Can (Or Should) You Use Reclaimed Lumber to Construct Your New Deck?

With the price of lumber continuing to rise since the Great Recession, those planning to construct a backyard deck before summer arrives in full force may be looking for some money-saving methods—including the use of recycled or reclaimed lumber in place of freshly-cut lumber. If you have access to a large quantity of old barn wood (or even a disassembled pool deck), you may be able to build a deck for only the cost of screws and other finishing touches.

However, there are still quite a few situations in which purchasing fresh lumber is your best bet. Read on to learn more about some of the advantages of reclaimed lumber, as well as the factors you'll want to consider when deciding whether this is the best choice for your own deck.

What are some advantages of using reclaimed lumber for a decking project?

Although you may view this type of lumber merely as "used" wood, reclaimed lumber has the advantage of time on its side. Spending decades standing up to the elements can leave wood nearly impermeable to damage, and you won't need to seal or treat this wood as often as you would for a new deck. If you're using reclaimed lumber from a barn, you'll also have the advantage of extra-long boards—sometimes available on only a limited basis from local lumber retailers.

As long as the lumber you choose is free from insect or mold damage and thick enough to take a refinishing or two, you should be able to rest assured that it will provide you with a sturdy, problem-free deck for years to come.

When may you want to avoid using reclaimed lumber to build your deck? 

Those with a private supply of reclaimed lumber from an old barn or outbuilding on their property have the advantage of low cost; but for those purchasing this reclaimed wood from a reseller, you may find it to be much more expensive than treated lumber.

Depending upon the market for reclaimed wood in your area, as well as the quality of the wood you have on hand, you may be better off selling your own reclaimed wood on the open market and using the proceeds to purchase newer (and less expensive) lumber instead. After all, while a deck containing $10,000 in reclaimed lumber is unlikely to add $10,000 to the value of your home, converting this reclaimed lumber to cash and using it to build a $5,000 deck may leave you with money in your pocket and a quality deck in your yard.

To learn more about your options, contact services like Infinity Lumber INC.