Reclaimed wood is much more expensive than buying new wood from the hardware store. Instead of paying a cheap price that makes it easy to pick up a couple of 2×4’s, reclaimed wood comes at a premium. But for that premium, you’ll have wood with a story and unique characteristics different from newer and cheaper wood.

So why does reclaimed wood cost so much? We’re here to help you understand the cost.

One of a Kind Characteristics

Wood ceiling panels. Reclaimed wood projects

One of the biggest reasons reclaimed wood can cost so much more than standard wood is because of the unique characteristics it has. When wood has been aging for 50 to 150 years, it will have dents, divots, scratches, and scrapes. Over time the wood will go from seeming damaged to having amazing character. Sometimes the character comes from these imperfections, and other times it comes from sanding and refinishing old pieces of wood.

The story that the wood can tell is truly priceless. In many ways, after reclaimed wood is installed, it becomes a conversation piece and a focal point of the home.

The Harvesting Process

There are generally two main expenses when it comes to reclaimed wood: harvesting and reclaiming process. Harvesting refers to going out and getting or finding the wood. Depending on where the wood is being harvested, it can take a significant amount of time to collect it. Common places where it’s harvested include:

Old or abandoned:

  • Barns
  • Factories
  • Warehouses
  • Wine barrels
  • Old houses

When you purchase reclaimed wood from a premium lumber yard, they should be able to tell you exactly where it came from and the process that went into securing it. This might also allow you to know how old the wood is before you install it. Because reclaimed lumber has aged so significantly, it’s often much stronger and more secure than typical or standard wood.

Old wood barn to use for reclaimed wood.

Reclaiming Process

After the wood has been harvested from its initial resting place, it will need to go through an extensive reclaiming process. When wood is harvested it can be in many different conditions. Sometimes it’s rotted, sometimes it’s full of nails and other metals. Whatever the case, the wood needs to be treated so that it’s ready to be installed in someone’s home.


De-nailing is one of the very first steps of reclaiming wood. De-nailing refers to not only removing nails from the wood but also removing any other metal that might be present in the wood. There can be screws, hinges, or any number of other metal pieces lodged in the old wood from its previous life. If you’re ever reclaiming wood on your own, be sure to pay special attention to this process as it’s one of the most important steps. Missing even a single nail could cause significant problems during the steps that follow.

Milling and Sorting

Milling is step two in the process. During milling, the wood is stripped down and cut into pieces that are more useful for installation. An example of this is when a large board is cut down into smaller pieces so they work better for flooring or wall paneling. The milling process doesn’t take a significant amount of time, but it is hard work.

When the wood is milled, it will also be sorted. That way, we know what the different types of wood are. This also enables us to determine how to best treat and prepare it.

Kiln Drying and Treating

The last two steps are treating and kiln drying. All wood is kiln-dried before it reaches you as a consumer. A kiln dryer is like a huge oven for wood. The reclaimed wood is placed inside the dryer and then baked. As the wood bakes, all of the moisture is removed, and the wood becomes even more firm. By doing this, we can ensure that the reclaimed wood is stable and that the quality won’t deteriorate over time.

Benefits of Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed woods add more value to a home or business space because of the thought and intention of using reclaimed wood. Additionally, a building project that’s looking to be a green building can use reclaimed wood because it’s a sustainable and renewable resource. While using reclaimed lumber might be slightly more expensive, there are several benefits. Here’s why you should consider reclaimed wood:

  • Reclaimed wood is a renewable and sustainable resource.
  • Reclaimed wood offers character and versatility.
  • The wood can act as a conversation starter and focal point in your home.
  • Exposed wood in any home adds style, class, and warmth.

Why Choose Reclaimed Wood

There are two reasons why you might choose to pay extra for reclaimed wood. Either you really like the way reclaimed wood looks, or you enjoy the positive impacts that reclaimed wood has on the environment. Reclaimed wood furniture is another way to incorporate reclaimed lumber in your home or office. Reclaimed wood furniture may be more expensive than standard wood furniture, but you’re able to say that the furniture was made from renewable and recycled materials.

The environmental impact of reusing wood instead of disposing of it is critical. In many cases, the wood that is reclaimed would have been thrown away or disposed of instead of being used again. By re-using it, you’re not only eliminating waste, but you’re reducing the number of trees that would have been newly harvested.

If you’re considering reclaimed wood for your home, reach out to Manomin Resawn Timbers. We specialize in premium reclaimed wood that can be used in a variety of ways. You can learn more about the wood that we’ve produced on our website. Be sure to check out our blog for more reclaimed wood resources as well!