Reclaimed wood is highly sought after by many interior designers and homeowners. So much so that they are willing to dumpster dive, or drive two hours and then take a ferry ride to find the right lumber for their accent wall.
Marc Poirier, owner of Long Leaf Lumber, of Cambridge, Mass. tells Realtor.com that using reclaimed wood on a project can more than double the cost of a building project, depending on the wood's quality. Poirier says that new oak plank for flooring costs about $4.50 per square foot, while a reclaimed plank of wood can cost about $10.50 for the same size.
In an orange dumpster one recent Sunday morning, between old bricks and trash bags, Heather Olsen struck gold: rustic wood beams that once held the floor of a 100-year-old house.
This wasn’t the first weekend Ms. Olsen spent wading through construction waste hunting for old wood. A nurse, mother of two and hobby woodworker from Bowie, Md., she once took a break from work to salvage wood from a historic house, returning with her sweater covered in sawdust. Another time, she tore her jacket with rusty nails sticking out from rough beams at a demolition site.
“I’m sure it’s a surprising sight for some people; I’m a petite woman and I’ll be in a dumpster or wielding a circular saw,” says Ms. Olsen, 34. “I’m kind of obsessed with wood.”