Every old barn has value in it, whether as a still-viable structure or for its building materials. If your barn is in disrepair or you just don’t need it anymore, you might be wondering if it’s worthwhile to tear it down and sell its materials.

The dollar value of old barn wood cannot be understated. Reclaimed wood has a rich history, beautifully aged look, and outstanding durability and strength. Old metal hardware is sought after too. Using reclaimed wood and hardware in building, renovating, and decorating is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

But just how much your old barn is worth will depend on several factors.

  1. What Condition Is Your Barn In?

If your barn is falling over, don’t despair just yet. If the wood isn’t rotten and any other materials not disintegrated, even a collapsed barn will have pieces worth salvaging. Depending on how many, someone may pick up and pay you for the items, or you may have to dismantle everything yourself and deliver them to a salvager.

  1. What Types of Old Barn Wood Do You Have?

The worth of old barn wood varies depending on its species and use. Reclaimed wood is popular for furniture making or just for decoration. Barn flooring and other structural components are valuable too. Older barns will have hand hewn-beams that cannot be found in modern buildings, some being up to 50 feet long. These oversized old barn beams can be worth more because they are harder to come by.

Some common wood species that reclaimed wood sellers are always looking for include:

  • Red oak
  • White oak
  • Yellow pine
  • White pine
  • Heart pine
  • Hemlock

Just as sought after, but less common:

  • Poplar
  • Elm
  • Maple
  • Hickory

White oak is always in demand. It’s the hardest wood used in barns in North America, so it’s ideal for outdoor use and flooring because it doesn’t wear easily. A barn full of white oak can be worth $10,000 or more.

Chestnut is another popular wood, highly prized for flooring and furniture thanks to its beauty and durability. However, most of the chestnut trees in North America were destroyed by blight in the early 1900s, so this wood is rare.

  1. Is There Old Hardware in Your Barn?

Original metal hardware such as hay trolleys, strap hinges, hooks, chains, door pulls, and anything else that served a functional purpose can be valuable. These items are often used in historical restorations, but they’re also popular among DIYers for their old-time charm.

  1. Does Your Barn Contain Harmful Materials?

If your barn wasn’t built or renovated within the last 50 to 100 years, you probably won’t find hazardous building materials. If it was, you may find asbestos (mainly used for insulation and ceiling, roof, and floor tiles) and/or lead (often found in older paint, piping and solder, and window putty).

All items with asbestos must be disposed of according to local regulations. Sanding and removing items with lead requires extra precautions to avoid inhalation. Asbestos and lead removal will both incur added time and expense, detracting from the value of your barn.

  1. How Big Is Your Barn?

Salvagers love finding long wood beams that can span larger spaces, but they know people also want smaller beams and barn wood for items like mantels and focal walls. Materials in a small barn (30’ x 30’ or smaller) can often be worth up to $10,000. Larger barns may contain as much as $50,000 worth of materials.

  1. How Much Will Barn Removal & Reclamation Cost?

Although your old barn wood and vintage hardware can be valuable, the costs associated with taking down old barns can detract from your profit. If you hire a company to dismantle your barn, expect to pay for services such as labor, transportation, storage, and waste disposal, as well as the lead and asbestos removal we mentioned earlier (if needed).

If your old barn is already down, whether it collapsed or you did it yourself, additional work may be needed to carefully untangle the structure. Beams and other wood might be damaged if they haven’t been covered by a roof. In this case, many salvagers will request photos of the materials before (and if) they pick them up. They may require you to deliver your old barn wood to them instead.

Professional Barn Removal

As you can see, the answer to “How much is an old barn worth?” is “It depends.” A professional evaluation will give you a better idea. If taking down your old barn and shopping around its wood and hardware sounds like a lot of work, leave it to Vintage Wood & Forged Iron! Our barn removal and reclamation services give these time-tested materials new life. Our professional and fully insured crew will carefully dismantle your old barn, salvage and clean any viable barn wood and hardware, and haul everything else away. Contact us today for a quote.