Like a weathered old man leaning on a cane, ancient barns seem to whisper sit down, I’ve got stories to tell if you’ve got time to listen.
I’ve admired the tasteful use of reclaimed barnwood from the Pacific Northwest in stunning custom homes built by Gary Norman. But I can be sensitive and skeptical. Even as I looked forward to meeting Gary, I wondered if he was actually the villainous type … you know, the Hollywood character who wouldn’t blink at mowing down a historic monument or threatening an endangered species in the name of progress.
“…Like the scary tractor in Fern Gully," Gary joked and I knew he understood and shared my sensitivity. Gary was recently asked to take down a very large barn out of Reedsport, Oregon and simply refused. “The building was very sound, set on the site pristinely and just needed a little love to last another 100 years plus. It is not appropriate to dismantle a perfectly sound structure.”
Contrarily, he’s excited about the wonderful 1x12 siding and 3x12 flooring recently reclaimed from a barn in Tidewater, Oregon. Built in 1912, the structure was used as a theater house in the 30’s and 40’s. “We will make the 3x12’s into outrageous plank flooring,” says Gary.
To be considered by Barnwood Inc., a division of Gary Norman Custom Homes, a barn must have a rich history, an ample supply of timbers of useful size and character, and accessibility. Instead of being burned and destroyed, this lustrous wood is given new life in the form of fine furniture, cabinetry, siding, flooring, exterior door systems and interior doors and trim.
It takes a heap of craftsmanship but only a scant amount of a water-based finish to re-purpose this treasure. Natural weathering has made its durability integral. You can watch a video of the process on the Barnwood Inc. site.
It’s what Gary Norman calls a “feel good business. Nothing can replicate the character of hundred-year-old wood that’s been out in the elements.”
To contact Gary:
Phone: (541) 312-1187