Reclaimed Wood FAQs

The Top Answers to  Frequently Asked Questions About Reclaimed Wood

Where to buy reclaimed wood?

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a retail reclaimed wood store the best way to buy safe, consistent, and sustainable distressed wood is through Centennial Woods online or over the phone. Although we’re located in Wyoming we can ship all over the world. We sell nominal 1 x 6s, shiplap, wall planks, siding, and more. If you are unable to answer the question “where can I find reclaimed wood near me,” contact us to tell us about your project and to receive a free estimate.

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 sourced from unique and or historic locations. On the other hand, a property owner with an old shed might offer reclaimed wood for free if you agree to haul it away. Keep in mind, with cheap or free reclaimed wood you will have to clean, disinfect, and mill it yourself.

The price of real reclaimed wood online ranges between $7 and $14 per square foot. Our reclaimed Wyoming snow fence wood is sourced from a continual supply of wood that is consistent in quality. Our prices are very competitive and are at the lower end of the price spectrum. We offer additional services like de-nailing, water-proofing, fire retardant application, and custom colors. Call us at (307) 742-3672 or get a free estimate.

Is Reclaimed Wood Safe?

Reclaimed barn wood and pallet wood is generally safe for exterior use. Use caution when installing reclaimed wood in an interior space as they often contain mold, mildew, VOCs, insects, toxic chemicals, lead paint, and/or traces of animal waste. 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).

Learn more about the dangers of non-certified reclaimed wood.

What is shiplap wood?

ShiplapShiplap is a milling process that creates rabbeted board edges so boards will overlap one another to help with water-proofing and/or weather-proofing. The rabbeted top edge of each board overlaps the rabbeted bottom edges of adjacent boards to create a flush, tight joint. Sometimes shiplap boards are installed with an intentional gap between boards for aesthetic reasons; these referred to as nickel gap boards.

What is a snow fence?

A snow fence directs blowing snow and is made from either wooden slats or orange plastic. See our infographic about snow fences.

A “Wyoming Snow Fence” is completely different. Wyoming snow fences prevent 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. Snow fences make it possible to travel during the brutal winter months along Interstates and other roadways in Wyoming. Centennial Woods® installs and maintains most of the snow fences throughout the state. When we rebuild a section of snow fences we recycle the old boards and mill them into planks for interior and exterior use. Watch our video to see how we create recycled lumber products. Our circular 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?

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 or reclaimed wood come from old factories, gym floors, bowling alleys, sunken trees, and wine barrels.

Reclaimed snow fence planks derive from recycled nominal 1 x 6 and 2 x 6 boards consisting of a mix of high-altitude pine, spruce, and fir. The 1 x 6 boards are continually recycled, but the 2 x 6 boards are rarely replaced and have a limited availability. These upcycled boards are milled into wall/ceiling planks, shiplap, straight-edge boards, siding, and more.

What is the lead time for reclaimed wood?

Products milled from reclaimed snow fence wood are available to purchase instantly online. Custom orders and large orders are generally ready to ship within a month or so. It takes from 7 to 15 years for the boards on snow fences to develop the desired patina and be replaced. Our wood is naturally aged in the high plains and mountains of Wyoming at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level or higher. 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.

Once the boards are reclaimed they are hauled to the Centennial Woods facility in Laramie, WY. Production times to process and mill large quantities and custom 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 an estimate.

How old is reclaimed wood and what is reclaimed wood?

Technically, reclaimed wood can be anywhere from a couple of days to hundreds of years old. Reclaimed wood is wood that was used for one purpose and then reused for another purpose. Recycled pallet wood is generally recycled when it reaches an age of 1 to 5 years. Barn wood is usually reclaimed after 30 years or more. Reclaimed snow fence wood is upcycled after it has been aged between 7 and 15 years.

What should I look for in reclaimed wood?

Are there differences in quality and consistency depending on the source of reclaimed wood? Most suppliers of genuine reclaimed wood have limited supplies due to sourcing issues caused by having to find usable wood from all around the country. This results in boards with inconsistent dimensions and quality. Often boards reclaimed from the same barn can look completely different, especially the boards that were southern-facing and exposed to sunlight all year.

Centennial Woods runs the largest and most consistent system to create real and sustainable reclaimed wood boards. Our wood ages as fence slats for approximately 10 years. Some sections of our 12’ tall fences are over a mile long with the boards all facing in the same direction resulting in consistent, natural coloration.

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, shiplap, resawn, straight edging, planing to consistent thickness, and skip planning are available along with multiple color options.

Is reclaimed wood sustainable and eco friendly?

Absolutely. Sustainability can be interpreted a couple different ways in relation to reclaimed wood. The two questions are one, “Is the reclamation process good for the Earth?” and the second, “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 insects, mold, and/or mildew and to sanitize remnants of animal urine/fecal matter. Additionally, many of these boards may have been subjected to chemical treatments or covered in lead paint at some point. To answer the second question, most sources for reclaimed wood are limited if not finite. Once old barns
are torn down they often are not rebuilt. If they are rebuilt another building material like metal is used instead of wood.

Unlike barn 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 in a kiln is unnecessary, our wood arrives as a carbon-negative product (even if the boards are shipped across the Atlantic or Pacific.) By building, maintaining, and rebuilding the wooden snow fences in Wyoming we have created the largest known system for creating naturally aged, sustainable reclaimed wood.

Does reclaimed wood promote wellness and smart building practices?

Reclaimed wood contributes toward satisfying Credits MR3, MR4 and MR5 under LEED v4®. Provided that the source is certified as either FSC® recycled or reclaimed to process your claim for credits. Additionally, as a certified healthy indoor air product our planks contribute to International WELL Building Institute projects. Reclaimed Wyoming snow fence wood is certified FSC® Recycled 100% 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

View our reclaimed wood specifications on the SPOT | UL website.

Is there any kind of maintenance with reclaimed wood?

Some reclaimed wood products do require occasional maintenance. Most wall paneling made from reclaimed wood will not require any special care. Keep in mind that there are limitations to where reclaimed wood can be installed based on fire codes and humidity levels. 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 without spot-testing; many sealants will turn reclaimed wood a very dark color. Additionally, the color and texture of our reclaimed wood will continue to change if exposed to sunlight and the elements in an exterior application. We recommend having us apply Flame Stop II® to planks used in commercial projects or residential projects like fireplace surrounds to meet local fire codes.

Can I specify a color range?

Many reclaimed wood suppliers are unable to comply with this request since their wood is sourced from multiple locations. At Centennial Woods, our naturally aged wood is primarily gray on the front of the board and the backside will contain brown, blonde, and cinnamon tones. The colors on our wood are consistent year after year, but some tonal variations can occur and are to be expected. That said, we will do our best to satisfy your desired aesthetic; very specific requests can increase the price and extend the lead time of your planks. 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 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?

  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.
  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.
  3. Inconsistent dimensions. Centennial Woods has state of the art milling equipment.
  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.
  5. Buried nails can cause injury or destroy tools. Centennial Woods offers de-nailing services on all reclaimed wood products.
  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.