Reclamation Lumber
It's alluring and desirablity About Reclaimed Wood

Upon arriving in America, the early Settlers found a country covered, for the most part, in majestic stands of both hard and softwoods which had grown relatively undisturbed for centuries. As these trees grew to become "forest giants" their growth rings became ever narrower. It is this density of growth rings which gives antique material part of its allure and desirability. This seemingly endless resource was quickly and efficiently harvested and utilized for everything the growing country needed. Wood was ubiquitous-buildings, tools, fuel, paper-anything and everything was fashioned from harvested trees. The mines, mills and factories of the burgeoning industrial era utilized first growth wood until it was all gone. The forests remaining today are mostly third and fourth growth and bear little or no resemblance to the original woodlands encountered by the Colonists. What remains of the original forest is preserved in the older homes and factories of the country. A mill, constructed before the Civil War, would likely contain trees that would have been 200 to 400 years old prior to harvest. As "Progress" leaves many of these buildings obsolete the challenge arises, as redevelopment is occurring simultaneously, as to the reallocation of the original building material whether it is timber, brick, stone or otherwise.

Our work of selectively "mining the industrial forest", reclaiming and remanufacturing vintage timber arises from this challenge. Sourcing and strategizing the adaptive reuse of this precious material has been both immensely challenging and rewarding. From the lengthy process of inspecting, acquiring, shipping, de-nailing, sorting, grading and inventorying of the material we have a fine sense of its highlights and best aesthetic and structural usage. We recognize the uniqueness of each offering and enjoy facilitating the progression of the material through our hands to the satisfied end user.

From a design perspective, Architects and Designers have exciting options available to them structurally and aesthetically-from 40' beams to millwork, flooring, paneling and cabinetry. Material can be utilized "as is" for a more rustic look or resawn and planed for a clean, contemporary finish. Inherent in the older material is the richness and variety of the color palette of the heart content of the tree which can only be approximated today with stains. Good communication between the lumber supplier, the builder, the architect and the homeowner is essential for a successful outcome as the nuances of each building's potential cache of material and the condition and consistency of this material widely varies. Utilizing reclaimed lumber can and will present challenges to the designer and builder who have not familiarized themselves with the materials' idiosyncrasies. One cannot simply pull siding off an old barn and begin installing it in a house. Moisture content, varying thicknesses and numerous other potential inconsistencies in the material can leave the uninitiated scratching their heads in search of a solution. Reclamation Lumber can greatly ease this aspect of working with reclaimed material.

424 Grand Avenue | New Haven, CT 06513 | Ph 1.203.752.1204 |

Greatier New Haven Classical Architectural & Classical America HBRA

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