Reclaimed wood can be used for a variety of purposes. Although most people think it is used primarily for flooring; it can easily be used in a number of applications. Most of the time wood is salvaged from older barns and industrial buildings, but it can be a part of responsible forestry management. In that case, wood is reclaimed from deadfalls after a forest fire. The reason many people like to use it is the quality, straight grain and patina that old wood provides.
Hand hewn beams add a lot of character to a home. These are 100-200 years old and the marks on them were made by an axe, not by modern machinery. They make excellent architectural trusses and details. Flooring and paneling are other uses for reclaimed wood. Oak, maple, elm, hickory, beech, pine and chestnut can all be used for floors or paneling for walls. They have a color that natural aging over hundreds of years produces and the nail holes, cracks, and insect scarring just add to the character of the wood.
Furniture makers also use reclaimed wood to make one of a kind piece that will be treasured for years to come. Some are made of one type of wood, but I have seen some really attractive pieces made from multiple woods. Smaller pieces are often used by crafters to make birdhouses and other decorative items. Mantels made from old beams are very attractive and often you can purchase intact mantels taken from older homes and other buildings. They can be altered to some degree but it is best to have something fairly close to the size you need to avoid ruining the proportions of the mantel.
Structural beam wraps can be made of rough sawn beams creating a skin for a variety of effects on interior and exterior projects. They can wrap around an existing beam creating the look of an antique. They can also be made to mimic log cabins. Barn siding is another type of reclaimed wood. The timbers taken from the exterior of the barn have a unique aged look that cannot be duplicated. No two barn boards will look exactly alike. They are appropriate for interior and exterior use.
Whether you are remodeling or building something entirely new; consider using some reclaimed wood for your project. Youll more than likely save money and have something that will look like its been around forever.
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