What is Wood Recycling?

You may recycle several different things in your home like cans, bottles, and paper–the usuals. If you were to go around your home, you would actually find a lot more seemingly uncommon materials that are quite valuable at your nearby recycling facility, and wood is definitely one of those materials. Wood recycling is growing in popularity as a way to preserve natural resources and use old lumber in construction and renovation projects instead of cutting down live trees to mill new lumber.

What is it exactly?

With the demand for lumber in today’s market, companies are using innovative ways to acquire the needed resource. Instead of harvesting new lumber from young forests, they seek old buildings and other structures that are no longer being used. They dismantle the buildings, and then they sort and process the wood to ensure quality and usability.

From there, the wood is sold to local companies with wood recycling facilities like Bingham Lumber, where the wood is thoroughly inspected and further processed to remove old hardware like nails and screws. We then saw the wood into usable dimensions, and treat the wood to preserve its natural beauty and overall condition. Finally, we make it available to commercial buyers and DIYers.

Why recycle wood?

There are multiple benefits to recycling wood. First, recycling wood is one of the greatest ways companies are preserving our natural, living environment. With fewer young forests being cut down, they can grow, thrive, and provide a healthier natural world. With the wood already cut and processed, recycled wood also requires much less time, energy, and resources to condition and repurpose the material. This saves companies and homeowners on important costs.

Also, the durability and quality of old-growth wood has been almost completely harvested and is practically no longer available in today’s market, with most available resources consisting of faster-growing, younger, and softer woods like pine. Recycling wood enables old-growth hardwood to reenter the market and be widely available again, so that more people can experience the benefits of old hardwood.

The bottom line

Recycling wood has a wide range of benefits, helping the environment and enabling us as consumers to have more variety in our options. Old-growth wood carries with it a rich history, and every mark and notch it possesses holds a story. Through the years, it will patina and age well, providing your home or business with a warm, unique atmosphere that cannot be replicated, and it will serve you well for years on end.

If you have been searching for quality hardwood, please contact us today. Our specialists are happy to talk with you and learn more about your needs.

Choosing the Best Wood Flooring for Your Home

Figuring out the best wood flooring for your home can be an overwhelming process, even if you’ve gone through it before. Breaking down the steps that cover the most important factors can help simplify the process and ease much of the stress. If you’ve been considering what type of wood flooring will best suit your home, consider the following tips.

1. Solid or Engineered Hardwood?

There are two types of hardwood available on the market today: solid and engineered. Knowing the benefits of both can quickly narrow down which flooring is best for you.

Solid hardwood flooring is made from a single, solid piece of milled hardwood, hence the name. Popular species include cherry, maple, walnut, and oak. The installation requires nailing the wooden planks into the subfloor, which is a more technical process. Finally, 100% hardwood floors are water resistant but not waterproof, meaning you will need to be careful with moisture and clean the floors without using a mop. This type of flooring is best suited in areas outside of the kitchen.

Engineered hardwood flooring has multi-layered planks made with a 100% natural hardwood top layer and a strong, stable plywood core underneath. This type of wood flooring is often considered DIY friendly and can usually be interlocked or glued for the installation. And while this type of flooring is also not waterproof, it is more water resistant than solid hardwood flooring.

2. What level of durability do you really need?

No matter how tough a wood floor is, without proper care, it can become worn or even scratched. If your home is filled with high-traffic areas with children or pets, you will want to consider hardwoods with higher durability.

Hardwood Rating: Every species of hardwood has a hardness rating. Maple, Hickory, and Oak are some of the hardest woods available, while pine, cedar, and spruce are softwoods. The harder the wood, the more of a beating it can take.

Protective Coats: When shopping for flooring, ask about what protective coatings are available for each type.

Water Resistance: It’s true. When we think of hardwood floors, we do not usually think “waterproof.” However, some types of hardwood floors are more spill friendly than others. Consider the risk of water when picking your floor.

3. Your Personal Taste is Important Too!

Once the technical features are decided, your own personal style and vision for your home’s atmosphere are equally important factors for your hardwood flooring.

What color or hue would you like for your home? A wood’s color comes from any stains and finishes that have been applied to it, as well as its natural tone.

The species you choose will also have different grain features. For example, Maple will have fine, straight grain strokes, whereas Oak will have a more noticeable grain pattern with lots of variation.

While we can get caught up in what’s technically best for our home’s demands, always remember to include what aesthetic you envision for your home.

If you’ve been thinking about what hardwood is best for your home but have felt unsure or stuck on what to do next, contact us today. Our team of specialists are excited to answer any questions and guide you to what makes you and your home happy!

The Process of Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed barn beams come in a variety of sizes, shapes and dimensionsAntique wood has a warm history that is filled with a character and beauty from a bygone time. The quality of “old growth” wood is second to none, lasting for generations and adding to its story. The health and well-being of our environment is protected by giving the revitalized wood a new home and a new purpose. We see reclaimed wood more in our everyday lives–in our offices, homes, and restaurants–and most people don’t know what it takes for that material to be given new life. At Bingham Lumber, the reclaimed wood we source goes through quite the journey before finally resting in your home or business.

Where We Find It

The valuable timbers that once supported the mills, barns, factories, and dwellings across our country are being rediscovered each day when those structures are removed for newer buildings. We maintain close nationwide relationships with salvaging specialists, who bring the recycled timbers, boards, and other fibers to our facility in Brookline, NH.

After developing our craft and abilities for over 76 years, we have become an industry leader of reclaiming wood materials, yielding an extremely high amount of usable material from those recycled timbers.

Our Process

Once the materials are here, each piece undergoes the following multi-step process:

  • Inspection and cataloging
  • Part-one sizing and sorting
  • Nail removal
  • Sawing the material on the mill
  • Parallel ripping
  • Surfacing and part-two sizing
  • Milling or moulding
  • Grading, cutting, packaging

Through each step of this process, we strive to maintain the quality, durability, and unique characteristics of each piece. Because the material we work with cannot be recreated or copied, we must handle it with the utmost care. Using patience and skill, we remove each nail by hand so that no part of the wood is damaged. In fact, every step is completed by hand, from sizing and sorting to feeding the planers and moulders, to ensure the best possible grades and finishes are attained.

Bringing It Home

After the reclaimed wood has completed and passed the inspection, restoration, and processing, it is finally ready to continue its life in your home or business. We house various types of wood from different places and times in history, each with its own story that we are happy to tell you, and we provide a wide variety of sizes depending on your own needs. And while the price of reclaimed wood is higher than “virgin wood,” the processing, quality, and timelessness of the old-growth wood is unmatched by anything available in regular markets.

If you’ve been seeking ways to bring warmth, beauty, quality, and durability into your home that cannot simply be recreated anywhere else, please contact us today. Our team of specialists are happy to speak with you about your options and how we can make your ideas become timeless features within your home.

Best Practices to Install Hardwood Flooring

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and update your home with hardwood floors. Naturally, the prospect of removing your old flooring and installing new hardware can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance, planning, and execution, you will be enjoying the comfort and quality of beautiful hardwood floors in no time.

Have a Solid Plan

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to hardwood flooring, so we think it’s wise to take your time and find the hardware that best suits your needs and desires.

You’ll need to determine if the area where you are installing the new floor will have low or high traffic, which will decide the type of wood that serves you best. With higher traffic comes the need for harder wood flooring. A quick Google search for the Janka Hardness Scale will provide you with an extensive list that provides you quality options ranging from the softest to the hardest woods available.

Another element to consider is the aesthetic you’d like your new floor to have and which woods will provide that for you. For example, white oak is a popular go-to hardwood for its light color, providing homeowners with a great variety of color options. On the other hand, dark wood like walnut, while limiting in color options, provides a deep and warm atmosphere.

Finally, safety should be the top priority of any home improvement project. If you feel that removing and installing flooring is too risky or challenging, consult your options with a trusted local professional, and they can help you determine the best course of action.

Use Your Resources

For many of us, we just want to dive right into the project and figure it out as we go. However, installing new flooring can be a big endeavor with a big price tag, so it is again best to take your time and use all of the resources and literature that’s available to you.

Say you’ve chosen the wood you’d like to install. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular product. For a safe and secure installation, we recommend following the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) guidelines. Take time to read the proper guidelines and understand the materials you’re handling and what they require before starting the actual installation.

Take Steps to Protect Your Flooring

Finally, it’s important to remember that wood flooring is made of natural materials that can be affected by factors within its surrounding environment like moisture and heat. Using the NWFA’s guidelines, install the necessary hardware that will prolong the life of your hardwood flooring. For example, quality subflooring is an important addition that will shield your hardwood from outside elements.

If you’ve been wanting to update your home with hardwood flooring, but haven’t been sure about where to begin, please contact Bingham Lumber today. Our specialists are excited to meet and talk with you and bring your ideas into reality!

Dazzle Your Guests with Custom Furniture

In today’s market, it is extremely difficult to have something that’s truly unique, and it’s understandably frustrating to search for furniture that has your specific style only later to see someone else bought the same thing. You want your home to reflect yourself, and you’re having trouble succeeding. The fact of the matter is that it’s nearly impossible to be one of a kind in a mass-market world.

This may seem gloomy, but there is luckily an escape from the cookie-cutter trend, and it doesn’t require you to spend thousands more than the typical showroom furniture set. Collaborating with your local company like Bingham Lumber to create custom furniture will bring you truly unique pieces that are sure to reflect your style and turn heads at the same time.

At Bingham Lumber, we’ve been happily making custom furniture for decades, and the possibilities are endless. Some of our latest projects have been

  • Kitchen cabinetry
  • Free-standing islands
  • Bedroom sets
  • Desks
  • Pantries
  • Vanities
  • Make-up tables
  • Built-in master closet cabinetry
  • Dining tables
  • Bunk Beds

Many of these pieces of furniture were inspired by our clients like you and their vision to have a unique piece for their home. At Bingham, we give you full control in the designing process to ensure that we make them as custom as possible for you. You decide your furniture’s size, style, finish, and even the species of wood so that the end result is exactly how you want it.

Beyond having pieces of furniture for your home that no one else can have, there are several benefits to having custom furniture built.

Environmentally Friendly

Your custom-made furniture can have a positive impact on the environment if you choose to use reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is taken from old structures and buildings and used for new projects. By using these reclaimed materials, you will give them new life and help prevent the processing of new wooden materials that affect the natural world.

Higher Quality and Durability

Typically, a reclaimed wooden piece is old-growth wood, which is stronger and more durable than wood from newer forests. And with our custom furniture, your pieces are crafted by master builders instead of the usual cookie-cutter assembly lines that make the mass-produced furniture you see in showrooms. The master builders will carefully take your designs and craft the pieces with precision and care.

A Lifetime of Dependability

Because your furniture will have better quality and durability, you will be able to enjoy it longer than any mass-produced item. With carefully crafted, custom furniture, you are getting family heirlooms that will stand the test of time and be passed down through your family’s generations.

If you’ve been seeking out ways to make your home truly reflect you and be unique, contact us today and share your ideas for a custom furniture piece. Our specialists are happy to hear your thoughts and make your visions become reality!

The Benefits of Wood Flooring in Your Kitchen

Classic Wide Plank Red Oak Flooring with a rough sawn and skip planed finishTraditional hardwood floors are quickly rising in popularity throughout homes around the world, replacing the likes of carpet, vinyl, and tile once and for all. This goes for the kitchen as well. For most homes, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms for a family. Each day, the floors are subject to loads of foot traffic, the occasional spill, and, of course, mealtime messes. When considering what is the best flooring material for the kitchen, more and more homeowners are choosing the quality, durability, and simple cleaning needs of wood flooring.

The Benefits of Wood Flooring

Beyond its natural, traditional aesthetic, hardwood flooring carries with it several benefits that make it the top choice for homeowners. Consider the following:

  • Softer and Warmer Than Other Materials
    Wood flooring is softer and easier on your feet and joints even though it may not seem like it initially. When compared to other materials like tile, the organic matter of wood provides a natural give when stepped upon. Additionally, wood retains warmth while tile loses heat, which makes a considerable difference during the winter months.
  • It’s Easier to Clean
    Contrary to what you might believe, wood flooring is actually easier to clean than most other materials like tile or vinyl. With tile, dust and dirt are easily trapped in the grout lines and can be extremely difficult to fully clean. Even when scrubbing, bits of dirt can be lodged further into the grout. With wood floors, especially those with a sealer, dirt and stains are less likely to stick to the surface.
  • Adds Value to Your Home
    Because wood flooring is such a highly desired feature within homes, having wood flooring will add significant value to yours. If you are considering selling your home in the future, remember that potential homebuyers are seeking out the allure of wood flooring over tile and vinyl.
  • Creates Space and Elegance
    Typically, the kitchen is the space where families come together, so it’s important that the room feels spacious. No one wants to meet in a place that feels uncomfortable and cramped. Because wood floors are laid across the length of the room, they provide the illusion of length, especially when using wider wooden planks.

Of course, wood naturally possesses an inherent warmth and charm that is unmatched by any other material. It creates an inviting atmosphere and adds to the sense of “home” and comfort.

If you’ve been thinking of adding wood flooring into your kitchen, please take the time to contact our team today. At Bingham Lumber, our members have decades of experience transforming our customers’ visions into beautiful features. We’re excited to help you take the next step for your home!

Bring Old Fashioned Craftsmanship to Your home with Hand-Hewn Beams

When working on a construction project for your home, there are several choices to make about the type of atmosphere you desire. If you’re looking for a timeless, unique, and rustic feel for your project, then hand-hewn beams are for you.

What exactly are “hand-hewn beams?” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it is simply the original way craftsmen made support beams for homes and buildings. It is the process of carving and shaving a round log into a square beam using only hand tools–no machinery.

It is a building method that isn’t seen very often anymore, but if you look at almost any antique New England home or building, you will quickly discover the handwork of past craftsmen. In a time when everything is becoming mass produced and losing originality and character, going back to our origins of woodcraft will provide you with uniquely aged beams that you cannot find in your average home improvement store.

Hand-hewn beams provide your home with both decorative, structural, and environmental benefits such as:

  • Durable, higher quality old-growth timber
  • Beam made from rare woods
  • A unique color and patina developed over several ages
  • Incredibly positive impact on the environment

Not only are hand-hewn beams beautiful, unique, and highly durable, they are also wonderfully versatile. These beams can easily be cut and altered to serve multiple purposes for your projects. Many people acquire hand-hewn beams for ornamental pieces like fireplace mantels or ceiling beams, but they can also serve as actual supports throughout your home.

Even though carving logs by hand isn’t the mainstream method for creating beams anymore, you need not worry. There are still lumber companies that can provide that service, and with reclaimed wood becoming extremely popular, there are plenty of sources that can provide you with original beams for your project!

If you’ve been searching for the perfect feature to make your home’s aesthetic have that traditional, rustic, and unique atmosphere, consider exploring hand-hewn beams. If you have questions, or if you would like to see and learn more about hand-hewn beams for your project, contact us today. Our knowledgeable team is excited to give you the answers you’ve been looking for!

What Hardwood Floor Finish is Right for You?

You’ve finally chosen the perfect hardwood floor for your home, and you’re probably excited about how beautiful this addition will be. No matter which hardwood you’ve chosen for your home, it requires the right protective finish to ensure it lasts for many years.

When it comes to hardwood floor finishes, there are several types to pick from, and all of them benefit your floor in different ways. In order to find the right one, consider the following:

  • How much foot traffic will your floor receive?
  • What type of hardwood are you using?
  • What is best for your budget?
  • How much time do you have for this project?
  • How often are you willing to maintain your floor?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to confidently pick one of the following popular finishes for your hardwood floor.

Penetrating Oil Sealer

If you love the grain, depth, and color of your hardwood floor, we highly recommend using a penetrating oil sealer like tung oil. The use of tung oil allows the natural colors, characteristics, and features shine through, and the oil gives the wood a natural finished look without adding high shine or gloss. If you are restoring a historic home, this finish is ideal.

Penetrating oil sealers are absorbed through the porous flooring and will prevent some scratches. The floor will need maintenance every couple of years, but the oil is easy to apply and touch up. Just keep this in mind if your floor will be in a high-traffic area. Finally, this finish does take a while to dry, up to a full day.

Water-based Polyurethane

For a clean, clear coat that maintains integrity and clarity, we recommend using a water-based polyurethane finish. This finish is durable, so it works well for areas where you have heavy furniture or a lot of foot traffic, and you can get it in a high-gloss, semi-gloss, or satin sheen. Just be careful with a high-gloss sheen as scratches and dents are more visible with this option.

If you’re environmentally conscious, water-based polyurethane is also a great choice because it releases far fewer volatile organic compounds compared to other options. It also dries quickly, allowing you to walk around in about four hours.

Oil-based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane has a slight amber or yellowish tint and can yellow even more over time, which adds a rich, warm, amber color to the floors. This finish is also popular with homeowners with high-traffic floors, and it comes in a variety of sheens. Finally, a floor with this finish is typically easy to maintain, only requiring the occasional sweep and mop. Just keep in mind that this finish does have a slow drying process, often requiring a day or two to complete.

Your hardwood floor adds character and charm to your home, so it’s important to maintain it properly. Now is the time to ensure that your floor’s natural beauty and characteristics last for many years. Call us today to learn which option is best for you. We’re excited to help you with your project!

How Wide-Plank Flooring Can Beautify Your Home

As a homeowner, you know very well that flooring plays an important role in the overall atmosphere of your home. Hardwood floors give a warm and comforting feeling, and they also provide a sense of tradition and craftsmanship that people desire to have in their homes. If you’ve been searching for the right type of flooring that adds these features, then take some time here to consider the following benefits that wide-plank hardwood floors will bring to your home.

A Natural Look

Wide planks have a greater variety of wood grains, and the added width showcases these natural and unique features that adds a visual appeal that slimmer planks can’t provide. Wide planks also can be found in almost every type of wood, which allows it to be used in any interior style. Whether you are looking for a rustic or contemporary aesthetic, you can find the right wide-plank flooring to match your vision.

Adding Space

Installing wide-plank flooring is a relatively quick way to make a small room feel much larger. With longer and wider planks, there are naturally fewer seams and joints cluttering up your floor space, which dramatically simplifies and calms the floor’s visual effect and allows the floor’s beauty to stand out and open up the room.

Better Installation and Durability

Aside from the aesthetic benefits wide-plank flooring provides, it is also the practical choice. With wider wooden planks, there are fewer pieces needed to cover the room’s floor space. While the cost of wide-plank flooring can be a little more expensive, the fewer materials needed can lead to a quicker installation process that ultimately leads to major savings in labor costs and time. Plus, you have your personal space back to yourself sooner.

On top of the installation, the wood used for wide-plank flooring is highly durable. Wide-plank floors are traditionally cut from the heartwood of old growth trees, meaning they have a denser, less porous grain pattern, making them tougher and able to stand the test of time. This is especially true for reclaimed wood. Early New England colonists crafted their floors of sturdy wide planks for this very reason, and many of those original floors are being used today, so if you desire to have a floor that provides your home with classic charm and a warm, comfortable mood that will last for generations, you cannot go wrong with such a time-honored and dependable flooring material.

The vision you have for your home is important to us, and we want you to be happy and feel proud and comfortable within it. If you’ve been thinking about making a change to your home, take the time now to contact us to see how we can help you accomplish the project you have in mind and make your house into your dream home.

The Benefits of Using Antique Lumber: It’s More Than Just History

Why would you want to use antique lumber in your home or in your next building project? For some folks, they desire to be surrounded by the rich history and stories that only antique lumber can provide. It adds to the atmosphere and overall beauty to their place. For others, they are drawn to the wood’s lasting durability and strength. And for many, the sustainability of our natural world has become the top priority. Regardless of the reason, antique lumber possesses many qualities that will elevate and contribute to your next project in a way that nothing else can. 

What is Antique Lumber?

Antique lumber, also known as “reclaimed wood”, is high-quality wood that has been given new life and purpose. The wood is commonly taken from places like: 

  • Old barns
  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Vintage buildings
  • Furniture
  • Casks

Over time, these old structures are removed to make way for newer buildings and items, and when that happens there are loads of wood left behind for lumber companies like ours to hew and bring back to life. Once we have them ready for market, they naturally exhibit their unique charm and share their story with every detail they hold. 

Originality

More often these days, we cannot avoid buying mass-produced items. If you want your home or project to truly be original, using antique lumber is 100 percent guaranteed to be unique and be full of the character that mass-produced wood often lacks. With reclaimed wood, no two pieces are alike, each one having lived its own life, developing its own color and bearing a patina that shows the organic and natural beauty of wood. 

While maintaining its originality, antique lumber can enhance and complement any design style. Whether you desire a rustic aesthetic or something that is clean and sophisticated, there is plenty of antique lumber to satisfy your project’s needs. 

Durability

Antique lumber is almost always from old-growth trees. “Old growth” refers to trees that have naturally reached their full maturity within an environment that encourages slow growth. Because the trees were able to fully grow and mature, their wood is incredibly hard and strong. Today, you can no longer buy old-growth wood since the forests are now protected, so antique lumber is the only way to get it now. The wood is highly durable and will not warp or be damaged easily, so you can trust the material. 

Sustainability

Using new wood has its benefits, but it is a major contributing factor to deforestation, which severely harms our natural world. This is what makes antique lumber highly desirable in today’s world, when people are making healthier choices for the environment. Reclaimed wood does not pose a threat to the environment. In fact, it helps promote a greener world and helps reduce the amount of waste created. 

 At Bingham Lumber, we strive to provide the highest quality materials and experience so that you may enjoy your project to the fullest. No matter what the project is, antique lumber is a wise decision that provides you with a superior material that possesses character, charm, strength, and sustainability. If you are interested in seeing how antique lumber can elevate your next project, feel free to contact us today!

Let Your Creativity Shine with Our Custom Millwork

When we stand inside our home or another property, it can ignite our creative spirit. The space inspires us to make it our own with a touch of something everlasting and captivating.

With woodwork there are endless paths you can take. Sometimes we envision unique features that we’d like to see come to life in our project. This is where we enter into the creative world of custom millwork.

What is custom millwork?

Before we dive into what to expect from custom millwork, it’s good to know what it is exactly. To put it simply, millwork is the term used to describe woodwork that is made in a mill. This can include flooring, molding, doors, and a lot of other things. While custom millwork is often used for standard lumber work, it can also be geared toward more high-end projects that require intricate detail.

Customization and Quality

A major reason you may choose custom millwork is because it allows us to provide you with a lot more customization options. Honestly, there is almost no limit to what can be created.

Our custom millwork always requires a high level of discipline and attention to detail. Oftentimes, our projects involve both machines and a careful hand to ensure complete quality control and accuracy.

Our Custom Millwork

At Bingham Lumber, we’re fortunate to have a custom millwork shop on site at our Brookline, NH facility. Our shop is well equipped with an impressive collection of machinery that creates one-of-a-kind pieces that are full of personality and are built to last. Here we can produce just about anything. We craft custom tables, islands, barn doors, wooden mantels, and many other wooden creations.

When it comes to working alongside our customers, we know how important it is to make your vision become reality, which is why we give you full control of the creative process. This ensures that the piece is made as custom as possible and reflects your creativity, making certain that there is no other piece like yours.

We walk with you through the process, starting with the species of wood you need. From our 20,000 square foot lumber barn, you are able to choose from several species including white and red oak, maple, hickory, walnut, poplar, and more. If you’re looking for something truly unique, we’re also proud to use reclaimed wooden pieces, each with a deep history and character that cannot be found elsewhere.

From there, we determine the size and specifications needed for the project. We take your notes, drawings, and instructions, and then we go to work. During the project, we update you with what’s being done so that you can determine the next step.

If you’re interested in having woodwork done for your space that is high quality, custom, and has the appeal of originality, feel free to contact us today!

The Creative Process Starts at Bingham Lumber

You’ve been looking around your house lately, and you realize that it’s time to get creative and tackle a new project or make some refreshing changes in your home. The thing is though, whether you’re planning to DIY the next project or have a professional come in, you are simply stuck in a creative rut and are unsure of what changes to actually make or even where to begin. Maybe a list of questions is spinning around in your mind.

  • What materials should I use?
  • What tools will I need?
  • What type of wood works best here?
  • Can I afford to do this project?
  • I have an idea of what I want the end result to look like, but is it actually the right idea?

Pretty quickly, this exciting idea that sparked in your mind has grown into a source of uncertainty and stress, and you’re unsure of how to move forward.

The good news is that you’re definitely not alone in this challenge, and we’re happy to help you reach your goals. Everyday we get to collaborate with wonderful people who have varying knowledge of DIY projects or home remodeling, and we’re proud to say that we have always helped our customers succeed in finding the right materials, tools, and direction for their creative ventures.

If you’re going to need wood for your project, then selecting what type of wood is a great way to get started, and you’ll actually be able to answer a lot of your other questions by solving this one first. There is a wide variety of materials ranging from hardwood to softwood, fresh to beautifully reclaimed, as well as a variety of textures, colors, and grains. Each one provides a unique aspect to a project.

Our greatest passion is using fine wooden materials, so we can quickly narrow down which type is best for you. Also, if you don’t have the tools or space to conduct your project, we have our own shop on site that can handle just about anything you need to get done.

For over 20 years, we have dedicated our lives to providing the best materials and experience to our customers, and in that time, we have helped thousands of folks out of the creative rut that plagues us from time to time. So if you have a vision, or just an idea, and need a little help, simply give us a call or visit us and find out how we can help you express your creativity and get that project accomplished.

How to Give Your New House Some Old Home Charm

You have a beautiful, new home, possibly built in recent years, and it has everything you need–a great lawn, fresh lighting, the garage, and new appliances throughout. And yet, at the same time, you find your house lacking the charm and character of an old, cozy home. You may notice it looks plain and much like a lot of the other new houses you’ve seen, and while a house’s charm doesn’t develop overnight, there are plenty of details you can add to help yours become unique.

Add Trim Work
Old homes are filled with details, and one small addition that brings a lot of character is trim work. Take a look at crown molding, for example. You can find it in almost any width, from minimal to extravagant, and immediately the plain walls you once had are a thing of the past.

If you want to take your old-home makeover to another level, you can consider adding wainscotting or door casings. While the skills needed to DIY these projects may vary, with some time, effort, and a little research, they can transform your home.

Built-in Shelving
Built-in bookcases are not only practical by strategically using empty space, they also provide your home with a stately, formal appearance. You can also customize built-ins to your taste by choosing a particular lining and going with either a classic white paint or a deep stain.

Use Natural Materials
Materials like vinyl and laminate are practical and potentially more affordable, but they do add to the cookie-cutter vibe of new houses. Nothing beats the quality, durability, and longevity of wooden materials, and they give your home an older and more rustic feeling. You can also replace the plain cabinets with intricate doors and add antique knobs.

Look at the Staircase
Many houses have multiple levels, which creates an opportunity to customize your stairway. Consider replacing the railing, steps, and other features with more elegant wood and ornamental designs.

Change the Doors
New homes often have plain doors. Much like decorative trim work, replacing plain doors with paneled doors will give your rooms a traditional feel. They provide a little more detail, and they are reminiscent of a classic home.

Use Reclaimed Materials
For any of these projects, it’s ideal to use reclaimed and salvaged wood to really give your new home that quality old look. Reclaimed wood provides a greater level of enrichment by bringing along its own history, with every mark and scratch adding to its story.

Looking to add more character and individuality to your home? Contact us today to see how we can help supply you with the best materials in the region. Whether you are looking for fresh, new materials or carefully crafted, reclaimed wood, we’re excited to help you make your house into your ideal home. Stop by or give us a call today!

Are Wooden Kitchen Floors a Good Option?

When most people think of kitchen flooring, they think of tile or vinyl flooring, not wood. But to overlook wood flooring for your kitchen is to miss out on an opportunity to create a beautiful, durable, and reliable floor people will admire in what is probably the most popular room of your home.

One of the best reasons for choosing wooden kitchen floors is how wood can easily enhance the look of your kitchen. Wood adds an elegant touch and provides warm character to this hard-working space. In today’s more open floor plans, it also enables you to seamlessly transition from kitchen to dining to entertaining areas by tying the flooring together with a uniform look that supports a wide variety of architectural and interior-decorating styles.

Some of the many benefits of wooden kitchen floors include:

  • Design options multiple wood species, styles, and colors provide a wide range of choices and finishes to complement any kitchen.
  • Longevity Wood flooring is remarkably durable and can stand up to the high traffic of most kitchens for years.
  • Value Because it’s so durable, wood flooring can last for decades. Even when it’s finally showing some wear, it can often simply be refinished – no need to tear it up and replace it.
  • Easy maintenance Regular sweeping and damp mopping is usually all it takes to keep a wood floor looking its best.
  • Comfort Because wood is an organic material it’s easier on your feet and back than unforgiving tile or polished concrete. Wood is also warmer – a great benefit during New England’s cold winters.

Wooden floors showcase the natural beauty of wood grain and make any room appear warmer and more elegant, including kitchens. Wooden kitchen floors can be purchased prefinished or unfinished and come in a wide range of colors and tones, making it easy to find a look that coordinates with any kitchen design.

A popular wood flooring option is reclaimed and recycled lumber. Nothing adds unique character and interest to flooring as the wide planks of antique lumber as well as the marks and general wear-and-tear that hints at an interesting previous life of the wood. Here at Bingham Lumber, we source all of our reclaimed lumber from responsible and respected suppliers and then carefully remill and recondition the wood as needed to give it added life and make it compatible with modern building standards.

So if you’re in the process of building or renovating a kitchen, consider wood flooring to add beauty, durability, and value. To learn more about the benefits of wood flooring and the various woods available, talk with the experts here at Bingham Lumber.

Make Your Mantel a Focal Point

Beam Mantel

Regardless of the design or architectural style of a room, when a fireplace is present, it is almost always the central element that attracts the eye and invites people to come to sit by it. In addition, the natural stone, brick, or other hard construction materials used in a fireplace make it the perfect place to use a contrasting, organic material such as wood in a custom mantel.

Natural wood has a richness and warmth that can’t be found in other materials. Used as a fireplace mantel, reclaimed wood that has been finished to highlight the natural grain and take center stage in the design can add the right amount of depth and warmth to the room as a whole. This is perfect for living rooms, family rooms, and other areas where you want to encourage people to gather and feel comfortable.

A reclaimed wood mantel is an ideal, versatile feature that can complement virtually any style and decor. Antique wood that still shows the saw marks and nail holes of its original use has an authentically rustic appearance that can blend easily with fieldstone, drystack stone surrounds, and other rustic designs. Reclaimed wood mantels began their lives in another place and time, and still show many of their original marks and signs of age, wear, weathering, and patina. The simplicity of the mantel adds interest and character by itself, or when accentuated with artwork and other decorative elements.

Reclaimed wood comes from numerous sources, such as old farmhouses and buildings, often more than a century old. The lumber can be from many species of wood, and may show marks from its growth, milling, and use, enabling the wood used for your mantel to take on a unique look and characteristics.

At Bingham Lumber, we specialize in reclaimed lumber and often receive truckloads of it, which we carefully separate, clean, and gently remill when necessary to improve its appearance and usability. Our top quality reclaimed mantel wood generally falls into one of three categories of original milling:

Live edge: This term refers to an edge of the wood that has not been cut by a saw blade; this leaves an irregularly shaped edge that is unique to each piece.

Hand hewn: This old style of processing used hand tools such as an adze and slick (a kind of large chisel) that, in the old days, were the only way to turn a round tree into a square beam.

Circular sawn: The circular saw blades used to process lumber back in the day left a unique texture to the wood that we often reproduce on our classic plank flooring because some customers love the textured, old-fashioned look it creates.

The fireplace is one of the most important design features in a room. To highlight yours, make the mantel the focal point with the attractive, dramatic, or soft natural look of reclaimed wood. For more design ideas and help selecting just the right wood and look, talk to our reclaimed wood experts here at Bingham Lumber.

How to Use Salvaged Building Materials in New Construction

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!

Create a DIY Mini-Greenhouse with Recycled Windows

With so many of us spending more time at home these days, you might be looking for a fun, easy-to-do project for yourself that can even involve your kids and get you outdoors and growing things. A tiny, do-it-yourself greenhouse made from recycled windows will add some color and a little whimsy to your backyard while encouraging you to do some gardening that’s also fun and productive. 

Start by collecting some old windows. You may already have some lying around in the basement, garage, or backyard shed that can be repurposed for your greenhouse. No old windows on hand? Try a yard or garage sale, ask friends and family, or try your local recycling center – it’s usually not too hard to find the odd window or two in a variety of places.

Follow these simple steps to build your greenhouse in no time: 

  • Check your windows for old lead paint using a lead paint test kit, clean them up a bit, maybe repaint them, or leave them as is for a more antique, distressed look
  • Screw some 1”x4” inch lumber cut to size onto the bottoms of three windows to create a sturdy base ledge around the bottom of your greenhouse
  • Attach three windows together using L-brackets to create the three walls
  • Attach the fourth window with hinges to create a door – vintage hardware will add a more antique look
  • Add a doorknob or other handle – if you’re going for the antique look, an old cut-glass doorknob would be perfect
  • Assemble an A-frame roof using 2”x2” pine lumber screwed together
  • Use recycled decorative tin or other flexible sheet metal to add a roof
  • Add shelf brackets or hangers inside for flower pots and planters
  • Mount your greenhouse to an old table with screws – paint to match if desired
  • You’re done!

Now all you have to do to get your garden started is select some beautiful flowering plants that like the sun. You could even add herbs and vegetables to supplement your summer meals. Check out this short DIY Network video to see how quickly and easily your greenhouse can come together.

DIY Decorating Ideas: Turning Old Windows into New Decor

With a history dating back over 400 years, New England has no shortage of old things, including many old buildings full of beautiful, high quality architectural items such as wide-plank flooring, wonderfully distressed barn siding, massive beams and other elements that can be put to good use in new, renovated, and restored homes. 

One element in particular often gets overlooked when people salvage materials from old buildings – windows. This is a shame because windows are highly useful, versatile features that can be repurposed for almost unlimited new uses.

Here are just a few basic window-repurposing ideas that can be simple and easy DIY projects for homeowners of all skill level:

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Simple Farmhouse Window Treatments and Other Reclaimed Wood DIY Projects

Reclaimed Antique Oak Island Top
Reclaimed Oak Island top

Reclaimed wood from old barns, houses, and other structures has become popular for a number of good reasons – it’s a great way to reuse a valuable resource; old wood is often of higher quality than modern, new lumber; and every piece of reclaimed wood has a unique character and look from wear and tear, to name a few.

While reclaimed barnboard, paneling, and flooring are favorites for bigger projects such as antique hardwood floors and accent walls, it’s also ideal for smaller, do-it-yourself projects regardless of your woodworking skill level.

For example, an old, weathered plank makes a perfect farmhouse-style window treatment. Simply select a piece that appeals to you, such as one from our reclaimed wide plank paneling, cut it to fit over your window, screw it into place, and attach evenly-spaced 1¼” vinyl-coated cup hooks to hang a sheer tab curtain. Then tie or drape your curtains to suit your taste and room décor. It’s that easy!

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Doing it yourself? Well, you’re not alone.

Reclaimed Brown Barn Board Paneling in Narrow WidthsDo It Yourself home improvement is a growing phenomenon these days as the internet abounds with do-it-yourself (DIY) websites, blogs, forums, social media and other ways for individuals to check out cool DIY projects such as handicrafts, woodworking, and even furniture-making.

Maybe you’ve even decided you’d like to try your hand at your very own DIY project. After all, winter’s a great time to do a little research, look around, and check out an interesting project or two to start in the spring. Perhaps you saw a beautiful table, bookcase, chair, or sign on Pinterest or Instagram. So how do you get started?

First, think about the kind of wood you’ll need for your project and what you’d like to use – there are hardwoods and softwoods in a variety of textures, grains, and colors. There’s new lumber and beautiful reclaimed lumber – decades or even centuries-old, high-quality panels, planks, and timbers from old homes, barns, and other buildings. Here at Bingham Lumber we procure the finest reclaimed lumber from respected sources throughout the Northeast to ensure the highest quality and then we remill it for a wide range of uses.

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Taking Care of Your Wood Floor

image of a floor being cleanedA wood floor — especially one crafted from vintage, reclaimed, wide-plank lumber – is not only a thing of beauty, it’s one of durability when properly cared for. Wood flooring that has received a quality finish using an appropriate finishing product is relatively easy to care for and will provide many years of use and pleasure.

A little knowledge goes a long way in maintaining your wood floors, so get to know your specific type of flooring and finish and rely on the manufacturer’s or supplier’s instructions for proper care. Research your particular finish so you’ll know which cleaners can be used without damaging your floor or finish. Never use cleaners designed for other surfaces such as tile, lineoleum, or laminate on hardwood — these will dull the surface or cause it to become overly slippery,

Sweep your floors regularly with a soft broom – this will not only keep them clean but also naturally buff the surface of the flooring and keep it from scratching – and use a dry towel whenever possible to wipe up messes and spills. Use as little water as possible and immediately wipe up any wet spots. Do NOT use oil soaps because they will leave residue, build up, and eventually dull the surface, making refinishing difficult.

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The Difference Between Strip Flooring and Plank Flooring

IMG_8605Years ago, wall-to-wall carpeting was viewed by many as the ultimate flooring for new homes – a vast expanse of soft, warm, cushiony flooring that seemed ideal for young families moving into new homes in the suburbs.

However, hardwood flooring has seen a revival in recent years as homeowners have rediscovered the beauty and value of durable, attractive, versatile hardwood that remains long after carpeting has worn out and faded. Today, hardwood flooring is recognized as a highly-sought-after, top-quality flooring that maintains its value over the years and helps homes appraise higher and sell faster than homes with synthetic carpeting. Also, many individuals with allergies and asthma have turned to hardwood flooring over carpet because of the reduction in allergens associated.

If you’re a builder or buyer looking for high quality hardwood flooring, there are two types in particular that are popular but can be confusing because of their relatively similar look and names: hardwood strip flooring and hardwood plank flooring. We’ll explain the difference here and why plank flooring is the better overall value.

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The Reclaimed Story

At Bingham Lumber we are able to yield an extremely high percentage of usable fiber from the salvaged timbers, roofing boards, and barn boards. The reason we are able to be an industry leader in percentage is the way we approach the milling process. We rely on our 70 years of sawmill experience to use different techniques to increase the usage of this recycled fiber. Continue reading “The Reclaimed Story”