Frequently Asked Questions About Reclaimed Wood
How much is reclaimed wood?
The answer is – it depends. The cost of reclaimed wood varies based on where it comes from and its quality. A high-end, specialized wood company can charge up to $25/square foot for precision milled beams and boards. On the other hand, a property owner with an old barn might offer reclaimed wood for free if you come to haul it away yourself. With inexpensive or free reclaimed wood you will have to clean, disinfect, and mill it yourself for your project.
The price of our reclaimed Wyoming snow fence wood is based on economies of scale – the price becomes less expensive as the volume of your order increases. Because we have a continual supply of wood that is consistent in quality our prices are very competitive. We offer additional services like de-nailing, water-proofing/fire retardant sealing, and custom finishes. Fill out our price quote form, or call us at (307) 742-3672 for a free estimate.
Is Reclaimed Wood Safe?
Reclaimed barn wood or pallet wood is generally safe for exterior use. Use caution when installing reclaimed wood boards in an interior space as they often contain mold, mildew, high levels of VOCs, insects, lead paint, and/or traces of animal urine or fecal matter. Be sure to ask the reclaimed wood supplier if the boards have been heat treated in a kiln to eliminate mold, mildew, and insects. Even with kiln drying the dangers of VOCs and lead paint will remain.
Reclaimed wood from Wyoming snow fences is safe for indoor use in homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. The natural aging process results in reclaimed wood boards certified for low chemical emissions earning a GREENGUARD Gold certification from UL (United Laboratories). When buying reclaimed wood products for use indoors, be sure to look for a GREENGUARD or a GREENGUARD Gold certification
What is shiplap?
Shiplap is a milling process that creates rabbeted edges on boards so that they will overlap one another. The top edge of each board overlaps the bottom edges of adjacent boards to either create a flush, tight joint. Often shiplap boards are installed with an intentional gap between boards for aesthetics.
Centennial Woods offers both new and reclaimed shiplap boards. Our reclaimed shiplap boards are available in over a dozen different finishes.
Where to buy reclaimed wood?
The best way to buy safe, consistent, and sustainable woods is through Centennial Woods™. We offer nominal 1 x 6s, shiplap, nickel gap, wall panel planks, bevel lap, and flooring. If you’re unable to answer the question “where can I find reclaimed wood near me,” keep in mind that we ship to locations all over the globe. Contact us to tell us about your project and to receive a free estimate.
What is a snow fence”?
A snow fence is a structure that prevents snow drifts on roads. Its intent is to control where snow drifts form in specific locations (i.e. directly behind the snow fence structure). They are most commonly made from wooden slats from orange plastic. See our inforgraphic about snow fences.
A “Wyoming Snow Fence” is completely different. Wyoming snow fences control huge snow drifts from forming on highways and rural access roads. These wooden fences are between 6′ and 12′ tall and there are hundreds of miles of them throughout the state of Wyoming. These snow fences make it both safe and possible to travel during the brutal winters in Wyoming.
Centennial Woods™ installs and maintains the majority of snow fences in Wyoming. When we rebuild a line of snow fences we recycle the boards once they’ve been replaced. Watch our video to see how we create recycled lumber products. Our process of building/rebuilding Wyoming snow fence has created the largest and most consistent source of sustainable reclaimed wood in the world.
Where does reclaimed wood come from?
Reclaimed wood can take the form of wall paneling, furniture, beams, mantles, siding, flooring, and more. In the past, the most popular source for reclaimed wood has been old barns; as a result there are far fewer old barn structures standing than there were just a couple of years ago. Other sources are from old factories, gym floors, bowling alleys, sunken trees, and wine barrels.
Reclaimed snow fence planks derive from nominal 1 x 6 and 2 x 6 boards of a western, high altitude pine, spruce and fir mix. We reclaim the 1 x 6 boards continually, but the 2 x 6 boards have limited availability. We mill these reclaimed boards into wall and ceiling paneling, shiplap, nickel gap, straight-edge planks, tongue and groove, as well as flooring.
What is the lead time for reclaimed wood?
Reclaimed snow fence wood is naturally aged in the high plains and mountains of Wyoming at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level or more. During the summer the sun bakes and dries the boards making them inhospitable to insects. In the Winter the wind and snow carve out the grain of the wood giving it its unique texture and patina. It takes from 7 to 15 years for the boards to develop the desired patina.
Once the boards are reclaimed, they are hauled to the Centennial Woods facility in Laramie, WY. Production times to process and mill the boards are constantly adjusting based on the weather, road conditions, wildlife migration, and accessibility mandates from the Bureau of Land Management. Call 307-742-3672 or contact us for up-to-date information.
How old is reclaimed wood or the reclaimed wood definition?
Technically, reclaimed wood can be anywhere from a couple of days to hundreds of years old. Reclaimed wood is wood that came into existence for one purpose and was then reused for another purpose. Recycled pallet wood is generally 1 to 5 years old. Barn wood is usually 30 years old or more. Reclaimed snow fence wood is between 7 and 15 years old and reclaimed wood sourced from buildings in Europe or Asia is often hundreds of years old.
Are there differences in quality and consistency between recycled or reclaimed wood sources?
Most suppliers of naturally aged reclaimed wood have limited supplies due to sourcing their wood from multiple locations around the country. This results in varying dimensions, quality, aesthetic and even toxicity. Even boards reclaimed from the same barn can look completely different, especially the boards that are southern-facing that were exposed to sunlight all year.
Centennial Woods boasts the largest and most consistent system to source sustainable, reclaimed wood boards. Our wood ages on the fence anywhere from 7 to 15 years. Some sections of our 12’ tall fences are nearly a mile long and the boards all face in the same direction getting identical sun exposure year after year, which provides a consistent coloration to the boards. Even though our wood is aged we reclaim the wood at the optimal time, where a rich patina has been developed, but there are still many years of usability for interior or exterior applications.
What kind of milling options are available for reclaimed wood?
For those that like the look of reclaimed wood, but want the product to install like new lumber, we offer the following in-house milling options: tongue and groove, shiplap, bevel lap, resawn, straight edging, planing to consistent thickness, and skip planing.
Is reclaimed wood sustainable?
Sustainability can be interpreted a couple different ways in relation to reclaimed wood. The two questions are, “Is the reclamation process good for the Earth?” and “is the reclamation process able to be maintained at a certain rate?”. Most reclaimed wood boards from barns and pallets are not that great for the Earth because they must be heat treated in a kiln (a very energy-intensive process) to kill/sanitize insects, mold, mildew, and remnants of animal urine/fecal matter. Additionally, many of these boards may have been subjected to chemical treatments or lead paint sometime in their history. To answer our second question, most sources for reclaimed wood are finite. Both Barns and wood pallets are not sustainable per se, as once they are disassembled they can’t be disassembled again.
Unlike barn wood or pallet wood, reclaimed snow fence wood is naturally free from toxins, safe for indoor use, and ready to be used in net zero projects. Since heat treating is unnecessary, our wood arrives as a carbon-negative product even if you are located across the Atlantic or Pacific. Our wood is 100% natural and has not been treated with chemicals or exposed to barnyard animal waste. The extremely low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels in our wood makes it an ideal choice when indoor air quality. In fact, this product is certifed GREENGUARD Gold for low chemical emissions. By building, maintaining, and rebuilding the snow fences in Wyoming we have created the largest known source/system for producing naturally aged, sustainable reclaimed wood. Centennial Woods is truly sustainable from in a number of aspects… not a claim most other reclaimed wood companies can make.
Can I get LEED v4® points by using reclaimed wood?
Reclaimed wood contributes toward satisfying Credits MR3, MR4 and MR5 under LEED v4®. Provided that the source is certified as either FSC® Recycled 100% or reclaimed to process your claim for credits.
Reclaimed Wyoming snow fence wood is certified FSC® Recycled 100% recycled and is certified for low chemical emissions (VOCs) for projects like schools, hospitals, and senior centers qualifying for these additional credits under GREENGUARD Gold:
- 2015 International Green Construction Code
- 2018 International Green Construction Code
- ASHRAE 189.1 2014
- LEED v4 – Building Design & Construction
- LEED v4 – Interior Design & Construction
- LEED v4 O+M: Existing Buildings
- LEED v4 O+M: Existing Buildings
- NAHB Green Building Standard 2015
- US EPA Recommendations for Federal Purchasing
Is there any kind of maintenance with reclaimed wood?
Some reclaimed wood products do require occasional maintenance. Most wall paneling made from reclaimed wood won’t require any special care unless a custom finish has been applied. There are limitations to where reclaimed wood can be installed based on fire codes and humid climates.
Reclaimed snow fence wood is generally a maintenance-free product. We do make recommendations for certain situations. For example, exterior siding or wall paneling in a humid room (like a bathroom or pool house) should be coated with Centennial Seal™.
NOTE: DO NOT use other sealants before testing, as most other products will turn reclaimed wood a very dark color due to other sealants covering the surface. Keep in mind the color and texture of our reclaimed wood will continue to change when exposed the sun and elements, in an exterior application. Additionally, we offer Flame Stop II® for commercial projects or residential projects like fireplace surrounds to meet local fire codes, as needed.
Can I specify a color range for my wood?
Most reclaimed wood suppliers are unable to comply with this request since their wood is sourced from multiple locations. They will offer some range of colors based on the main color desired. Although, it is possible to achieve a more specific color range through the use of stains.
At Centennial Woods, our naturally aged wood is primarily gray with other brown, yellow, and cinnamon tones in the mix, depending on your selection of product. The overall color schemes on our wood is consistent from week to week, but natural variation should always be expected. That said, if requests are within reason, we will do our best to satisfy your desired aesthetic; please keep in mind this can increase the price and extend the lead time of your delivery. Additionally, we offer finishes that incorporate stains and distressed paint techniques.
Will the color of reclaimed wood change or vary over time?
The color, hue, and patina of reclaimed wood will slowly continue to change from year to year; especially so if used as exterior siding. Exterior walls facing south (in the northern hemisphere) will age more quickly due to direct sun exposure.
What are the most common problems and solutions with reclaimed wood?
Problem 1. Limited and unreliable sources like barns or old factories.
Centennial Woods has a consistent source of wood from hundreds of miles of 12’ tall snow fences in Wyoming.
Problem 2. Lack of consistency from different reclamation locations month to month.
Centennial Woods’ snow fence sections can be nearly a mile long and all face in the same direction getting the same sun exposure year after year.
Problem 3. Inconsistent dimensions.
Centennial Woods has state of the art milling equipment.
Problem 4. Invisible dangers from chemical treatments and animal waste.
Centennial Woods’ reclaimed wood is aged naturally, above ground, in the plains and mountains of Wyoming.
Problem 5. Buried nails can cause injury or destroy tools.
Centennial Woods offers de-nailing services on all reclaimed wood products.
Problem 6. Inability to buy large, consistent and quality quantities year after year.
Centennial Woods has the largest source/system of consistent reclaimed wood on the planet.