Reclaimed Wood: What It Is and What You Should Know About It

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 01 Oct, 2015
What Is Reclaimed Wood Reclaimed wood is a sustainable material used in new construction or in remodeling projects. It’s a processed wood retrieved from an original application with the intent for it to be reused. Simply put it’s old wood used for a new purpose. Reclaimed wood is often rescued from old houses, old barns, factories […] The post Reclaimed Wood: What It Is and What You Should Know About It appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
Our collections of reclaimed wood boards are organized into groupings in our shop

Our collections of reclaimed wood boards are organized into groupings in our shop

What Is Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is a sustainable material used in new construction or in remodeling projects. It’s a processed wood retrieved from an original application with the intent for it to be reused. Simply put it’s old wood used for a new purpose. Reclaimed wood is often rescued from old houses, old barns, factories and warehouses. Or it may come from other sources including box cars, shipping crates and wine barrels.
Using reclaimed wood is not a new concept, but we’ve seen a surge in its popularity with the focus on green building.

What You Should Know About Reclaimed Wood

When you use reclaimed wood you give old wood new life, and preserve forests by not using virgin woods. Instead you use older wood that is perfectly usable.
Reclaimed wood has a story and offers a slice of history. The reclaimed pieces you see in a home, hotel, bar or other building may have came from a dismantled distillery or a farmer’s barn. The use of historical wood gives the designer a range of colors and grains to work with in creating a unique look. When you see reclaimed wood used in an application you can pick up on clues of its previous use by the holes, bumps or variations in the grain and colors. Hand-hewn beams may still bear the saw marks from when it was originally cut. Other pieces of reclaimed wood may have a color or patina created from weathering over many years.

How Reclaimed Wood is Acquired and Processed

When salvaging wood part of the process is finding it before it is taken to a landfill. This can mean scouting for demolitions or building renovation sites. Some sorting must occur to find the high quality pieces of wood, and this may mean sorting wood by hand, and removing nails and bolts.

Quality

While reclaimed wood is used it’s not the typical used wood you might find leftover from a project. It’s aged, and recycled, and was harvested many years ago. Sometimes the wood is even mostly intact, such as with large beams. Other times it may be re-milled and sawn into planks. But regardless it’s of a higher quality you won’t find today. Most reclaimed wood is from an era before today’s construction and milling methods. The wood was taken from mature trees that grew slowly over hundreds of years. It grew in a natural environment for many years where it became stronger and more durable; aging also brings out colors in the wood. Planks and beams created from old growth wood is larger and wider than the lumber of today. The age and character of reclaimed wood can’t be duplicated as old-growth wood is mostly no longer available.

How We Use Reclaimed Wood

Take a look at our website, and you’ll notice several projects where we use reclaimed wood. Here are a few:

Colorado Cottage reclaimed wood wainscot option

Our Colorado Cottage decor package is a floor to ceiling log siding treatment along with wainscoting and accent logs you can use to change the style of the interior of your home. We use reclaimed wood or barn boards for the wainscoting in this package.
 
 

Cleaned reclaimed wood countertop in a raw, pre-pour state in our shop

We make custom countertops and bar tops which are made from reclaimed wood from old barns and factories. We finish them with a durable high gloss resin to make them long-lasting and resistant to stains and wear and tear. Their durability is proven after years of high use in many of the hotels and restaurants we’ve installed them in.
 
 

Real barn board paneling is used behind the desk in this hotel room.

J. Thompson Builders has helped in the building of the Stoney Creek line of hotels since 1997. In 2009 when we opened our custom fabrication shop we were able to take over engineering all of the interior trim and finish work for the hotel line. Their newest hotel is located in Independence, MO. We used reclaimed wood throughout much of the building. You can see examples of that in this piece about our involvement in building the hotel.
 
 
 

The reclaimed wood countertop immediately after installation in the hotel

Stoney Creek Inn commissioned us to create a bar top to match an upper bar already installed in their hotel. We made the bar top from 100+ year old reclaimed wood. By using reclaimed wood we matched the style of the other bar top while also using a product which is hardier than newer woods.

 

 

Buyer Beware

Some may try to make a quick buck off the reclaimed wood trend by selling lower quality or fake products. Make sure the wood has been properly treated. Do your research to ensure you are buying from a reputable resource.

Bottom Line

When choosing whether or whether not to use reclaimed wood, the choice is as simple as knowing with reclaimed wood you are acquiring strong, old-growth wood, and you are also taking care of the planet while giving your home or business a unique, beautiful style.
Next Steps

J. Thompson Builders Blog

By 7052540976 15 Nov, 2017
Some of these considerations may not be in the forefront of your mind, but there is a long list of aspects you need to consider when building a new home. These should help to get you started thinking about some of the most important pieces of the home building process.
By 7052540976 15 Oct, 2017
This home is being built with our client’s specific wants and needs in mind. The homeowner
requested a single family home with a modern contemporary house design. Previously, he lived
in a townhome and desired a more private, spacious residence. A main floor living with a large
space to entertain and big volume ceilings were a must on the client’s list.

The client decided building as opposed to finding a pre-existing home was a better solution for
him because he wants something specific to his needs. He already had the perfect location in
mind and it was time for him to own his dream home.

The area is ideal for this client because it allows him to live in close proximity to his hobbies and
interests and it also allows him the ability to walk to nearby restaurants or bike to the
surrounding shops. This homeowner will be close to everything. He truly loves the location!
The design concept picked is pictured below. In sticking with a contemporary influence, the
design has clean, simple lines that will result in an extraordinary modern home. We combined
elements of residential and commercial materials and design to bring our client’s unique requests to life.
By 7052540976 15 Sep, 2017

You decide that you are ready to build a custom home for you and your family. Now it is time to figure out how to finance your dreams!

Let’s start with the basics. As with any loan process, do your research. Talk to several mortgage companies that specialize or have a strong understanding/history of working with construction loans. Ask questions and voice your concerns. Companies of course want your business, but they also want to make sure they are a good fit for you and what you are wanting to accomplish. Reviews and referrals are strongly regarded these days. They want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

There are several main differences between a construction loan and a regular existing home loan. An individual construction loan may require a longer credit history  or a higher credit score as well as more money down and along the way. It is more of a process, but it is most certainly worth it. With the right builder, the more involved process becomes a piece of cake; but, that is an article for another time.

Home loans can have a 30 year term whereas a construction loan typically has a max of 1 year. “The rates on this type of loan are higher than rates on permanent mortgage loans. To gain approval, the lender will need to see a construction timetable, detailed plans and a realistic budget, sometimes called the “story” behind the loan,” as reported by  bankrate . While your home is being built, it is typical to make interest-only payments. 

If you are thinking, “I don’t have enough money to pay off a newly built home in 1 year!” Don’t panic.

A popular option is the construction-to- permanent financing sometimes called “one-time close,” a “single close,” or an "all-in-one" loan. Upon completion of construction, the remaining loan balance is converted into a permanent mortgage with terms up to 30 years. Like most loans, “the rate and other terms of the permanent mortgage are set up-front when the entire loan package is closed” according to the  National Association of Home Builders .  Construction/permanent loans are offered by many different lenders, including banks and mortgage companies and are a great option for those of us wanting to finance their home purchase over an extended period of time.

Another option is a stand-alone construction loan. This type of loan can be beneficial if you currently own your home and want a smaller down payment option.   Read more about stand alone construction loans.

There are many different loan options. What makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for everyone. Make sure you find the right product for you and your particular project. If you want to talk over some options, contact us! We would love to hear your ideas and figure out how we can build your dream home.

View our work , read our reviews on Houzz.com , and visit our Facebook page to get inspired!
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By Jeremy Thompson 15 Jun, 2017
We’ve offered you lots of advice over the years about building a custom home. Here is a condensed version of some of the most important tips to follow. Get on the fast track to planning your new custom home! 7 Tips for Building a Custom Home Pay attention to your subdivision covenants. Yes, these are […] The post Building a Custom Home: 7 Quick Tips appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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Whether building a house or undertaking a remodel you have the opportunity to design your house to suit your tastes and needs. There are many flooring options available, each with unique characteristics and design. Since flooring is a long-lasting part of the house it is important to choose the right floor for each room that […] The post 5 High-Quality Flooring Options Available for Your Home appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 May, 2017
Building a new home is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and satisfaction as you watch your vision come to life. However, it can also be a little overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with some of the technical terms. To help remedy this we’ve defined a few of the custom home building terms you may hear […] The post 5 Key Terms to Understand in Custom Home Building appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 May, 2017
Whether you’ve just unpacked your first box or you’ve been living in your house for years, chances are there’s something about your home you’ve desired improving. However, before beginning a project there are a few key home remodeling terms you should become familiar with. Understanding these terms will help you navigate conversations with your remodeling […] The post 6 Key Home Remodeling Terms to Understand Before Beginning a Project appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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