It seems like everyone is in love with reclaimed wood these days. From its environmental benefits to the rustic charm it adds to home projects, to say it's trending is a downright understatement. One of the most popular applications is to cover a wall with weathered planks to add instant patina to any space. But the ideas for using reclaimed wood are practically endless—a DIY headboard made of weathered cedar fencing in your bedroom, wide-plank flooring milled from the beams of a Tuscan farmhouse in your living room, wrapping a kitchen island with old barn wood...the list of creative ideas goes on and on, like in this rustic Texas farmhouse built almost entirely of reclaimed materials!
So what exactly is reclaimed wood? Reclaimed wood is simply wood that's been salvaged from old structures, meaning it's eco-friendly and comes with built-in patina (and a little grit, if we're being honest). Think: centuries-old siding from a New England barn, massive beams from an abandoned warehouse, weathered boards from an old fence, or wide-plank flooring from a schoolhouse. It can even be a product of your own renovation. Pro tip: Pick through that demo pile before it gets hauled away!
According to Colt Byrom of Byrom Building in Birmingham, Alabama, the top ways homeowners request to incorporate reclaimed wood into a new build is with beams, flooring, ceilings, and accent walls. "Sometimes we build cabinets and tables as well," Colt says. "We keep most of our reclaimed wood scraps, because there are so many other uses—shelves, picture frames, furniture, tables, you name it." When sourcing reclaimed wood, Colt looks for clean, de-nailed wood. "One thing I like when buying wood is the story that comes with the products—it might be from an old barn in rural Montana, an 1800s church in West Alabama, or an abandoned distillery in South Georgia. But then again, I've gotten some great wood off the side of the street, too."
Of course, you're probably wondering, "Where can I find reclaimed wood near me?" Here, we're sharing all our tips for sourcing, finding, and buying the beautiful lumber. Fortunately, reclaimed wood is widely available, which means you won't have to look far before getting started on your next home improvement project. Below, find six suggestions on where to find reclaimed wood to add a sense of history and a warm, farmhouse vibe to your home. Happy hunting!
1. Reclaimed Lumber Dealers
Beautiful reclaimed wood floors can give even a new build old soul—oh, the feet that have walked before!—and growing demand means it’s getting easier to find professional outfitters who specialize in character-rich boards from historic homes, fences, and old barns. Here are a few of our favorites:
Box Kite Barn Yard: San Luis Obispo, CA; boxkitebarnyard.com
Cunningham Lumber: Hillsboro, TX; cunninghamlumber.com
Evolutia: Birmingham, AL; evolutiamade.com
Southeastern Salvage: locations throughout the Southeast; southeasternsalvage.com
Kentucky Wisewood: Louisville, KY; kentuckywisewood.com
Reclaimed Barns & Beams: Shelbyville, IN; custommade.com
Storied Boards: Lake George, NY; storiedboards.com
Entering search terms like "reclaimed wood," "reclaimed lumber," or "reclaimed timber" on Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, eBay, or any other local trading sites will generate pages and pages of buying opportunities. Sellers range from folks looking to make a little cash on their rundown, 100-year-old barns to more expert dealers with lots of inventory. Before you buy, be sure and ask plenty of questions regarding rot, warped planks, and insects before you bring the wood into your home. You can also purchase bundles of reclaimed barn wood planks online through The Home Depot.
3. Architectural Salvage Yards
Places that specialize in architectural salvage, like Waxahachie Architectural Salvage in Waxahachie, Texas, and Vermont Salvage in White River Junction, Vermont, are treasure troves of old lumber, as well as columns, porch posts, mantels, and doors.
4. Demolition Sites
Unfortunately, not all old homes and buildings can be saved from the wrecking ball. If you know of a home or old building slated for demolition (some cities' departments of building inspection have a list), consider contacting the owner of the property to see if you can scavenge for wood pre-teardown. Many see it as a helpful way to get rid of detritus for free.
And don't forget about your very own demo site! If you're renovating, ask your demo team to be on the lookout for reusable wood, such as the siding, roof decking, or sheathing under the siding or brick, as well as fences and decks, says Colt. "Large, beautiful boards can be taken off by hand, de-nailed, and used for interior or exterior ceilings or shiplap on an accent wall," he explains. "I especially like to be able to use that wood on the same home we are building. There is a certain sustainability of recycling a material that would have been thrown away. Plus, it's a great story to tell with the new house. In my own home, we used wood from our old house on porches and on the kitchen ceiling."
5. A Field Near You
Our nation's countryside is dotted with dilapidated barns and farmhouses that have collapsed with age. Contact the owners of those properties with decaying buildings—they'll likely be thrilled to have someone clear out what they see as an eyesore, but what you see as highly covetable barn siding or a goldmine of old-growth pine shiplap. Searching your county's appraisal district website can help you identify property owners. (But definitely get permission from the owner first!)
6. The Home Depot
That's right, The Home Depot. The store sells disassembled pallets and crates that can be used for flooring, furniture, and accent walls. The heat-treated lumber is a grab bag of wood in mostly pine and oak and comes in a variety of lengths and thicknesses.
You Might Also Like