Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????
12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Patrick Presti
Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

Hey Guys,

I have a 1953 Cape that I will be adding a shed dormer in the summer. I was wondering if you are allowed to reuse building materials such as 2x4's and 2x6's when adding on a shed dormer? As long as the roof rafters are straight, I would like to reuse them and any 2x4's for the interior walls if possible. I would like to hear anyone's thoughts.

Thanks,

Pat

dj1
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

As long as the lumber is in good shape, I can't see why you couldn't reuse it.

But if the lumber has termite, dry rot, twisted, bowed, etc damages, why on earth would you want to reuse it for interior purposes.

Timothy Miller
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

Howdy, might want to check your local building codes- some do not allow reuse of wood with out it being certified by structural enginer. I hope not because sustainable construction = reusing lumber. A lot of old lumber is much better grade wood then new an sure allot cheaper to dis assemble and re use. Happy trails.

Patrick Presti
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

That's how I feel about reusing old lumber. I feel the older lumber is much better than what you get in stores today. A lot of times in the stores, the wood is still soaking wet.

Pat

A. Spruce
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????
Patrick Presti wrote:

A lot of times in the stores, the wood is still soaking wet.

Pat

That doesn't mean anything other than a high moisture content. It does not affect the strength or structural integrity of the material. You'll also find that a fresh/moist board is easier to cut and nail than reclaimed material that is dry and extremely hard, which makes it more susceptible to cracking when trying to drive new fasteners through it.

Most places don't care if you recycle your building materials, as long as those materials are sound and suited to the new purpose. A was said, check with your local building department first.

And if you want to insure you're getting good quality lumber, buy from a lumberyard, not a big box.

Patrick Presti
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

Doesn't wet wood have a tendency to twist or bow?

A. Spruce
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

Only when left to its own devices. You get it secured into the framing before it dries and you will always have a straight board. The same is true for all that old lumber you're salvaging, when the house was built, it was wet, it dried straight because it was held straight during the drying process.

LeonardHomes
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????
Patrick Presti wrote:

Hey Guys,

I have a 1953 Cape that I will be adding a shed dormer in the summer. I was wondering if you are allowed to reuse building materials such as 2x4's and 2x6's when adding on a shed dormer? As long as the roof rafters are straight, I would like to reuse them and any 2x4's for the interior walls if possible. I would like to hear anyone's thoughts.

Thanks,

Pat

It's not uncommon to reuse lumber in a remodel to some degree. I don't recall any restrictions in code books like national codes or the IRC that would limit reuse of lumber providing it's structurally sound and would meet the species and grade quality.

MLB Construction
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

i reuse lumber whenever possible. everything from studs, to joists, to flooring and depending on how it was finished and how old it is, sometimes trim. i don't know if it's even an issue with building depts, maybe regarding joists, but it's never been brought up as an issue with an inspector.

and spruce did have a good point with how hard old lumber can sometimes get and split when nailed.

dj1
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

"and spruce did have a good point with how hard old lumber can sometimes get and split when nailed."

For harder than hard lumber, use a drill to drill pilot holes to drive nails into, so they don't split. Tedious, but split free.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Reusing 2x6's and 2x4's????

Check your local building dept. Here building dept does not allow used lumber for structural elements.

Jack

Pages

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.