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iwonder    Posted 07-18-2001 at 10:44:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I need to build a cabin on the farm. One problem, cost way to much!! What are the chances of getting the wood from a house that is being tore down. Anybody ever do this? How long will the 2x4s last? Man the stuff I dream up!!

tomatolord    Posted 07-19-2001 at 11:06:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I would go with the alternative housing..

Their are houses made of bales of hay..

An earthen house

concrete homes - neighbor has a concrete dome...went up pretty quick and real cheap to heat and cool

A cabin generally implies wooden logs and such.


Spence    Posted 07-18-2001 at 15:24:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why not try alternative building?

Cordwood or stackwall is about the cheapest I know of and has one of the best R values going. Can't hear a darn thing on the outside either with 16in walls. The house will look pretty nice too if
you use colored mortar or white, I've seen a few.
Some buildings in these parts built of cordwood are over a hundred years old.

Rough estimate for a 24 X 26 bungalow is 11
cords of wood. The cheap woods are the best anyway, like cedar or polar. Most will be glad to have you cut the stuff.

IHank    Posted 07-18-2001 at 14:53:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
IW- All good posts here, obviously with experience to back 'em up. If you gotta tear down a building, then you gotta be real hard up for something to do.

Couple of years ago I "gave in" when I got an evening phone call. The man said they had a huge metal clad shed tore down and piled up, but no money in their budget/contract for waste disposal. Yep, it was a govt. project. It all was "free for the hauling" if it wanted it. I told the guy I'd look it over in the morning and let him know.

Next morning I drove over to the job site. Oh WOW! Gobs of mostly sixteen foot, with some twelve and some twenty, 2X6 thru 2X12 dimension lumber boards were crudely piled around the area. There was four big stacks of the factory painted corregated steel sheeting.

It was more than I was interested in, but I let greed get me down... I spent near a week loading and hauling and pulling nails and sorting and stacking. But, to buy it all new I'd guess would cost someplace between $5K and $7.5K

Most of it was OK, as to condition. A few of them boards are "native lumber", local hardwoods, stuff cut mebbie 100 years ago. They are harder than the hubs of he11 and all I could do was break off the nails. Nailing thru 'em will require using a cartridge powered "ramset", but that will probably split the board. On the hard stuff it is best to drill thru and use lots of long drywall screws and construction adhesive, instead of hammer and nail fastening.

OK, so I got the materials to build a companion to my "Hanger 19". Next task is to get the weather and physical strength to do it.

Hope this gives you some more perspective on what's possible. IHank

TomH    Posted 07-18-2001 at 14:45:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If you're not in a hurry try visiting a sawmill and pricing rough cut "green" lumber. It'll take a year or so to air dry but it's much cheaper than milled stock. You might have to rip it to final width (thickness won't matter).

chief613    Posted 07-18-2001 at 14:04:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
used lumber cost 3x as much in labor. if ya have the time and dont mind pullin nails , and cuttin twice as much, its okay. I just built a $3000 deck for $500 with materials i got from tearin down a deck that was awaitin a excavator. i had free time , so it was worth the salvage. Plan on more lumber than u figure, u will find alot of waste.If u got time and patience then the price is right.

Dreamweaver    Posted 07-18-2001 at 12:56:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
My uncles are contractors, and a couple of my aunts travel around the country buying old pack houses and barns for the lumbar and plank flooring. Seems it carries a pretty high price around here, and lots of folks want that "authentic" look.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 07-18-2001 at 12:19:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Used lumber can be a real money saver. Sometimes you can get a whole building free for the tearing down. You generally have to leave the lot clean, and it's a lot of work.
The down-side to used lumber is that it is usually harder than Chinese arithmetic...can't drive a nail into it. If you're building to code, there may be some problems with the inspections, too.

F14    Posted 07-18-2001 at 15:22:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
"Harder than Chinese Arithmetic"... ROFLMAO!

That is DEFINITELY a keeper. First new one I've heard in quite a while.

Susan    Posted 07-18-2001 at 11:44:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lots of folks reclaim building materials! My husband (the licenced carpenter who works in a lumberyard) hates it. He says nothing is ever the right size.
Keep an eye on auction sales. I've seen unused but weathered lumber there.

IHank    Posted 07-19-2001 at 12:52:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Susan- Your hubby is onto the down side of messing with used lumber. Get him to talk up the upside.

Many years ago a two by four measured 2" by 4". Over the years the standards kept changing, in 1/8" increments. Last two by four I bought measured 1.5" by 3.5".

From that info experts can determine the production era of a "two by" board. I'm not sure, but I suspect a new standard is based on 1-3/8" thick boards.

Modern timber products are excellent materials to build with. There is gobs of science and technology behind 'em now. They are "renewable resources", in that the forest products firms plant and harvest in a responsible manner and do so to the benefit of all.

No doubt about it, recycled lumber has a place in the scheme of things, but "affordability" can be a nasty surprise. The secret to success is for the customer to have a good consultation session with people like your hubby, that have the expertise and work at the retail end of the market.

Also, "native lumber" often contained hardwoods. Out in the rural areas they cut and sawed up about everything. For local use people weren't all that picky because the price was "right". The native stuff sawed, nailed, etc. OK before it dried out. But, once dry some of it became similar to concrete as to nailing and sawing capabilities.

The saving grace on that stuff is that with a carbide tip blade in an electric handsaw one can rapidly make up a pile of excellent firewood. Throw away wood pallets fit in here too! IHank

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