How to Find Reclaimed or Sustainable Wood for Building

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If you want to build an eco-friendly house or structure with wood products, you'll need to locate a source of sustainable, recycled or reclaimed wood that is suitable for building. From finding wood products grown in an easily reproduced manner to reusing lumber from an old building, you can both save money and the environment through using reclaimed or sustainable wood. You may have to put a bit more effort into making reclaimed wood usable, but the potential savings is well worth it.

  • Search online or in newspaper ads for wood that can be reclaimed from old barns, houses or commercial structures such as warehouses. Choosing reclaimed wood from buildings that have been dismantled is an effective choice for eco-friendly building, especially since it does not require the cutting of new trees for a source of wood. You can also potentially save more money by offering to tear down the old structure in exchange for keeping the old wood.

  • Purchase wood from managed or certified forests. Those that have been certified are required to meet certain qualifications of sustainability, including the protection of wildlife habitats and old-growth trees. Bamboo and cork are common types of building products grown in this manner.

  • Find vendors that have already done the work for you. Across the U.S., there are those that are in the business of recycling and salvaging wood and then turning it into eco-friendly building products, from precut lumber to flooring.

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