Reclaimed Wood: Sweat + Time = Treasure

Things are moving ahead.  The pasture is  cleared of stacked wood (yay!), over half of the barn wood has been de-nailed and had the worst bits cut off, a large amount of 4x4s and 4x6s have been found and look great (!), and the tree overgrowth is getting whacked.  Feels good!

Those 4x4s and 4x6s are at a minimum 8 feet.  Some are over 12 feet.  Since they came from the barn’s interior, they are in perfect shape, other than some nails and green growth.  Well, everything here has green growth.  It’s the way of the Pacific Northwest to cover anything and everything with life….Anyway, the plan is to clean them up and use them in the build.  I’ve decided to use the 4x6s for the loft beams.  I love that by doing so, the supports can be placed much farther apart, thus making more perceived headroom underneath.  I also love not having to buy more lumber, and as always, I love reusing materials.  The 4x4s will be used as headers for the doors.  Nice!

Building a house on the cheap means compromises.  I’ve had to put up with piles of stuff EVERYWHERE for several years – even dragging some of the piles with me when I moved here.  It’s been absolutely worth it (for me, if not for house-mates or mothers).  Some of this stuff came free from a nearby closing metal recycling place, lots from the barn, Craigslist, the local ReStores, donations (which also involved accepting things I really didn’t want), and plain ol’ scrounging.  I’d call all that a compromise, when compared to a quick jaunt to the local lumber mill to buy exactly what you want, when you need it.  Another possible downside is the necessity of drawing up plans in accordance to what you have on hand instead of the other way ’round.

I don’t know.  I’ve been ok doing things this way, but I can see it being literally unbearable for other folks.  It adds a ton of effort.  If you can view it as an opportunity for creativity and thriftiness and keeping your carbon foot-print low, then the effort is worth it.  It becomes…an adventure.

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