Old barn wood for a shed ?

by Kevin
(Nebraska)

Old barn wood shed.

Old barn wood shed.

My wife and I are going to build a shed from old barn wood. I have two local barns to choose from. The siding is 16' tall (vertical) which I plan on cutting off apx. 2' to 4' on the bottom as it's cracked. Many of the boards are cupped but, I don't think it's bad enough to throw away.

The timbers inside look in good shape but, they are nothing special like, mortise & tenon jointing, and I think it's yellow pine.

The question is, the siding cost is around $1.00 per sg.ft, and the timbers from $2.00-$4.00 per board ft. I like the idea of saving these historic old barns but, by the time you price this wood versus buying new lumber, is it worth it ?

I have many,....photo's of what we're interested in building, and the shed has to be water proof. The photo I've included is just one,.....example. It is too small but, it shows the barn wood being used. It must have a entry door, barn doors on the right side and a front porch that continues on the left side, to sit and watch our pond.

We're thinking approx. 12' deep by 20' long but, we are not set on anything yet. I don't know how many we can attach?

I can send anyone photo's, our email address and phone number.

Any comments, questions and advise are welcome.

Thank you,
Kevin & Patty.

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Old barn wood.
by: Kevin

It's great that you also have saved some old school lumber. I agree, if I can't find any for free, the cost may surpass new lumber. Plus, you still have rotting wood ! lol
Hum,.....?

Recycled Timber
by: John - Admin

Hi Kevin and Patty,
Thanks for contacting me, I love that picture. If you have more you can contact me at john at secrets-of-shed-building dot com.

The problem with recycled wood when you buy it is that the person selling it often does a quick calculation for what it would cost to buy the timber from new and then prices just below that. Builders, recyclers and farmers are pretty canny businessmen! To be fair to them there is a cost for handling and storing the material. I am not sure if that is the case for you.

I have built four sheds in my time and each has incorporated recyled timber from one source or another. As an example when I built my latest shed I found the timber for the floor joists to my latest shed on a trip to the pub! The pub is out in the country and has an open log burning fire, I happened to notice that in his log pile was a large quantity of 6x2 joists of a useful length. After asking the landlords permission I filled up my car (to the roof) with this stuff.

I think what I am saying is that there are opportunities to get recycled timber from other sources often for free. If however you go down the route of purchasing it you may not really save money, although of course it is good for the environment and old wethered wood does look attractive in the right setting.

I hope this helps and that tomorrow you see an old building being demolished and the builders about to burn the wood (as they often still do) and that you can save it for your new shed.

All the best

John

PS I look forward to seeing the rest of your photos.

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