Can You Sell Your Reclaimed Wood, and Just How Much is It Worth?

Did you know that some wood is as endangered as some animal species on this planet? It’s true. Because of natural or human-created blights, certain species of trees are going the way of the dinosaur. This has led to an increase in interest in reclaimed wood by contractors, designers, and home do-it-yourselfers. 

This is a great time to look around your property or even in your attic to see if you are the current owner of some precious building materials. However, selling reclaimed wood isn’t as straightforward as it seems. There are a variety of factors that can add or subtract from its value. Before you go about tearing down a barn or chest of drawers, talk to a pro about its worth and consider the following issues that can affect whether or not selling reclaimed wood will net you a profit.

Not All Lumber Is Created Equal

Knowing and following the lumber market is key to determining the worth of your material. As well, knowing what material you actually have is also essential in determining its value. For example, Douglas fir is a very common type of lumber in North America, so you would think that because supply is high, its value would be low. However, Douglas fir trees that were harvested several decades ago or more are of particular interest to interior designers, buyers, and builders. Why? Because those specific Douglas fir trees (now completely gone) are of a larger and hardier sort, which makes them a better building material and therefore highly sought after these days. It’s a good idea to talk to a lumber specialist to help you understand the kind of material you possess and where it sits in the lumber market. 

Some Reclaimed Wood Needs More Work

When selling reclaimed wood, the buyers take into consideration the amount of time and effort that will be required to prepare that wood for re-use. If you are lucky enough to have a stockpile of planks that are already in the right shape, then they can simply be sold as-is. 

Consider the beautiful antique dining tables that have become a contemporary trend among the sophisticated set looking to add a hint of authenticity and classic texture to their modern interior design. That perfect piece likely required very little in terms of repair and reconditioning. When a great deal of labor is involved in the reclamation process, this will obviously affect the total price you’re going to get. So again, talk to a specialist about the condition your lumber is in before you start counting your chickens.

You Shouldn’t Expect 100% Reclamation

Even though you think that every piece is precious and perfect for use, you may discover that not all of it can actually be reused. During the restoration and refurbishing procedure, up to 30% of the reclaimed wood may be sacrificed, discarded or simply ruined during deconstruction and re-manufacture. You should also not expect a company to simply come and purchase your demolished barn. There is no quick calculation.

Some structures are simply more valuable doing what they’re doing right now than they would be as reclaimed lumber. However, it’s hard to deny that the current market and trend is to see more reclaimed wood in contemporary designs and architectural details, so the fact is, you may want to get a second opinion before you decide what to do with your old barn. Determining the worth of your lumber is more of an art than simple mathematics, so find out today what treasure you may or may not be harboring.

Megan Risdon

CEO EcoChic

Megan Risdon is the CEO of EcoChic Lifestyles. She was inspired to found the company when she discovered the possibilities for crafting art furniture from colorful fishing boat wood.