Reclaimed building materials have long been a great idea. The term has grown like wildfire on the Internet, especially over the past 15 or so years. Though, truth is that there have been junkyards and re-sale yards where demolition companies would “reclaim” any parts from demolished properties that they could resell.
While farmers used to reuse their old barn wood perhaps for kindling, or for making flooring in their own homes, they could also re-sell it. In more recent years, as farmers have died off without heirs, or with uninterested parties taking over the property, much of that great wood used to go to waste.
As people started getting into recycling and had to find a way to sell their ole antique restaurant bar, flooring from the 19th-Century firehouse, or built-in furniture from a craftsman style home, they turned to the Internet. As this happened, brokers, or companies that would sell reclaimed building materials, began popping up online.
Though, truth be told, many of them were actually around for many decades long before the term “reclaimed” ever surfaced. While it might sound like something used and very old should be cheap or inexpensive, it’s usually far from the case.
Reclaimed Materials Have Value
The reason they are so valuable is in the raw materials that they present for building projects. It could be that the size of the planks were wider in 1910, when the solid oak flooring was cut. Oh, and, add in that it may be a beautifully laid parquet herringbone floor that was hand-assembled by a craftsman and it skyrockets in value. That cost could be a lot more for a lower quality wood with sub par results in today’s market.
The idea is that the product is already made, so you have no fear of the unknown of how it might take a wrong turn. The other idea is that they just don’t make stuff like that anymore. People who purchase an antique bar or an antique fixture for their restaurant might know the quality of the workmanship, details, and plain interest in an old piece.
Even reclaimed brick may have the hand-hewn qualities and style that will fall much more naturally into place in an addition on an historic home, for instance. That’s part of the beauty of reclaimed. It may suit a home that was built in another era.
There are some wonderful architectural gems, like molding, fixtures, and uniquely created pieces that speak of the detail, materials, and craftsmanship of another era. Give reclaimed a chance and re-discover what was once new again.
Go with reclaimed brick, flooring, timbers, bars, marble, mosaic, pool tables, and even wall boards. It’s amazing the breadth of reclaimed materials that are available, thanks to the Internet. Be willing to ship far and wide, but be sure you are dealing with a reputable company that has many years in the business before sending out your money. You may be an unwilling victim of a scam otherwise.