TREND WATCH
Give Character to Your Homes’ Interiors
Reclaimed oak hit and miss flooring, reclaimed natural barnwood ceiling paneling, custom cabinetry and counters

With the rise in popularity of farmhouse-style home interiors, many homebuyers in Georgia are passionate about having true reclaimed lumber incorporated into the design of the new homes they would like to purchase. People have learned to value preservation, rather than just throwing everything away.

A great number of your potential homebuyer clients have done the research on reclaimed wood and have come to realize the benefits not only to the environment, but also to the appearance of a new home. They have come to appreciate the rich depths of beauty and the time-honored look and feel that aged wood offers. Antique lumber can add unusual character to a home’s interior through its unique patterns, colors and textures.

Superior Old-Growth Wood

In past centuries the virgin forests of the United States produced lumber that was quite different from the younger trees that are harvested today for home building purposes. In the massive, thick, old-growth forests of the Southeastern United States longleaf pine trees were exceptionally tall and broad. Reclaimed longleaf can offer longer and wider planks than what is available from new lumber. This vintage wood was also slower growing, which will provide a strength and stability superior to the relatively young trees that are currently harvested. During the Industrial Revolution, longleaf pine was a favorite species of wood used for building factories and warehouses.

Early settlers in the South built their barns using whatever trees were available on their property. Therefore, vintage barn wood from one hundred and fifty years ago is often a colorful mix of pine, hickory, poplar, chestnut and oak timbers that were hewn by hand with an axe. Some reclaimed lumber comes from exceedingly rare species no longer available commercially, such as American Chestnut which was hit by a devastating blight in the 1800s. American Chestnut that was harvested before the chestnut blight will not have the insect tracks common to the wood that is now referred to as wormy chestnut.

The Recovery Process

It is getting easier to find reclaimed lumber these days, since local shops are springing up all across Georgia, and there are national dealers as well. Wood that grew centuries ago and then aged naturally for years is being recovered from old houses, barns, wineries, and industrial buildings, as well as forests and