FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHERE DOES MOST OF THE LUMBER COME FROM?
The majority of the barn wood we use comes from deteriorating wooden structures, sometimes found just around the corner from our woodshop in Asheville, or a few hours drive to neighboring Tennessee.
2. HOW DO YOU SOURCE THE BARNS YOU DISMANTLE?
Oftentimes, multigenerational landowners take the initial step to clear their property of dilapidated structures by contacting us. These are buildings that have been used as livestock barns, dairy barns, and the like. After an initial inspection to determine the quality and condition of the lumber, we negotiate an agreement with the landowner, and reclamation soon follows.
3. HOW OLD ARE THE BARNS YOU TAKE DOWN?
We find that most of these structures were built sometime in the early 1900s; some even date back the to the late 1800s. That means the lumber milled to build these barns came from old-growth oak trees, which were most likely planted around the turn of the 19th century.
4. ANY INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACTS OF ANY BARNS YOU’VE TAKEN DOWN?
Yes, some were built during the pre and post Civil War era. Other barns have been on family farms for generations.
5. WHAT KIND OF INTERESTING ARTIFACTS DO YOU FIND?
Oftentimes we find vintage farm and woodworking tools, and, of course, the occasional family of bats.
6. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DISMANTLE A BARN?
Some barns can be dismantled in a few days depending on the size and scope of the project, while others take upward of several weeks to complete. In milder seasons, the team of reclamation experts will elect to camp out on the property, using scrap wood to make fire for cooking and warmth.
7. IS THIS A DANGEROUS PROFESSION?
Like most construction professions, safety is the number one concern in deconstruction. It is always a challenge to not only dismantle the barn safely, but to do so in a way that protects the material from being damaged.
8. ANY SCARY MOMENTS WHILE DISMANTLING?
When dealing with structures that have been sitting untouched or neglected for as long as these buildings have, there will always be moments when one must make quick decisions. We plan for the worst and hope for the best. However, we take the utmost care and caution when approaching each important decision. After years of deconstruction under our belts, we have found that the dismantling of each barn must be approached on a project-by-project basis, taking into consideration the condition of the support members and roof as well as the foundation.
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF WOOD AND WHY?
In our line of work, finding American Chestnut is always very exciting. It could be compared to a miner panning for hours, days, or weeks and finally striking gold. While many landowners claim to have American Chestnut, it is often not the case. So to come across a barn built with that coveted species is always thrilling.
10. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THOSE NAILS?
All nails are removed from the boards prior to kiln drying. The nails have been used to adorn small projects, but most often, they are gathered for recycling and taken to the scrap metal yard for a small payoff.