Thinking of using reclaimed barn wood in your next project? As a provider or heritage barn wood, we offer our experience working with homeowners, architects, and contractors to give you the top ten reasons that our customers choose authentic barn siding, flooring, or heavy timbers for their designs.
1. Aesthetic Character
One of the great characteristics of reclaimed barn wood is its practical usability in a variety of applications. Common uses include
- Exterior siding
- Interior paneling
- Heavy timber framing
- Accent features
Craftsman enjoy working with quality reclaimed materials because they are stable, strong, and straight due to their tight old growth rings and history of natural air drying. As we will discuss in #3, reclaimed barn wood can also be used in situations that modern lumber simply cannot stand up to when it comes to projects that require unusually large sizes. Usability is also enhanced by the ability to custom mill barn wood to achieve a wide variety of surface textures and profiles. For example, at our in-house milling facility, barn siding is made into flooring with the options of leaving 25%, 50%, or 100% of the original patina surface texture, along with different joinery profiles such as tongue and groove. Whether choosing to leave the original patina or reveal the handsome grain patterns with a fresh, smooth planed surface, reclaimed boards and timbers can be used to accommodate and enhance nearly any project.
3. The Story
This photo shows The Old Hill Place hand hewn log home in its original location, circa 1901. After a remodel in the 1920s, the original logs were covered with clapboards, hiding the valuable hand hewn treasures.
The Old Hill Place log home in 2018 after it was carefully dismantled and reconstructed at the Distinguished Boards and Beams headquarters in Carbondale, Colorado:
4. Environmental Responsibility
To many, sustainable building practices are integral to their planning, designing, and building work. Although architects and contractors may choose environmentally responsible materials for a variety of reasons, the number one driver of green building practices in the United States is client demand. Homeowners and business owners alike are moving increasingly more towards longterm, sustainable mindsets and the utilization of sustainable building materials for new projects or remodels.
In fact, a 2016 report conducted in 70 countries Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 "demonstrates that global green building continues to double every three years." The report also describes significant reductions in operating costs and increases in asset value year-over-year. With the challenge of finding suitable green materials in their growing demand and necessity, especially in the lumber industry, reclaimed barn wood provides an excellent solution. For this reason, projects incorporating barn wood are commonly eligible for LEED points.
6. Supporting Local Business
7. Old Growth Characteristics
One undeniable and desirable characteristic of most of the authentic reclaimed barn wood pieces that we see is the fact that they were cut during times when mature, old growth trees were abundant and easy to find. When clearing the land for new homes and agrarian structures, landowners would use the tallest, straightest trees for their projects. Once railroad systems were in place, lumber companies operating in pristine forest began harvesting, milling, and shipping the finest examples of old growth species throughout North America. By the 1940s most of North America's available old growth forests were depleted due to the Industrial Revolution. Our barn wood is marked by the characteristic tight growth rings and deep, rich grain patterns found in trees that had to compete naturally for sun and nutrients. This natural competition led to slower growth rates, which resulted in wood that is denser, stronger, and more durable. When compared to new growth wood, reclaimed old growth wood is unmatched in the following areas:
- Rot resistance