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A New Reclaimed Building 5

Posted 15th June 2024 by Mongers Admin


Part of the challenge when using reclaimed materials is how to cope with the finite nature of the supply. Most salvage comes from the demolition or refurbishment of individual buildings. The quantity of bricks, tiles and timber reclaimed from any project will be limited and there will always be some wastage. To construct a similar size building to one being demolished will involve acquiring materials from more than one source and will therefore present the issue of how to deal with materials that may not match each other. Trying to clad a large building in any reclaimed material will always prompt the question can I get enough usable wood the same? It may be easy to source a batch of suitable timber to clad a small extension or a quantity of floorboards for a bedroom but a whole house is often a different proposition all together.


A solution is to design small areas in complimentary materials, that will still create a cohesive overall effect and a uniformity. We are looking for an architectural simplicity of our overall design, and so, our solution to this problem is to treat different aspects of our build with different materials. Along with our reclaimed brick façade and brick walls that will form the outbuildings and part of our boundary, we are having the side extensions finished in a coloured lime render. However, the old steel construction that forms the centre of the dwelling is being clad in old barn timber.


This wood I purchased many years ago at a clearance sale for a flooring company that had gone into liquidation. We have stored it in an open barn for quite a long time with the consequence that we are having to be a bit selective of the pieces to use. It is Douglas fir, which is considered okay to use as external cladding, but we thought it a bit too rustic as it was and so the decision to paint it. We have treated each board with a coat of linseed oil mixed 50/50 with wood preservative and then painted it with linseed oil paint. The result is quite pleasing. We intend to fill the old nail holes with wooden plugs to prevent water ingress and then fix the boards using stainless steel slotted domed screws. No one likes using slotted screws anymore, but I still hate posidrive and it’s the little details that are important.

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