Reclaimed Wood Definition

by Neal Litherland - Updated August 21, 2018

With the enhanced focus on green building and environmentally friendly construction, contractors and crews have been working hard to come up with solutions to keep their business while preserving nature. One of the more popular solutions that are currently being used is to make use of reclaimed wood.


Reclaimed wood is wood that was previously used in the building of another structure which, when disassembled, is recycled and used in a new building. This is particularly common when large, wooden beams are used, and are transplanted from a building such as a barn into another building of a similar size. However, reclaimed wood can be used to make floors, furniture, or a variety of other things.


Using reclaimed wood is one of the purest forms of recycling in the construction industry. Demolishing one structure carefully, and then using the parts to build new ones, can have many advantages. For one thing, new lumber isn't required, so new trees don't have to be cut. For another, reclaimed wood may not have to be shaped, only transported, which saves on time and labor costs.

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Using reclaimed wood is cheaper in many cases than using new wood. If a building is being demolished, the cost to buy the materials will be cheaper than buying new lumber. The reclaimed wood should already be treated and cut, so it will save costs on additional work.


Reclaimed wood comes in as large a variety as new lumber does. Whether it's pine, oak, mahogany, or any other variety of wood, if it's been used to build a structure at one point, and that structure is torn down or disassembled, then the reclaimed wood will be on the market for new buildings.


Using reclaimed wood can often save on labor costs and time. If a support beam or column is needed in a certain dimension, and that beam can be bought from a barn that was torn down, all that's necessary is to transplant the beam to the new project. The beam will need minimal shaping to fit its new home, whereas fresh lumber would have to be cut more extensively, and probably treated as well. As such, reclaimed wood can be a real bargain.


About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

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