to a more environmentally-friendly build.
The warmth and character of wood is hard to beat, and reclaimed wood often tells the story of its previous life with every nick, scratch and nail hole—all of which add charm, character and authenticity to new builds. Wood flooring is especially popular and can come from any number of sources: barn demolitions, old homes and factory buildings – even shipping pallets. If you bought a piece of property to build on, you can even utilize any timber and rock you clear from your own land.
When considering reclaimed wood, don’t limit yourself to just floor boards. Think about repurposing old wainscoting, beams, handrails, crown molding, doors, and other materials that can find new uses as decorative features and accents. For some especially ornate or desirable antique pieces, the cost of the salvaged piece itself may be higher, but its architectural significance will add overall value to your home. Likewise, a salvaged piece can sometimes add so much character to a room that a more modest, less expensive design is best to complement the salvaged showpiece.
Using salvaged material is more an art than a science due to the unique ages, structures, sizes and shapes of the materials. Because no two boards, bricks, or metal pieces are ever identical, there are no standard practices when it comes to using salvaged materials, which is what makes working with them so exciting, as well as challenging. Using salvage requires planning, especially if the material will be used structurally and has to meet building code specifications.
A great example of how to work efficiently with salvaged materials was featured in an episode of PBS’s popular DIY program, This Old House, in which a centuries-old house was renovated using a significant amount of material salvaged from the original construction. Most of the old kitchen floor was pulled up and an exterior wall was taken down, resulting in a stack of pine floorboards, subflooring, and sheathing in various widths and lengths. The keepers were set aside so that nails can be removed and surface debris sloughed off with coarse sandpaper. A fireplace surround was built using brick from an 1800s chimney that was torn down in the kitchen, and a wood post from a demolished wall was repurposed for the mantel.
Feeling inspired to use reclaimed or salvaged materials in your next project? We’d be happy to help. Here at Bingham Lumber, we offer a wide range of reclaimed wood siding, flooring, and trim that has been carefully re-milled and renewed to make it easy to use in modern construction. Drop by or give us a call today!