Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Using Reclaimed Materials in a New Build

Using reclaimed building materials in a new house or in home décor projects is super trendy these days (in my opinion). I think we have to be very careful in how we go about doing this--especially in new construction. A few examples of reclaimed materials might be old wood, windows, brick, stone, architectural trim and interior moldings, old mantels, brackets, and so forth.

It's one thing to use some old wood to mill reclaimed wood flooring if it's from something that is local or that belonged to the property, but I think it's entirely another to rip historic architectural features out of abandoned properties with no concern as to its provenance or the context in which it was used.

I completely understand that people love a beautiful old mantel but I feel that I need to respect the piece's history and context in how it was used.  Don't get me wrong--I'm all for using old materials in order to recycle them especially if they have already been taken out of a property that was demolished--but let's not go stripping houses and buildings for their architecture before their fate is decided.

We are hoping to use a few reclaimed materials in our build--in particular some reclaimed heart pine for flooring. Heart pine was widely used in early North Carolina homes and other buildings-there are several lumber businesses in the area that specialize in using old, discarded heart pine wood. We may also use some stones from the property to use in the fireplace construction or for steps outside or around the porches. If we can find some nice old wood on the property that would be suitable we may even think about using the wood for beams or some shelving.
Below are some inspiration photos that I have saved of reclaimed materials used in new construction:


1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful to use old pieces in your home. It makes me wonder where they were used before and how.Its also a way to preserve our history. Thank you, this was fun to read.