Reclaimed Timber: Three Crucial Considerations for Construction Material Selection

Posted on: 27 October 2017

If you are planning on building a wooden structure, you should think about using reclaimed or recycled timber for the project. This choice is eco-friendly because it reduced the demand on forests for virgin wood. Also, reclaimed wood has unique aesthetic appeal. In simple terms, you will find diverse materials from old trees, and their appearance cannot be replicated. Additionally, you will discover that recycled lumber is cheaper than new alternatives. On the other hand, you should remember that the material is used and could be faulty. Therefore, consider the below-outlined factors before choosing old timber materials for reuse. 

Wood Species

When purchasing reclaimed wood for your project, you should evaluate the wood species before making your decision. The choice of wood will determine the appearance of the timber, potential usage and even the durability. If you are planning on building structures which are exposed to heavy usage such as floors, you should look for hardwood lumber. This type of material will provide longer service than softwood alternatives. On the other hand, if you are building sheds or thinking of installing the wood vertically, you can save money by buying light wood materials. When evaluating the appeal of the pieces, make sure to check the flow of the wood grain, the colour and knot imperfections.

Structural Integrity

You should examine your wood materials to ensure that they are structurally sound. If you purchase wood that cannot withstand mechanical pressure during use or the stress of construction processes, you will experience significant financial losses. When choosing the materials, you should look for pproducts which are dry and tight. Wet wood will change as it dries. If you install the timber in your home, the pieces will crack over time due to the natural loss of moisture. Also, you should make certain that the boards have no soft, rotting or mouldy sections. 

External Condition

Finally, you should check the external condition of the timber. If the old wood has not been processed, you should expect significant imperfections from the previous applications. You should make sure that you can handle the level of flaws before purchase. For example, if the wood was painted, the coatings should be removable with relative ease. Small cracks are acceptable as long as they can be filled with epoxy or other fillers. If there are nails attached, ensure that they can be removed without wood damage. 

For the best results, you should only consider acquiring reclaimed wood from experienced and highly-rated suppliers.