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.

The Beauty of Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding barn doors are a favorite of interior designers because they are so versatile and add a unique charm to a wide range of architectural designs and interior tastes. From functional sliding access to closets and rooms to non-functional wall décor, a sliding barn door is a great choice for adding visual interest to your home.

Here at Bingham Lumber we construct custom sliding barn doors from reclaimed and classic plank materials, cut, assembled, and finished to your specifications. We are one of the area’s largest suppliers of reclaimed barn siding and other barn and farm building lumber, so we’re able to provide an authenticity and quality to our custom barn doors that is unmatched. Looking for something a little more modern? We also have our Classic Pine Selection for new wood to create a fresher, cleaner look that fits nicely with newly-constructed homes done in a rustic, Americana style.

Sliding barn doors are suitable for a variety of uses. Are you working with a smaller space and looking for some eye-catching wall décor to create a larger impression? A non-functional barn door and rail system installed on a wall using barn door hardware doesn’t have to lead anywhere but gives an impression of another room behind it, creating an attractive aura of mystery.

Another fun use for a sliding barn door is as a cover for a full length chalkboard surface painted on a wall. It’s a great way to attractively cover the often-messy result of kids’ creativity. Let them cover the chalkboard with the colorful output of their imaginations and then, at the end of their drawing session, simply roll the barn door over it to keep it safe and out of view for another day.

An attractive, painted barn door to match or complement your kitchen décor is perfect for hiding a walk-in pantry or other storage space. Its size and dimensions provide plenty of space to access the pantry while an antique wheel-and-rail transport system enables easy open-and-close.

If your home features an open floor plan for flexible space to accommodate different uses and create changeable divided areas, sliding barn doors are an ideal solution for versatile space dividers.

We can help you design a barn door that is not only one of a kind but also a perfect fit in your home. Each door is custom sized, priced, and crafted to your specific request. We invite you to stop by our showroom to see the many options available and get a custom quote.

Bring the History of Reclaimed Wood into Your Furniture Project

There is nothing quite like reclaimed wood for just about any woodworking project, especially furniture. To be clear, reclaimed lumber encompasses quite a bit of previously-used wood – it is not necessarily all old wood. Last year’s shipping pallets are just as much reclaimed wood as last century’s barn siding. The difference is in the eye of the beholder and what’s available.

Of course, nothing beats really old, aged timbers and planks reclaimed from old homes, farm buildings, commercial and even industrial structures. Quality older lumber is remarkably strong and stable and often available in dimensions simply unavailable in modern lumber. Add to this the coloring, texture, weathering and worn spots of decades- and even centuries-old wood and you’ve got stock with remarkable character.

If you weren’t already excited about using reclaimed wood for your next furniture project, hopefully you are now. But it’s important to realize that reclaimed wood needs some extra attention prior to working with it. It’s crucial to:

  • Make sure it’s kiln-dried to remove any remaining moisture (even really old wood can retain moisture) and to kill any insects that might be hiding
  • Inspect all reclaimed wood for hidden nails, screws, and other metal that can damage tools and equipment
  • Thoroughly clean old wood to remove dirt, dust, and embedded debris
  • Double-check dimensions: old wood typically features truer dimensions – 2x4s were really 2x4s – so know what you actually are working with as you plan your project and before you start cutting
  • Depending on the look you’d like to achieve with your furniture, you may want to retain as much of the older look as possible by doing minimal processing. Still, a light sanding is almost always in order – it will create a better surface to work with while still keeping its character

If you’re going for a cleaner, more finished look that takes down a bit more surface material, don’t worry – the tighter grain and coloration of older reclaimed wood is unmistakable and still provides plenty of unique charm to the finished piece. It’s important to remember, though, that if you rip pieces down, the exposed fresh lumber will be distinctly different from uncut surfaces. If you’re resizing pieces but want to retain the old look on all surfaces you may have to rip some reclaimed wood veneers to cover the fresh cuts.

We love reclaimed wood here at Bingham Lumber and take pride in the wide assortment of reclaimed siding, timbers, beams, planking, trim, and more that we have in stock and obtain regularly as it becomes available — all responsibly sourced from trusted suppliers. We’d be happy to help you find just the right reclaimed wood for your next furniture project.

Create an Eye-Catching Accent Wall

Our Reclaimed Kendall Road Flooring used as a wall paneling.

There is perhaps nothing more “ho-hum” in home décor and interior design than four walls painted in the same boring shade. If you are looking for a way to add some excitement to a room, consider adding an eye-catching accent wall. An accent wall is simply a wall with a different look than the rest of the walls. It can include a wide range of elements: color, texture, materials, and finish, to name a few. 

Wood is an especially versatile material to use to create an accent wall. Reclaimed lumber such as barn siding, old hardwood flooring, recycled door panels, even deconstructed pallets are all prime candidates for accent wall use. 

One particularly versatile and flexible trick is to use moulding to create dimension and patterns to an otherwise plain wall. It doesn’t require a special skill set or exotic tools, just a willingness to use your imagination and put in a little effort. Here are the tools and materials you’ll need to create a moulding accent wall: 

  • Various strips of moulding (depending on your design and wall size)
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun and finish nails
  • Paint color(s) of choice
  • Paint brush
  • Measuring tape
  • Long level

Steps to create a wood accent wall: 

  1. Get inspired There are lots of online resources such as Pinterest and DIY websites to find great design ideas and examples of finished projects. Feeling especially creative? Take several ideas you really like and combine them in a new and inventive way.
  2. Install baseboards first No matter what kind of finished accent wall you end up with, you’ll generally want baseboards, so install those first as reference for the placement of other elements. 
  3. Establish a focal point This is a spot on your wall that will draw attention first. It can be a framed element, a window, or an initial pattern established by your moulding strips. 
  4. Find the center Your focal point may not always be in the center of the wall, so once you establish it measure your wall to determine the true center and mark it to guide placement of any additional elements. If you’re dividing your wall into quadrants and making squares with your moulding, use the miter saw to make nice, clean square joints. 
  5. Finish your design If you’re using your moulding to create patterns or frames to contain other elements, finish them off with a coat of paint, perhaps caulking first to fill in the seams and create a really clean look.

In our example, using moulding to create a pattern on your wall can be beautiful enough that it can stand alone as a statement wall, or can be used as actual frames for artwork or photography.

Not sure if this type of wall is your style? No problem – there are lots of other wood accent walls you can create that are simpler to construct, such as wood paneling using an interesting product like reclaimed barnwood that has some unique coloring and texture.

Whatever kind of accent wall you’re considering, you can always ask the wood and design experts here at Bingham Lumber for advice. We’re happy to help!

Kitchen Dining Expansion

Wide Plank White Pine Flooring in Wide Widths and a Knotty Grade

The timeless beauty of wood and its durability are just two of the qualities that make it the ideal material for expanding and integrating kitchen and dining space in homes of all sizes and architectural styles. House and furniture designers have always used wood in all its splendid grains and textures to decorate and embellish. Today with the push to recycle, designers hunt for flooring, siding, and timbers found in old barns and textile mills and use it to fashion something new from something old.  

One of the most popular interior design styles used to tie kitchens and dining areas together is the old farmhouse style accentuated with natural wood. Done correctly, reclaimed and upcycled wood from true rural settings make attractive and durable additions when creating modern kitchens and eating areas. Fortunately, many current brands of cabinet finishes and other furnishings are offering modern equivalents of antique looks, making it easier to incorporate them into modern construction with minimal maintenance required. 

The kitchen is a wonderful place to introduce the richness that wood brings to a highly-utilized area of the house. Reclaimed and recycled wood inside a house lends an unmistakable country air to a home. Use it to create dramatic backsplashes and dining area wall accents. Antique metal fixtures hanging from a wood beam are reminiscent of an old mill. When the entire wall is paneled in richly-textured, aged wood paneling, it provides the old-timey feel you might see in a log cabin kitchen corner.   

The table, of course, is the centerpiece for most kitchens and dining rooms. Building a custom table from reclaimed wood creates a wonderfully unique piece of heirloom furniture that can be made to fit the expanded space and help tie it together, providing usable space for food preparation and dining. 

Of course, it’s hard to beat the beauty of a well-placed barn rafter that can be used to draw the eye from one area to the other, seamlessly unifying the two spaces. Likewise, wide plank flooring can be put to good use providing a timeless, singular look that offers warm appeal while offering an easy-to-clean surface in this high traffic area. 

At Bingham Lumber, we have the expertise and the lumber products to help you make your kitchen and dining room expansion project a reality. Check out this modern farmhouse kitchen project we were a part of, providing many of the materials used to bring it to life. Bring us your kitchen and dining space expansion ideas and we can help make your project come to life, too!

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!

Upcycling: How to Turn an Old Door into a New Table

Nothing provides a greater sense of satisfaction than taking something old and turning it into something new and useful. If you’re at all handy with some basic tools, you can “upcycle” worn-out elements of your home or salvaged materials you’ve acquired into attractive, functional new items. It’s a creative way to save money and the planet by recycling old materials instead of throwing them away. 

Even seemingly single-use items such as doors can be turned into something new and unique. Turning a door into an informal dining table makes for a highly-creative, “green” item that can be a real conversation starter. 

Of course, doors come in all kinds of designs, colors, and makes – flat wood, six-panel and four-panel designs, doors with glass insets, and more. Don’t have any old doors in your basement, attic, or garage? You can easily find them in antique shops, flea markets, and tag sales. 

One interesting idea for a dining or kitchen table is turning an old door into a “family-recipe table” – taking old recipe cards you may have from your parents or grandparents and mounting them in the recessed door panels to turn the table into a large shadow box. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Find an interesting four- or six-panel door and start by removing any hardware, thoroughly cleaning it, and chipping off any old paint or varnish. If you have any old screw holes, deep scratches, or other surface blemishes that are visible, fill them and sand the entire surface smooth.
  • Purchase a set of four tubular metal table legs, available online and in many home improvement stores, and mount them to the table corners using wood screws inserted into pre-drilled holes. TIP: place your drill bit against the edge of the table and mark it with a piece of tape to ensure you don’t drill through the entire door.
  • Paint the inside of each recessed door panel in whatever color you like to complement or contrast the rest of the door.
  • Gather an appropriate number of old recipe cards to fit within each panel and mount them with decoupage glue. Choose family-favorite recipes as well as interesting-looking cards that might include doodles or different ink colors to add visual interest

Mount a pre-cut clear acrylic sheet, approximately ¼” thick, to the tabletop using screws or glue to secure it. That’s it! You can now enjoy a unique, highly-personal kitchen or dining table with your family and friends.

Evoke a Simpler Time with a Rustic, Rural Look

Growing lifestyle and architectural design trends involve activities, materials, and visual effects that evoke simpler times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The stress and anxiety many are feeling today as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty make people yearn for looks and things that feel authentic and lasting.

In the architectural design and construction industries this is resulting in a renewed appreciation of reclaimed lumber and recycled building materials from barns, homes, and even industrial buildings that can be a century or more old. Reclaimed barn siding, posts and beams, wide plank flooring, used brick and other materials are being sought for both new construction and renovation projects. 

In some cases, people are recreating the old-time design and feel with new construction instead of opting for trying to renovate an old structure that may be past its useful life. For example, a Mississippi couple looking to create a country retreat bought old farm land and built a beautiful gambrel-style, barn-inspired home with an open space floor plan that reflected the spacious look of an old barn but with the modern conveniences and comfort that would enable them to entertain guests and host large gatherings. 

Their strategy was to embrace an all-natural approach and use reclaimed and locally-sourced materials such as Arkansas fieldstone in the fireplace and reclaimed wood for the interior walls. It was important to them that the home fit right in with the surroundings, which prompted them to even repurpose an old, weathered sign post they found on the property as a mantel for their fieldstone fireplace. 

Here in New England there are countless old wooden buildings such as old homesteads, barns, and other out-buildings that are the source for much of the beautiful reclaimed wood we offer here at Bingham Lumber. Reclaimed wood offers many features and benefits that make it an attractive and unique building material. Much reclaimed wood such as old barn siding has been gently weathered and features unique coloring, fascinating knotholes and wear patterns, insect markings, and old nail holes that add character and charm to the wood. In fact, the wood used in old lumber is often far superior to the weaker, faster-growing timber harvested today. Properly recycled and processed for modern use, the beauty and functionality of reclaimed wood is unmatched. 

If creating your own timeless retreat using recycled building materials sounds enticing, contact the reclaimed wood experts here at Bingham Lumber and learn more about the beauty, durability, and effectiveness of reclaimed wood for your next job.

Consider Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Custom Reclaimed Tables and Islands
Reclaimed Oak Island Top

Regardless of whether you have an older home or are building a brand-new one, reclaimed wood is an excellent architectural and décor accent that can add personality, interest, and uniqueness to your abode. But what exactly is reclaimed wood? Loosely defined, it’s wood that has been used in previous building or woodworking projects, and it’s often found at recycling centers, at the junkyard, from properties with old or demolished buildings, or even online.

A word of caution, though: with the explosion in popularity of reclaimed wood, growing demand has also caused a surge in reclaimed lumber from questionable sources that are of low quality. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for – and to go through a reputable dealer you can trust, such as Bingham Lumber. If you happen to have your own source for reclaimed wood, here are some helpful tips for choosing good wood: 

  • Make sure the wood is dry and tight. Damp or degraded wood are signs that it is less than optimal and no amount of sanding and refinishing is going to fix that.
  • Make sure the wood is stable. Check for things like soft or moldy spots and active insect holes.
  • Have a good idea of what you’re looking for. Want a western, frontier effect? Look for rougher, weathered reclaimed barn wood. Attempting a softer, antique look? Select gently worn, smoother wood, such as reclaimed hardwood flooring.
  • Be safety-conscious. Some reclaimed wood has old nails, screws, and bits of wire still embedded in it. Be sure to carefully examine your wood and remove any potentially-dangerous items. Old paint could contain lead that should be carefully removed.

Once you have your reclaimed wood in hand, here are 8 ways you can incorporate it into your home to create a variety of different effects:

  1. Kitchen island paneling Center islands can be functional and fashionable. Use reclaimed wood to cover the sides of your kitchen island and dramatically change the appearance of what is probably the most popular room in your home. 
  2. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets Similar in effect as covering a center island, cabinets faced with reclaimed wood oozes rustic charm. Add simple, iron knobs or pulls to complete the look. 
  3. Room accent wall Reclaimed wood with distinctive markings such as knots, a deep grain, and contrasting visual textures can complement all kinds of furniture and turn a room from drab to dramatic. Makes a great backdrop for a bed or sofa.
  4. Exterior siding This requires just the right structure, but exterior siding reclaimed from old barn siding can be used just like traditional wood siding. This might work best for a rustic summer home in the woods or mountains, a small getaway cabin, or even a backyard shed. 
  5. A western bar Forget tiki-, Vegas- or sports-themed bars – a walkup bar with rustic hand-hewn beams and reclaimed wood cabinets and paneling creates an authentic western feel that’s just right for conjuring up images of thirsty cowboys ponying up to the bar for a drink. 
  6. Built-in beds Make simple, solid platform beds with drawers underneath for durable, cost-efficient sleeping space in a kid’s bedroom or guest room. 
  7. Wood beam accents Reclaimed structural beams can add sturdy charm as a fireplace mantel, a base for mounting ceiling lights and, in the right situation, a structural element for a weight-bearing wall and ceiling or roof beam. 
  8. Stairway accent Many homeowners like to hang photos or artwork on stairway walls – but why put them on a boring painted wall when you can give them a dramatic backdrop with reclaimed wood paneling?

 Learn more about these and other tips for using reclaimed wood in and around your home – better yet, stop by Bingham Lumber and talk with our helpful reclaimed wood experts.

How to Build Regulation Cornhole Set

While the pandemic has certainly curtailed many social activities and trapped people in their homes for weeks, even months, almost everyone has heard of the game of “cornhole.” Over the past few years it has taken backyards, playgrounds, recreation centers, campgrounds, and beaches by storm.

But just in case you’ve somehow missed all the hubbub about cornhole, here’s a quick summary of the game, according to the American Cornhole Organization (ACO – yes, there is such a thing): 

“Cornhole or Corn Toss is similar to horseshoes except you use 2 wooden boxes called cornhole platforms or boards and corn bags instead of horseshoes and metal stakes. The boards are placed 27 feet apart, from front edge to front edge. Contestants take turns pitching their corn bags at the cornhole platform until a contestant reaches the score of 21 points. A corn bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Scoring can be fast and the lead may change hands several times in a match before the winner is decided. The game is generally played tournament style with an individual or team being named the champion at the end of the tournament.” 

The game has become so popular, it might be hard to find a game set to buy. Fortunately, we’re going to share instructions for building your own so you can be the neighborhood hero. You’ll first need a few materials: 

  • (2) 24″ x 48″ pieces of 1/2″ plywood for the surface
  • (4) 2×4 x 48″ for the frame
  • (4) 2×4 x 21″ for the frame
  • (4) 2×4 x 11-1/2″ for the legs
  • 1-lb. box of 1-5/8″ deck screws
  • 1-lb. box of 3″ deck screws
  • (4) 1/2″ x 4″ carriage bolts with (4) washers and (4) wing nuts
  • wood putty
  • exterior-grade paint
  • primer 

You’ll also need some tools: 

  • jigsaw
  • measuring tape
  • compass
  • drill with drill bit and Phillips-head screw bit
  • 1/2″ drill bit
  • clamps
  • circular saw
  • random orbit sander
  • paint roller 

The ACO states that platforms must be a 48″ x 24″ rectangle made from 1/2-inch plywood. The front of the platform stands 2-1/2 to 4 inches tall and the back of the platform sits 12 inches off the ground. The plans for this project follow those requirements. 

Now you’re ready to begin building: 

  1. Construct the platforms

Cut the plywood into two 2’ x 4’ sections and the 2x4s to the length specified. Use 3″ screws to fasten the 2x4s into a box with the 21-inch pieces inside the 48-inch pieces to form a 2’ x 4’ box. Lay the plywood on top of the box, use the plywood to square up the 2×4 frame. Fasten the plywood onto the frame with 1-5/8” screws. 

  1. Cut and fit the legs

Cut a 2×4 to 11-1/2” for the four legs. Make a full 3-1/2″ radius cut on one end of each leg. To make the cut, measure 1-3/4″ down the length of the 2×4 and draw a line across it. Place a compass point centered on that line then draw the arc. Use a jigsaw to make the cut. Turn the box upside down; lay a leg parallel, flush up against one of the top corners with the radius side in the corner. Clamp into place. From inside the box, mark the center of the 2×4 vertically inside the radius. Drill a 1/2″ hole through the side of the box and the support leg. 

  1. Attach the legs

Install the carriage bolt through both holes and attach with a washer and a wing nut. Check for operation — see if the legs fold up and down inside of the platform. Adjust the radius top if it makes contact anywhere (use a sander to do this). 

  1. Cut the leg ends

To cut the angle on the bottom of the leg, turn the box right-side up and set it on a worktable with the legs tucked under. Place a block (or anything that will hold it up) under the box so that the back of the platform is 12 inches off the tabletop. Slide the box to the edge of the table, pull down the leg closest to the edge so that it hangs just over the table edge. Using the tabletop as a guide, draw a straight line across the bottom of the 2×4. Repeat for the opposite side. Cut the ends off using a circular saw. 

  1. Cut the cornholes

To find the center point for the hole, mark 9″ down from the top and 12″ in from each side on both platforms. Use a compass to mark a 6″ diameter circle around the spot that you marked. Pre-drill a hole along the edge of the circle large enough to accept the jigsaw blade. Remove the drill and use a jigsaw to cut out the circle. Sand the edges of the hole smooth. 

  1. Sand and paint

Sand the entire board and around all edges, including inside the circle. Putty all screw holes. Prime the entire box and re-sand when dry. Wipe clean with light, damp cloth, and paint with an exterior-grade paint (we used a high-gloss). Decorate to your liking — we painted standard triangles on our boards from the hole down to both corners. To do this, stretch blue painter’s tape in the shape you want, and paint the desired area. 

  1. Make your bags

To make the cornhole beanbags, sew four 6-inch by 6-inch bags from durable fabric — such as duck canvas — in the color of your choice. Then sew another four bags in a contrasting color. Fill each bag with 15 to 16 ounces of hard corn kernels or a synthetic substitute of roughly the same density. Then sew the open seams closed. 

There, you’re all done! You’re now ready to play cornhole with family and friends. Have fun!

How to Replace a Threshold

Here in New England weather is a serious factor that affects the exteriors of our homes, especially windows and doors – openings that, if not maintained, can allow water to infiltrate the structure. One key component of all exterior doors is the threshold. Now this may sound old-timey, but “threshold” is simply a term for the structural transition that is part of the doorway over which the door swings. It separates the interior floor from the outside and helps make entry smoother while keeping weather out. 

In an older home an exterior threshold is often constructed with a sturdy hardwood such as oak to handle a lot of abuse from foot traffic and weather — but it can only withstand so much. If your threshold is in rough shape, it’s probably time to replace it. 

Installing a new threshold and sill will take between two and three hours. Protect your floors with a drop cloth before you begin, and make sure you’re comfortable with basic carpentry skills.  

Here are ten basic steps for replacing an old wooden threshold:

  • Remove the old threshold from the doorway using a hammer and reciprocating saw.
  • Use reciprocating saw to cut the nails securing toekick; remove toekick.
  • Test-fit new threshold in doorway.
  • Build up toekick and subfloor with pressure-treated lumber; re-install toekick.
  • Apply a bead of tri-polymer caulk to the joint between the finished floor and new threshold.
  • Install new threshold, then tap shims underneath.
  • Close the door and check for an even gap along the threshold.
  • Open the door, and apply expanding polyurethane sealant under the threshold.
  • Close the door, then tap shims between door bottom and top of threshold; leave shims in place until the sealant cures.
  • Sand threshold, then finish with an exterior paint or stain and topcoat that contains a ultra-violet protector. 

Most exterior thresholds also have a sill beneath them. If the threshold is rotted, the sill probably is, too. The sill is beveled on one side to drain water away from the house. It fits tightly between wall studs and under the jambs and casing, so it has to be cut before it can be removed.

At Bingham Lumber, we have all the materials you’ll need to renovate your entryway, making it look better and protect your home better from the elements. For a closer look at replacing a wood threshold, check out this video.

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.

Learning New Skills: Woodworking Projects for Kids

There is an upside to having to spend time at home with kids during the current coronavirus pandemic – you have the opportunity to spend some quality time with them and help them learn new skills, such as woodworking. There are hundreds of simple, easy-to-do woodworking projects that kids can tackle mostly – if not entirely — by themselves. A few might require an adult to step in and provide some assistance, especially if there is a power tool involved. But for the most part, kids can get the chance to measure and cut wood; hammer, glue, or screw parts together; learn how to use paint or stain; and end up making a useful, even fun product for themselves or someone they love. 

 Here are three kid-friendly woodworking projects that are perfect for a wide range of youngsters:

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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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Bright Ideas for Using Reclaimed Wood in Home Renovation

Reclaimed Antique Oak Island TopRenovating an older home can be a daunting task, but if you’ve been blessed with ownership of a house built in the late 19th or early 20th century – such as an old farmhouse or country home – you have the opportunity to update it while reinforcing the charm and old-timey look of wood that is no longer available in the modern lumber industry.

Beautiful old wood detailing such as tongue-and-grove ceilings, wide plank flooring, exposed support beams, and horizontal lapboard siding, can often be restored to its original splendor with just a good cleaning, light sanding, and a transparent finish to bring out the inherent character of the wood or a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up.

Wood that has suffered over the years can be replaced with reclaimed and recycled wood harvested from old buildings slated for demolition. In fact, a lot of reclaimed wood not being used for flooring can often be left pretty much alone, except for the previously-mentioned cleaning, and be used in a variety of new roles, such as cabinetry, wall paneling, and accent pieces. Even mismatched pieces can be used as decorative paneling and kitchen island construction, creating a dramatic, creative statement that complements your home.

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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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How to Hang Solid Wood Floating Shelves

Floating wood shelves are a sleek, modern way to showcase beautiful wood while providing a very utilitarian way to display and store items. Featuring hidden shelf brackets that fit snugly and securely into a wall stud and holes drilled into the shelf, floating shelves are relatively easy to install with a few common tools and some accurate measuring.

Start with a piece of solid wood at least one inch thick and five inches deep. Here at Bingham Lumber we have plenty of beautiful, reclaimed lumber from old barns and houses that would make ideal floating shelving that’s practical and attractive for any room. Depending on the length of the shelf, you’ll need at least two floating shelf brackets, available in just about any hardware store for less than ten dollars a pair.

Other tools and materials needed include:

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Wood Floors and Radiant Heat

Underfloor heating, known as radiant heating, is a type of heating system (as the name implies) that is installed under flooring, eliminating the need for unsightly radiators or warm air ducting that must be cut into ceilings, walls, and floors. Radiant heating may be either hydronic (water/fluid flowing through pipes) or electric (electric resistance heating elements).

The comfort level of the floor surface is the key to determining what temperature is necessary to achieve proper comfort. Building occupants – especially homeowners who might be more inclined to walk around without shoes — may feel uncomfortable with floor surfaces that are too warm or too cool.

To provide adequate comfort, many factors must be taken into account, including the size of the room, the construction of the home, R-value of the windows, HVAC systems, the number and age of the occupants, and the interior finishes that may be directly affected by these requirements.

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Happy 250th Birthday, Brookline!

Nissitissit Covered Bridge in Brookline, NH

This year marks the 250th anniversary of our great little town, Brookline, New Hampshire. Although, we weren’t always Brookline – when the town was first chartered back in 1769, it was named Raby by New Hampshire Governor John Wentworth after his English cousin, the 4th Earl of Strafford and Baron of Raby Castle.

Almost thirty years later the town was renamed Brookline at the suggestion of a highly imaginative leading citizen originally hailing from Brookline, Massachusetts. Consistent with a trend that existed throughout New England since it was first settled, newly established towns and villages were often named for the place from which the settlers came, sometimes – in a fit of creativity – adding “New” to it, such as New Braintree, Massachusetts and New Britain, Connecticut. In this case, it took almost three decades for someone to make the suggestion to name Brookline after Brookline MA.

And while Bingham Lumber isn’t 250 years old (yet) we have a historic past, too. Our owner, Tom Bingham, is the latest in a long line of lumbermen in his family. His great grandfather and great uncle owned a wood-turning and custom wood shop and both his grandfathers owned sawmills. The second Bingham generation (Tom’s father, aunt and uncle) moved their mill, Bingham Lumber, from Fitchburg, MA here to Brookline in 1973. The mill grew and thrived until 2000 when the tides changed for the sawmill industry in New Hampshire.

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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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Reclaimed Factories: Recycling the world’s most rugged and beautiful wood

New England abounds with old factories that hark back to the earliest days of the American Industrial Revolution. Massive brick-and-wood structures that once lined the banks of New England rivers have long since fallen silent, many transformed into condominiums and office space.

But some of these old factories are too far gone for that kind of restoration. Instead, they’re being reclaimed for their beautiful, durable lumber. They are filled with enormous weight-bearing beams hewn from old growth timber and gorgeous wide plank flooring exhibiting the unique wear and coloration that can only come from decades of contact with feet and machinery.

One of the most prized woods found in old factories is long-leaf pine, cut and hauled north from southern forests after the Civil War. Some experts say the Industrial Revolution was built on long-leaf pine which, before steel became available, was considered the most durable building material around. In fact, long leaf pine was used extensively in New York City during the building boom in the late 1800’s – it was even used in the foundation of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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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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Reclaimed Barns

Reclaimed BarnsThroughout the Mid-West and up and down the eastern seaboard lives a deep rooted history in agriculture and farming that has existed since the arrival of the first American settlers. The result is a landscape that has been dotted with beautiful old barns steeped in American history and use that has imbued them with character, charm and unique features. These features are the reason for the recent increase in popularity of reclaimed barn siding, paneling, and the overall use of reclaimed materials in new construction.

There are a number of reasons to recycle old lumber from reclaimed barns, starting with the recycled wood’s unique characteristics:

Physical Appearance- There is nothing on the market today that compares to reclaimed barn wood. Many of these old barns were built over a hundred years ago using virgin timber that no longer exists. Much of this wood has been gently weathered and features unique coloring, beautiful grain patterns and knot structure, insect markings, and nail holes that add character and charm to the wood. Properly handled and processed for modern use, the beauty and functionality of recycled lumber is unmatched.

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We Love Our Customers

 

Over the past few months we’ve received an overwhelming number of pictures from our customers of their home projects. Some are new construction homes, some are small renovations but all of them are impressive and exciting and we wanted to show off their amazing work! Here is a collection of these pictures and some links to the products they used at the bottom of the page.

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Visit From the Guild of NH Woodworkers

Inside the reclaimed timber frame of the barn in our showroom, Tom welcomes the New Hampshire Woodworkers guild to Bingham Lumber
The Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers was welcomed by the standing timber frame, rebuilt inside our flooring showroom.

Saturday June 18th we were lucky enough to host the folks from the Guild of NH Woodworkers for their summer field trip. This group is made up of members ranging from professional cabinet makers and craftsmen to passionate armature woodworks.
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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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Reclaimed Stock in the Lumber Barn

Age and character is what these pieces are all about. Nail holes, actual nails and color variation can be found in these pieces.

As the popularity of reclaimed lumber grows, we see more and more individuals walking through our doors with inspirational photos from Pinterest, Houzz, and various HGTV programs for their weekend project. These tools are priceless to us, as they give us a clear picture of what you’re looking for. The challenge has always been to give you a clear picture of what the reclaimed lumber could turn into and we think we have achieved just that with our new racks and displays.

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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”

Our Story

The face of Bingham Lumber has changed but the heart and soul of the company hasn’t. The team consists of family and several employees with 20+ years of experience, integrated from three generations. The team is determined that Bingham Lumber will continue to evolve as the times dictate, never losing sight of Don Bingham’s creed initiated seventy years ago: Quality lumber at a fair price.

Wagon

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