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Reclaimed Wood Buying Guide

What It Is, Where to Buy It, and How to Build With It.

We explain what reclaimed wood is, where to buy it, and why it adds charm and history to any space.

Where does reclaimed wood come from?


Wood is reclaimed from many places, the most common being:


  • Old barns

  • Houses

  • Factories

  • Textile mills

  • Turn of the century structures

  • Cargo ships and boats

  • Mushroom boards


As a reclaimed wood seller, our job is to source the wood, inspect it for reusability, and prepare it for reuse. We also build custom reclaimed wood projects for clients who need our woodworking expertise.


What kind of reclaimed wood do I need for my project?


Reclaimed wood can be used in many projects, but the most common we see are:

  • Furniture (tables, shelves, cabinets, desks, etc.)

  • Fireplace mantels

  • Bars and countertops

  • Doors

  • Flooring

  • Walls

  • Ceilings, beams, and rafters

  • Bowls and cutting boards


Different types of reclaimed wood are better suited for certain projects, which is best explained in person when we can show you what wood is available and discuss your needs.


What are the pros and cons of reclaimed wood?


The biggest pro of reclaimed wood--and why you’re likely considering it--is its unique character. You’ll likely find old nail holes, weathering, discoloration, cracks, scuffs, saw marks, and the like in repurposed wood. Those are signs of its past life serving other purposes. That’s its charm, and it gives it a rustic or rugged personality that new wood can’t match


As for cons, reclaimed wood can have irregularities like cracks or warping that make it unsuitable for some reuse projects. The wood could have been a wall of a barn or a factory floor that withstood decades of weather and wear. Special care needs to be taken when preparing wood for reuse, which is part of what we do as a reclaimed wood supplier.


We take care to inspect our reclaimed wood inventory to remove pieces that are damaged beyond reuse, and we take precautions to eliminate any wood-destroying organisms lurking in our hand-hewn timbers. 


That said, you should still expect more wastage than you’d get with new wood, so plan your project accordingly. Our staff will gladly help you pick the right reclaimed wood for your material needs.

Is reclaimed wood sustainable?

Yes, reclaimed wood is inherently sustainable because by definition it's old wood recycled into something new. By reclaiming and reusing wood, you lessen demands on the environment caused by foresting and manufacturing. Reclaimed wood is also one of the ways you can still get old-growth wood since many of those trees are now protected by logging regulations.

Where can I buy reclaimed wood?

Certain lumber mills and construction material suppliers make it their job to find sources of reclaimed wood, and we just so happen to be one such supplier. Since 2009, Atlanta Specialty Woods has carried a large inventory of reclaimed wood, so get in touch to describe what you're planning to build so we can propose the right type of wood. We can also mill your order to specs on our sawmill and dry it in our dehumidification kiln.

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