Going green in home improvement has never been easier. Using surplus, salvage and eco-friendly building materials can save time and the planet. Old wood, in particular, brings wonderful history and texture to your home and garden, making it a sustainable choice for homeowners today.
Are you interested in putting old wood to new use in your exterior and interior home improvement projects? Not sure where to start? Check out these 5 Ways to Use Old Wood in New Home Improvement Project. Sure to get you thinking about ways to salvage everything from sticks and branches in your yard to old planks and beams from garden sheds and Yankee barns.
Old Wood Flooring, Planks, Trim and Beams. Many companies, like Mountain Lumber in Ruckersville, Virginia salvage antique oak, heart pine, chestnut, hickory and ash from old houses, barns and factories to fashion beautiful flooring, trim and beams. Many houses and subdivisions today have that “same old, same old” look about them. Reclaimed beams from antique barns and mills can set your home apart from the rest, adding style and architectural significance to your home and garden. The wood that is reclaimed or salvaged is carefully removed so that it retains its value and beauty. The relatively new “deconstruction” market is a green alternative to demolition and puts old wood to new purpose. Keep in mind: installing old wood is not a good alternative for everyone. If you want something picture perfect, the inherent flaws in wood that’s been reclaimed might drive you up the wall. In addition, buying reclaimed wood for flooring trim and beams may cost a little extra than what you might purchase from a lumber wholesaler like Lumber Liquidators. Lumber that’s been reclaimed and milled may also take a little longer to receive and install than material you buy from Home Depot or Lowes. Using old wood requires homeowners do their homework and consult with contractors as well as deconstruction pros to find out what kind of salvaged material would work best in your home improvement or remodeling project.
Old Wood Interior and Exterior Doors. There’s nothing like a door for your home, patio or outbuilding that’s got a story to tell. Companies like Old Wood Workshop , featured in leading home and garden magazines, in Pomfret Center, Connecticut sell old wood doors that have been milled long ago or made by craftsmen for use in today’s homes and commercial spaces. Check out the wide assortment of stylized doors, plain doors, and doors from sheds and barns. Salvage yards and deconstruction businesses have vintage doors in every size, shape and width. When you purchase and install these eco-friendly, sustainable items, a door will never be “just a door” ever again. Keep in mind: Buying and installing an old door will require expert advice on how best to frame your vintage door, if the frame does not come along with it. You’ll also need to inspect the hinges and screws on the door. Sometimes these are quite old and need to be replaced or refashioned.
Old Wood in Garden Beds and Landscaping. Using old wood in today’s garden seems like a no-brainer. But, reclaimed wood adds that extra dimension to your lawn and garden. Some homeowners buy Lincoln-style logs to frame their garden beds. Others go with stacked sides and more. Still others add wooden wheelbarrows, stumps, windmills and vintage signs to make their home and gardens shine. The skies the limit in how you can repurpose old wood to make your landscape soar with friends and neighbors alike. Keep in mind: You’ll want to inspect old wood before you use in in your vegetable garden or to enhance your landscape. Check for rot and termites before you invest in vintage wood materials. If you have small children, some of these items may carry splinters or present a hazard. Check with the pros for ideas on what would work in your next home improvement and landscaping project.
Vintage Wood Wine Racks, Tables and Headboards. Salvaged wood goes a long way in making a home’s interior super special. Some deconstruction companies like Heritage Salvage in Petaluma, California sell vintage wine racks for your home. These old wood wine racks will make your next wine tasting super special. Other salvage outfits will mill and fashion old doors and windows into tables and headboards. There’s a lot you can do with old, vintage wood that will set your home apart from the rest. Shop around to get a sense of what’s out there. Visit your local architectural salvage store and warehouse. Consult with the pros on how to unify your home’s interior with reclaimed wood and vintage items.
Antique Wood Mirrors. Deconstruction firms know that old wooden mirrors are hot properties on the salvage market today. Old wood has such character and appeal. Framing a mirror with old wood is such a logical second life for cherry, poplar, oak, and, even, Douglas Fir. Keep in mind: you’ll pay a little more for these vintage, wooden mirrors (upwards of $150) but they’re well worth the price. Thirty years ago, I bought an old oak mirror from an antiques dealer in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, one that still hangs in my foyer and reminds me of days long gone by.
Building Materials Reuse Association
Green Living Guide
Green Building Supply