“Is it worth it?” asked one of my contractors.
That was in response to seeing me hunched over my 100 year old salvage doors, picking and scraping like it is my job (which, incidentally, it is).
My answer has been, is and will be: “yes”
It’s worth it to me to have the knowledge that this 100 year old door, from an oak tree that was maybe even older than that before it was milled, has found it’s way to me, and will (pardon my hippy dippy roots right now) send out its memories and energy into this living space that will experience laughter, love, loss, great meals, friendships and the click clack of an animal’s trot across the floor.
Let’s get back to the door itself- This wood could be as old as 200 years or even more! Imagine what has happened around it. Imagine who leaned on it, who slept under it, who painted it, or carved their names into its bark. That’s living history.
Now let’s get back to salvage vs new. Each one of these doors represents about 2 sq ft of a dump site that will not be filled. The door will be an item that does not leach out formaldehyde like MDF or pressboard. The edges, while maybe not perfect, will not be subject to a chip or dent after a mild collision, will not be able to be penetrated by an arrant foot or elbow, will have those tell tale less than perfect occasional lines that will not only match the intent of the home (to feel like it was built the last time Coach Houses were allowed, prior to 19857), but add to the flow of the space with perfect imperfection.
Brass tacks: these salvage doors have cost me from $0-$60 . Each one has been about 7 hours of labor to sand and prepare for refinishing. New, oak, or even solid pine doors are :
The bonus with having a friend help to sand and prepare these doors is that I am contributing to my local economy.
Basically, it’s a win/win/win.
So- is it worth it? Maybe not for everyone, but it sure as heck is for me, sister…