Description of What to Expect with Reclaimed Materials

Barnwood is like people, aging differently and beautifully.Age indicates strength, wisdom, experience, fortitude.It says that it has seen sunshine and rain and yet it remains.

Character traits you can expect with barnwood, enhancing the aesthetic of these old growth materials: typically the woods found in this region are old-growth pine or Douglas Fir, which are old-growth, meaning the trees grew slowly and naturally slowly, the grain is tighter, making it stronger and more beautiful. 

CHECKING — A natural crack in the timber occurring as the wood seasons (think of it as a wrinkle in the wood!) that does not affect the structural integrity. If you want to get all technical, cracking happens when there are differential tensions and compression stresses. Just like in life—but this kind of stress we like!

MORTISE POCKETS — A square or rectangular notch, slot, or hole cut into a structure component that will accept a corresponding tenon. These are hand-carved pieces that were made to fit together without nails. Amazing. Ever think about who worked together to make these pieces fit so beautifully? They were doing the same thing we are... together. 

WORM HOLES — Reminding us of the cycle of life, that wood is a living, osmosis- breathing entity that plays its part in the food chain and is all the more valuable for it. 

NAIL HOLES — Who pounded that nail 100 years ago? What were they like? Were they laughing while they worked? Somebody somewhere a long time ago touched that piece of wood to craft something, just like we intend to do.

LIVE EDGES — When the carpenter incorporates the inherent, natural edge of the wood into what is being crafted, it is called a live edge. This may or may not be available in our current stock—but when it is, we love to use it!

SAW LINES — A pattern and texture of the original saw blade that cut the wood 100-plus years ago is a consistent character feature found in reclaimed wood. Nobody is secretly torturing the wood in a back room of the shop to make it look this cool.

PAINT — One great feature about barnwood is the vintage remnant paint that has baked onto the surface or into the deep grooves of the wood, depending on the way a board was exposed over time to the atmosphere and weather elements. However, Heritage cannot guarantee that remnant paint on any wood used in any piece is lead-free. LEGAL NOTICE: Contractor is not responsible for correcting or remediating any environmental hazard, including lead paint issues, whether known in advance or discovered during the construction process, excluding intentional or reckless conduct attributable to Contractor, unless the cost is specifically made part of the Agreement or a Change Order.


All individual boards are hand-selected and configured by Heritage for each custom piece based on the character and design components of the wood. We have lots of different wood from different locations constantly moving in and out—stock is always changing. Specific wood can be set aside for a custom project only after deposit has been received.