I have an old barn that I want to tear down and use the material in the new house I am going to build, how do I do this?
Taking down an old barn can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, there is a certain way that you need to take down a barn so that no one gets hurt and also so that you don’t damage any of the material that you will want to use.
The best people to contact to remove a barn are Mennonites. In our area we use Mennonites to remove barns and also to cut and saw beams and flooring. If you find the right ones you can even have them kiln dry the material.
If you can’t find Mennonites then you need to find companies that specialize in demolition, as before you need to make sure that when they take the barn down it’s done in a safe manner that will not damage the material.
There are companies out there that do custom cutting and kiln drying, you just have to look around to find them. Since you are building a new house you should ask your contractor if they have a company that they work with that can do this for you. They are usually called custom millwork or custom lumber milling.
Since you are on the West coast you shouldn’t have to much trouble finding lumber mills, a speciality mill will do custom cutting and kiln drying for you. The cost is more than just buying the material for your flooring because you are asking the mill to do a small custom run for you, the set up fees for you will be higher than when they do a larger order.
I have done this custom milling and kiln drying for my clients before; in a house that we built in a beach community we removed several large pine trees because the new house was going to be much larger than the old cottage that it was replacing. We took the large pines to a custom mill worker who sawed the trees up into 1x6 tongue and groove boards and then kiln dried them and stored them until we required them in the new house. We installed the 1x6 on the ceilings of the dining room making a beautiful wood ceiling that became a talking point for the clients when they had people over for dinner.
Another way to find a company to mill the timbers for you is to call companies that deal in antique flooring, that’s what old barn timbers that are made into flooring are called. If you call them they should be able to help you by either doing your custom order for you or pointing you in the right direction.
The wood that you recover from the old barn can be used in many different ways, it can be used as flooring, trim, decorative panels, barn board walls in a rec room or den and the some of the beams can be used in the new home as either decorative or actual structural supports. You can take some of the beams and mill them into actual timber trusses to use in the great room of your new house.
Whatever you end up using the timber for it will give you a wonderful talking point in your new home and will help make the home a truly custom one for you.
Village Builders Inc.