We are building our first home (36x26) on a tight budget and want to reuse materials where we can while not compromising the integrity of the building. If we use 2x8 boards as the form to set our concrete foundation could we reuse those same boards above our doors as a header in-between our studs?

3 Answers 3


Absolutely you can.

Scrub them down immediately after you pull the forms with a hose and a brush or scraper and let them dry in the open air to avoid warping and mold. Then get building. The small amount of residue left behind is not a health concern and will not affect structural integrity.

  • 1
    Yep, the only concern would be any concrete stuck to the surface possibly causing a dimple (pimple?) in any drywall subsequently fastened to the header. But if scraped smooth it shouldn't be a problem.
    – Huesmann
    Jun 29, 2023 at 13:30
  • 1
    Stuck concrete can be hard on saw blades as well.
    – RetiredATC
    Jun 29, 2023 at 17:31

Yes if the headers use 2x8s.

They will have cement struck on them that will need some scraping off.


If you are using 2x4 wall studs then the wall thickness is 3.5in. 2x8 board is 1.5in thick. So you probably will have to sandwich two 2x8 boards with 1/2in plywood in between to make header the same thickness as the wall:

header from 2x lumber


  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question, which is about using lumber after it has been used as a concrete form.
    – isherwood
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:16
  • 3
    And 2x8 is a standard size used in a lot of places in building houses - sandwich configuration is necessary for some but not all. Jun 28, 2023 at 18:36

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