Below is a rundown of the most common wood species used for building timber frames. If you are looking for a more natural feel, you might want to consider a rustic look. The panels will also produce domestic hot water in summer months, so only after a full years cycle with the solar air heating panels will we know the true performance, but without a doubt it will much lower as the solar panels are expected to supply about 80% of the heat load. The kiln drying process helps make the timber more stable, less likely to crack, and keeps shrinkage to a minimum. This species enjoys predictable lead times for projects. Timber frame homes can been made from a variety of wood species. These are strong softwoods that are mostly used in eastern Canada. Oak, which is rare in certain areas of the lower 48, the hardy Western Red cedar, pine and spruce are all wood species that will build a sturdy home. While rot resistant, this family of species is best used inside as it weathers to uneven coloration in exterior applications. Younger Cypress trees are moderately hard, stable, and strong, and are resistant to decay so they are good for indoor and outdoor use. Traditional Family Home Build on a Budget. The only downside to working with this type of wood is that lead times can sometimes be long. The highest strength and best-looking grade are select structural. (931) 484-7059, “We try to plan and build houses which will simplify the work of home life and add to its wholesome joy and comfort.” I've always found it confusing whether to use the words lumber, wood or timber in connection to construction in the US and Canada, and I think i get it now. Rough Sawn, Western Red Cedar Stained With a Natural Finish. This timber is usually manufactured from kiln-dried fir, pine, or spruce. Smooth finish: I was trying to figure out how to tell which companies used phenol and which ones used urea. We order our hemlock shake-free. Paints are not a good choice on any species of oak. The quality of the wood decreases as the grade number increases, but keep in mind that better grade lumber will cost more. Just discovered this Eco Home site - looks promising! A stud wood type that is favored is the Douglas Fir, known for its structural strength. Fir is an excellent wood for highly finished post & beam frames and commercial work because of its strength and beautiful grain. So deciding what species of wood is right for your frame and for you is a decision that needs to be made early in the process. Vermont Timber Works custom designs and fabricates beautiful timber frame homes, post and beam barns, heavy timber churches, cathedral ceilings and more. See here. Boxed heart timbers are sawn or milled so that the center of a tree remains intact. This type of wood is known to provide aesthetically pleasing finishes and facilitate easier and comfortable application of paint, stains, and preservatives & in recent years CLS timber has become popular in the United Kingdom and Europe where it is mainly used in timber-frame construction, internal partitioning, framing, and carcassing. Some wood works best for fires, while others create structures that will stand for generations. Bald cypress most often sees use in outdoor structures such as timber frame pavilions, mid-size farmers markets, porches, exterior awnings and decorative trusses where the species’ weather resistance helps insure long life. The Great Halls of England are timber framed using English oak. We buy our Douglas fir timbers directly from west coast suppliers who select only the best looking timber. BH = boxed heart Regardless of the type of wood that is used, furniture for use inside the home should ideally be free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, to protect your indoor air quality. Hemlock is very strong, has a long grain and is a renewable resource. Shrinkage is moderately low but somewhat higher than the cedars. There is a company in Quebec named Livos that provides natural and non-toxic finishing oils, have a look, I think they should have the finishing products you need that will also  safeguard the air quality of your house. Douglas fir is an abundant West coast species that sees wide use in heavy timber structures. What’s the best wood to take stain, and keep a clean, easy-to-maintain finish, long-term? While rot resistant, this family of species is best used inside as it weathers to uneven coloration in exterior applications. If you want a modern and sleek look for your timber frame, you’ll want a smooth finish. The wood has not been dried and its moisture content is high. For your final cladding, check here on our page on choosing exterior siding for options. Pine and spruce are some of the most economical varieties of timber available. Pine and Spruce: Ordering mixed oak saves time and money. Oak timbers are becoming used less frequently due to increased difficulty in finding high quality pieces in suitable sizes, This is the most popular species of wood used in timber frame homes due to its strength and beauty. These timbers come without the center (or heart) of the tree trunk. We buy our Douglas fir timbers directly from west coast suppliers who select only the best looking timber. Glulam is also used for the construction of multi-use facilities such as churches, school buildings, and libraries, and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, is a beautiful example of glulam beams combining ecological and aesthetic considerations. A house isn't just wood and nails anymore. This is the premium choice for exposed timber homes since it can handle weather conditions better than any other species. Its color ranges from light red to pale yellow. These beams have more movement and are therefore more prone to cracking. In order to build a straight floor for example, some pieces will need to be shimmed and others will need to be shaved, and that takes a lot of time. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. This is also the more economical finishing option. To date, it has mainly been used in residential construction, but tall wood buildings (between 5 and 10 stories), encouraged by changes in building code in relation to timber use in tall buildings, are now starting to pop up all over the world with over 500 mid to high rise timber buildings under construction across Canada alone in 2019-2020. Color is the personality of the wood, from the pale hue of white pine to the vibrancy of redwood. Southern US softwood; moderately heavy, moderately strong and moderately hard. How much will it cost? What is the best wood for Timber Framing. Choosing the best wood for a stud wall can be confusing. Sapwood is narrow and white colored. The CLS timber is usually graded in respect to its strength in strict conformity to the British Standard EN 14081-1:2005. Framing lumber, also known as structural wood, is the grade of wood used for house framing (studs, Larsen Trusses for Double-Stud walls, headers, roof trusses and floor joists, etc. This process makes it possible to produce posts and beams that are strong and well suited for wide spans.Because glulam is strong and very easy to work with, it is often used in roof framing but is finding more and more applications in structural elements of buildings. The C24 is the stronger grade, but both categories tend to have a similar physical appearance. It is then treated, planed, and finally finished with rounded edges to create accurate and precise tolerances. Challenging to obtain graded for structural timber framing. It is assembled with the grain of each layer running in the opposite direction of the previous one, making  a very stable and strong final product that is highly resistant to cracking, twisting and shrinkage. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and to insects as well, making it an especially hardy and long-lasting wood. It can be stained with a natural oil, or stained dark depending on the owner’s preference. For finishings and maintenance - again to protect your air quality - look for zero VOC paints and finishes. Paint and stains adhere well to Bald cypress. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. However, certain stands of hemlock can have a defect called shake. The general rule of thumb: any width listed as 2" will actually be 1.5" and as for the depth, actual dimensions are .5" less. The reason for this is planing; some true dimensions can be found at lumber yards, referred to as 'rough' lumber or "rough sawn" as they are unplaned wood. For example, rough sawn oak with a golden stain will look distinctly different from planed and chamfered Hemlock that has been weathered. Perhaps as important, you’ll learn how to specify the other important wood characteristics for a timber frame–things like timber grade, moisture content, heart content, and surface texture. White oak is very weather resistant and Red oak is a little redder in color than white oak. DIY Construction Advice: Don't cut costs on framing lumber. When we place an order for vintage wood, we specify either “hand hewn” timber or “resawn” timber. This wood gets a high grade for its structural strength, which makes it an engineer’s favourite to build with.