While on a walk this morning, I saw a creative way to give old wood a new lease on life. In this photo, a gardener used reclaimed lumber as stepping stones, making a path from the sidewalk to the gate. This salvaged wood, nice thick pieces of tongue-and-groove redwood, sits on a bed of gravel. I am not sure what keeps the separate pieces together — perhaps a pair of metal straps on the underside? I like the concept, and it is a smart way to recycle even short pieces or cut-offs.
Many clients want to take the green approach, and ask that I use reclaimed wood for their projects, or that I recycle framing lumber that was generated during demolition. In case of the latter, once they realize the cost involved in removing nails and other hardware, they often change their minds. In addition, old lumber is typically very dry, making it quick to split or splinter when nailed. With this I do not mean to say that salvaging old lumber is a bad idea. To the contrary, reclaimed wood not only extends the life cycle of a finite resource, but also lends character and that je ne sais quoi that new lumber just does not have. And some projects are simply more suitable to recycled products than others.
Have you used reclaimed wood on a green remodel project? How?