PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Home designers are already identifying hot new trends for 2017. In this week’s Angie’s List report, one of those trends takes a step back in time to give new life to old wood.
Ramsey Khalidi started salvaging unwanted wood back in the 1980s when it required dumpster diving and the occasional rescue from a bonfire.
“The internet was just starting out. I’ll never forget it. If you would, like, Google, you would get 19, like ‘hits.’ Now, there’s six million for reclaimed wood,” says Khalidi, the owner of Southern Pine Company.
Khalidi is part of a booming industry of craftspeople who dismantle, refine and re-imagine old wood.
“One of the latest trends in remodeling that we’re seeing is using reclaimed wood from century-old barns or older buildings to add a focal point or even an accent wall in your home,” says Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List.
The Tri-Lox Company in Brooklyn, New York, harvests wood from high-rise rooftop water towers, old factories and barns.
“We totally transform these materials from their previous use into something completely new, but yet show the history and the previous use as part of the features of that material,” said Alexander Bender, co-founder of Tri-Lox.
“If you’re looking to take advantage of this trend, the first step is to work with a qualified woodworker who will confirm they’ve got authentic reclaimed wood, and that it’s properly treated for your project,” added Hicks.
Artisans working in the industry say there’s virtually no limit to what the wood can be used for and that if homeowners can imagine it, a good woodworker can create it.
“We get a lot of satisfaction out of repurposing this wood for new products and we hope they live on another 100 to 200 years afterward,” said Adam Dick, of Hoosier Reclaimed Timber.
Hicks says reclaimed wood is more expensive than other types of wood because of the time and skill it takes to acquire, treat and re-purpose it.
But, she points out, the value of having a piece of living history in your home could be priceless.