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Salvaging wood from attic demolition worth it?

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  • May 6th, 2021 4:03 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 22, 2008
55 posts
3 upvotes

Salvaging wood from attic demolition worth it?

I'm planning to add a full second floor to my 1.5 storey bungalow. The house was built in 1927, and the joists and rafters are solid heartwood of (I'm guessing here) 4x8. I'd hate to see them destroyed during demolition, and it would be great to re-use them for the new second floor, either for structural or decorative purposes. Is it practical to salvage them? Is it going to be just too expensive? Is there a company that does this sort of thing?
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9 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 19, 2008
6880 posts
2444 upvotes
GTA
Look like 2x4's, maybe 2x6's....and probably pine or spruce.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 22, 2008
55 posts
3 upvotes
I just measured them - they are 2 1/4 x 6 1/2. Not sure what material, but a contractor a couple of years ago said they are heartwood rather than sap wood.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3836 posts
2862 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
I applaud you for wanting to recycle them.
That said, it comes down to money. Who will be removing them in a non destructive way? A contractor will want to do so in the most efficient way, and unless you are willing to pay them to strip and preserve, they'll be cut into to sections and thrown into a bin. I've levelled a 15x20 wood frame garage in an afternoon with a reciprocating saw. Demolishing it while salvaging the wood members would have taken easily four times as long.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1744 posts
834 upvotes
GTA
Would be good to salvage them, but as others have said, you're going to pay for the extra time/labour to do so.
Deal Addict
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Sep 14, 2003
4603 posts
255 upvotes
Burnaby
I saved as much as I could when I gutted my house back in 2012, house was originally built in 1924. Studs were true dimension old growth fir, something I could never want to see in the dump now if you spent the time to remove all the nails yourself, especially given the crazy prices of lumber these days.
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Deal Fanatic
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Oct 12, 2007
5984 posts
3538 upvotes
Ottawa
Preserve them. 2 1/4" thick century-old heartwood lumber is beautiful. The radial growth lines are usually super-tight together and the colour almost radiates warmth. Gorgeous wood and worth preserving. Heck, the stuff could be resawn and used in some kind of paneled feature in the reno'ed house - as a nod to the house's heritage.
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2015
2020 posts
342 upvotes
East York, ON
Ignoring the `historical value` of the `antique look` or the fact that the wood is dry and very good for wood working I would advise saving and reusing as much as you can just based on the lumber prices we are seeing these days. Check online and see how much you will pay for what you want to trash and see if you can reuse it in the coming project
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Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3522 posts
2518 upvotes
Toronto
I just paid $17 each for PT 8' 2x4s so yeah, I'd salvage any lumber you can.

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