Angie's List: Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood isn’t new, but it’s a red-hot trend in home interior design.

Ramsey Khalidi, of the Southern Pine Company in Savannah, Georgia, began salvaging unwanted wood back in the 1980s, when it required dumpster diving and the occasional bonfire rescue.

“(When) the internet was just starting out, I’ll never forget it, if you would like Google you would get 19, hits. Now there’s 6 million for reclaimed wood,” Khalidi says.

Khalidi is part of a booming industry of tradespeople who dismantle, refine and re-imagine old wood.

“One of the latest trends in remodeling that we’re seeing is using reclaimed wood from century-old barns or older buildings to add a focal point or even an accent wall in your home,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says.

The Tri-Lox company in Brooklyn, New York, harvests wood from high-rise rooftop water towers and old factories.

“We totally transform these materials from their previous use into something completely new, but yet show the history and the previous use as part of the features of that material,” Tri-Lox co-founder Alexander Bender says.

“If you’re looking to take advantage of this trend, the first step is to work with a qualified woodworker who will confirm they’ve got authentic reclaimed wood, and that it’s properly treated for your project,” Angie says.

Industry artisans say there’s virtually no limit for what the wood can be used for, and that if homeowners can imagine it, a good woodworker can create it.

“We get a lot of satisfaction out of repurposing this wood for new products and we hope they live on another 100 to 200 years afterward,” says Adam Dick of Hoosier Reclaimed Timber.

Angie says reclaimed wood is more expensive than other types of wood because of the time and skill it takes to acquire, treat and repurpose. But, the value of having a piece of living history in your home could be priceless.