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They Find New Uses For Old Barn Wood
“We are passionate about preserving Saskatchewan’s rich farming history by reclaiming wood from old barns and then cleaning, drying and distributing the wood for all types of home-building and renovation projects,” says Tyler Slowski, founder of Prairie Barn Brothers (PBB) of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Since its founding in 2018, PBB reclaimed barn wood has been used for rustic doors, building exteriors, fireplace mantles, tabletops and kitchen cabinets. Exposed beams are very popular in new construction, he says. The company has deconstructed barns, grain elevators and other buildings from Manitoba to Vancouver, and markets the reclaimed wood to builders and resellers in Canada and the U.S.
Slowski says there is no shortage of old barns on the prairie. He has to turn down more than 90 percent of barns that have been offered. Before taking on a job, he considers the location of the barn, assesses the quality of the wood, studies the structure for safety concerns during deconstruction, and considers prospective buyers for the reclaimed wood.
His current project is a 40,000 sq. ft. Commonwealth airplane hanger in Yorkton, Sask., built during World War II. The structure was built with 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12-in. thick timbers to help it withstand shelling and bombing in case the war came to that area. Most prairie-province barns, hangers and other buildings built during the 1940’s were constructed of Douglas fir from British Columbia. The lumber was shipped by rail east across Canada. Western cedar and spruce were also used in some prairie barns.
“We’re probably averaging one or more calls a week now from somebody offering us a barn,” he says
One of the reasons Slowski enjoys the business is preservation. “We’re able to take something that’s 100 years old and recreate something beautiful that will last for another 100 years,” Slowski says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Prairie Barn Brothers, Yorkton, Sask. Canada (ph 306 620-3125; prairiebarnbros@gmail.com)

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1