Updated July 20, 2021
Before tearing down your old barn, consider the pros and cons.
We'll discuss the benefits and the disadvantages that come with tearing down your barn so you can make the right choice.
Barn wood can be highly valuable.
All that barn wood isn’t trash; it’s likely highly valuable.
Perfectly seasoned by nature and time—and fitting perfectly into today's push for greener, more sustainable alternatives—old barn wood has maintained its popularity in home design as well as craft projects.
In homes that are focused on going green, barn wood fits in well due to its sustainability, natural aesthetic, and use of materials that would otherwise go to the landfill.
Likewise, marrying the interior and exterior of your home or building fosters that feeling of being connected to nature, which is highly desirable in certain locations, like in the woods or on the beach.
In addition to being used for construction accents (e.g. beams, floors, doors, etc.), barn wood is a desirable material for woodworking and other crafts.
Tables, benches, frames, dressers — all of these are popular uses for beautiful weathered barn wood.
Salvaging wood from your old barn before demolition, or deconstructing the entire structure for maximum returns, is a great way to make some money or recoup some of the demolition costs.
If you don’t wish to use the wood for a personal project, you can sell it to local lumber retailers or reclaimers, on Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.
Because of barn wood’s value, there are an increasing number of companies popping up that specialize in barn demolition and deconstruction for the sake of reclaiming as much wood as possible.
You essentially sell them your old barn, and they come to your property to deconstruct and demolish it for you, taking the valuable wood with them.
Your property is safer and more appealing to buyers.
Let’s face it: Many old barns are just an eyesore.
Not only is a dilapidated barn dangerous, but it can also be a breeding ground for rodents and insects.
Getting rid of an unusable old barn increases your property value and makes way for newer and better things, whatever that may be.
So whether you’re in your forever home or plan on selling your house in the near future, tearing down that barn could be the right choice.
You are demolishing a piece of history.
Most old barns have been around for decades and played a role in your property’s history.
And while not all people care about tearing down an old, useless barn, some do.
You could experience some pushback from the community if your barn holds historical significance.
If members of the community want the building to stay, you could be facing a long-winded legal battle to win approval to knock it down.
Learn more: Advantages and Disadvantages of Demolishing Old Buildings
Don’t take on the barn demolition yourself.
Don't take on a barn reclamation project yourself.
Most barns have thousands of board-feet of good, salvageable lumber, but it can be difficult and dangerous work to hand-select the pieces worth saving.
Many people with good intentions but little (if any) experience trying to tackle a barn dismantling project end up damaging or destroying a lot of lumber due to inexperience. Worse yet, they end up hurting themselves or others in the process.
Don’t be that person.
Instead, hire a company that specializes in barn demolition.
If you’re looking to reclaim as much lumber as possible from the project, hire a pro to deconstruct it.
These companies can do all the heavy lifting and expert picking for you, and you’ll be left with just a pile of usable lumber.
Find a barn demolition or deconstruction professional