Best Woods for a Timber Home
If you’re interested in using timber to build a frame for your home, there are a wide range of options available to you. You’ll need to consider which type of wood species is right for your home, how the wood will be processed, and what finished look you’re going for. Some of the things to take into consideration when selecting the right wood species for your home include availability, sustainability, cost, strength, and suitability. We at The Moulding Company in Santa Clara, CA, have compiled information about some of the top wood species for new construction below to help you get started.
The strongest and hardest timber choice, oak is an extremely popular type of wood for building timber frames in new construction. Both red oak and white oak are fast-growing and relatively abundant in North America, making it easily accessible in these areas. White oak is more decay resistant than red oak but has a higher shrinkage rate that can contribute to difficulties when using it to construct a timber frame.
Pine is a very strong softwood known for flexibility and versatility. It is very abundant in much of the United States and is more affordable than oak, making it a good choice for budget-conscious construction. Pine wood ranges from clear to knotty and comes in a blond appearance with darker streaks. It can be more susceptible to checking than other woods, meaning the grain separates and gives it a different appearance. Softwoods are also typically easy to work with in new construction, providing both flexibility and structural strength.
Cedar is lightweight and resistant to decay, making it an excellent choice for any new construction that features exposed timber. The wood holds up well under weather conditions. Plus, the aromatic oil in cedar helps ward off insects, dissuading damage from termites or other critters. That means it will likely require less maintenance over the years than other wood species used externally on your home. Red cedar also offers a unique appearance with rich and beautiful tones. Due to its softer, lighter quality, cedar beams typically need to be larger than beams from other species of wood.
An extremely popular wood species for use in new construction and timber frame homes, the Douglas fir is well-known for its structural strength. It accounts for a quarter of all lumber produced and used in North America and is commonly used for key structural elements like posts and beams. Most prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, this wood species ranges in color from a reddish-brown to a lighter yellowish shade.
Selecting the right wood species for your new construction ultimately depends on your own tastes and your budget. You should talk with your builder, supply company, or the dedicated team at The Moulding Company to discover the best wood species for your application and your region. Need new construction help? Call us today!