Jose and gang started installing barnboard siding this week. It looks excellent. The barnwood comes from Trestlewood. They provided edged wood in random lengths and in widths of 4″, 6″, 8″, and 10″. By taking shorter lengths and a fair bit of narrow material, the material ended up costing just a bit more than virgin cedar siding. (A consistent irony of building green, is that reclaimed materials usually cost more than those cut fresh from the forest.) My cost for the barnwood ended up being about $3/sq-ft delivered, while #3 cedar siding currently costs about $2/SF, but usually requires staining, which would probably be another $1/SF. (You could leave the cedar to weather naturally, though, in which case it would be cheaper.) Incidentally, bids for the installation labor for this kind of board-to-board barnwood in Park City came in pretty consistently around $2.75-$3.00/SF including the labor to apply the Tyvek. This is probably on the low side because I have no window trim to install, although there are some fussy blocking details between the rafter tails.
Having the material edged (both edges ripped so the board is a consistent width) dramatically improves the ease of installation. The boards fit up nice and tight against each other. Some people don’t like the bright wood edge revealed when boards of different thicknesses are adjacent. It doesn’t bother me a bit and those bright bits will go away within a year or so. Edged wood is somewhat less expensive than wood with a weathered edge, presumably because it allows greater utilization of the reclaimed material, but I prefer it.
Most people install black building felt under the barnwood so that white Tyvek doesn’t show through. I noticed that black felt fades after a couple of years. So, I used professional grade landscaping fabric. It’s really cheap, easy to install, and has excellent UV protection.