Starting as a trend in certain parts of the country, the use of reclaimed and recycled materials in construction and remodeling of houses has now gone mainstream. And nowhere has it been more popular than here in the foothills, where the unique and often rustic look of such salvaged items can so beautifully complement the natural ambience of our NC mountain real estate.
Just building a mountain home sets you apart from the crowd. And freeing yourself from the rigid rules that control construction in metropolitan areas allows your imagination to come into play. At The Coves Mountain River Club, our design team loves working with people to help bring their dreams to life. Together, we can find innovative ways to blend traditional with modern to create a dramatic new look that’s uniquely and distinctively yours. It’s a great way to add character to your NC mountain real estate and at the same time be more environmentally-friendly.
Wood has always been chosen for buildings and structures, furniture-making and other uses because of its density and strength. In the past, it was plentiful and inexpensive. But over the years, population growth contributed to the over-harvesting of forest land. So using wood and other materials from older homes, factories, and warehouses came to be seen as a green solution that provides warmth, value and a bit of history.
There are also practical advantages to recycling vintage wood. Having come from the tallest, straightest and largest trees in the forest, it offers a level of quality that’s hard to find in today’s lumber market. And being already air-dried and naturally-weathered gives it rustic good looks, durability and strength. Finally, you can select from an amazing variety of textures, patterns, grades and species of tree.
Because the concept of using reclaimed and recycled materials is now so widespread, you can find a wealth of ideas online to consider incorporating when you’re building a mountain home. Some are more obvious, such as installing an antique farmhouse sink, vintage light fixtures, a butcher block or old handles, knobs or drawer pulls. But there are many others you may not have considered.
At The Coves Mountain River Club, we see seasoned lumber used for cabinetry, furniture and architectural details. But it’s particularly popular for use as siding, timbers and floorboards because it doesn’t require much maintenance. The wood has already shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable. From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks. And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.
It’s important that the source of your reclaimed wood be able to verify what it might have been treated with over its lifetime. You want to avoid possible harmful off-gassing of volatile organic compounds associated with lead paint, stains and other treatments – especially when the wood will be used inside the house.
NC mountain real estate is also ideal for the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete roof tiles. They’re fireproof, extremely long-lasting and environmentally-friendly. Even with older material, the quality is likely to be very good. They enhance the beauty of a property, adding character and style. Little maintenance is required for a tile roof. And they’re usually cost-effective compared to the alternatives.
So where do you find these gems from years gone by?
You can either find a company that sells them or opt to do the work yourself. With some research, you should be able to find older buildings that are being demolished. Salvage sites may have exactly what you’re looking for and at a very reasonable price. Farm auctions are another good place to look. And check the local ads or place your own, specifying what items you’re seeking.
At The Coves Mountain River Club, we make every attempt to be respectful of the magnificent place in which we’ve chosen to live, and we encourage anyone building a mountain home to consider utilizing reclaimed materials wherever possible.
Come by soon and take a tour. We’re sure you’ll be inspired by the ways many of our homeowners have adapted these elements of the past to make their own impressive design statements.
Call 828.754.0700 now!