I’ve wanted to incorporate salvaged and reclaimed material into our houses for a while now, as I think it adds so much intrigue and texture. However, I’ve always come across a few roadblocks. Namely: price and a place to store it. I can’t really say we have solved the storage issue, as we have completely filled up our basement and now have to build around all the stuff, but the price was right.
We got two giant truck loads from Pennsylvania from Provenance, an architectural salvage shop in Philadelphia. We had wandered up to Philly a few weeks back to visit friends. We brought our truck thinking we might pick up a few odd items to incorporate into our house. I didn’t really plan on buying 3000 linear feet of 1x12s and 3200 square feet of maple flooring, but things happen. Luckily, they deliver.
So, we got a boat load of 2-1/4″ maple flooring from one of those giant high-schools that were built in the fifties to handle four or five thousand kids. The school was recently demolished and I think Provenance pulled up almost 20,000 square feet. They had been slowly selling it off, but were really looking to move the last bit and make room for new inventory.
What I love most about it is that every so often there are these 2″ wide stripes of red, yellow, green and black that were the line markings for the basketball court. I don’t think we will go to the trouble of trying to puzzle it back into the shape of a basketball court, but these random bits of color will be something really unique. We are going to install it in the basement of our house and work it into some select locations of our next couple houses.
The other big item we got was a whole bunch of various lengths of 1x oak boards, which were about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of what I’ve seem for other reclaimed woods. I think they were somewhat affordable as they didn’t come out of an old building, but were actually old 2″ thick scaffolding boards that had worn out their working life. Provenance was able to mill them in half to 3/4″ thick and double the yield. What we are left with is one side that has this great, rich oxidized look and another more blonde, virgin side. Lots of possibilities. Anyway, we are definitely excited to take a break from all the ponderosa and plywood wall cladding.