Choosing A Timber Species For Your Timber Frame Home


There are many important decisions you have to make when building your own timber frame home. One of which is the species of wood your timber framer will use when constructing your home. There are various types of wood and each has its own strong points and weaknesses. Consider availability, sustainability, cost, and suitability. There are several species of wood that you can use for timber frame homes. Such as white pine, red and white oak, cypress, cedar, and Douglas fir.


You should try materials that are available in your local timber supplier Melbourne. The cost of transporting posts and beams across the country can be very expensive. There are various species of trees that grow pretty much throughout the country. Many types of wood have similar properties. Looking for an appropriate species that are available in the local stores should not be a problem.


You may use timber from a logging company that practices sustainable forest management. This is a great idea. It means that they replant logged areas of forest. They take care of appropriate trees and vegetation. They also ensure that the ecosystem of the area is not damaged or destroyed.


The cost of wood for your timber varies. There are several choices for the wood species. The cost will always be a factor. And it depends on the quality, source, and type.

Wood species types

  • Eastern white pine. This grows from Minnesota through Newfoundland. Also, south along the Mississippi basin and the Appalachian Mountains to Georgia and Mississippi. It is less costly than oak because it is a softwood. But it has a tendency to check. It has various sizes of knots. It is a blond wood with occasional red streaking. It cracks and checks as it dries. This gives it a rustic and weathered appearance. It is quite easy to work with. This is because it does not twist or deflect when treated in a proper manner. It is not as strong as Douglas fir though.
  • Douglas fir. This is usually used for post and beam construction. This is because of its structural strength. It is common in the Pacific Northwest and also found in other parts of North America. Its color ranges from a yellow or orange-brown shade to a deep, reddish-brown. Larges timbers are sometimes designated FOHC. This means that the beam does not have the typical bulls-eye heartwood in the center.
  • Red oak. This is a hardwood that grows from the Great Lakes to Nova Scotia and as far south as Georgia. It is a fast-growing species for a hardwood. It is also very popular as a farming choice. The only downfall is that it is not resistant to decay or as strong as white oak.
  • White oak. This species grows from Texas to Quebec and from Minnesota to the Eastern seaboard. It is very decay-resistant. It is also hard and has a high shrinkage rate. This makes it more difficult to work with for timber frame construction.

There are a lot of other woods that you can choose for your timber frame home construction. Each has its own characteristics. Southern yellow pine, spruce, and cedar are also good choices. It all depends on your location and the features you want in your building material.

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