Some Terms to Learn When Choosing Timber for Home Projects

When choosing timber for home projects, you may find that there are certain terms and phrases you come across that sound very unfamiliar to you and seem like they're making the buying process more complicated. However, if you take just a few minutes to learn some of these terms, you may see that this can actually help you to make the right choice for the lumber you need. Note a few of those commonly used terms here.

1. Seasoned Wood

Seasoned wood doesn't mean it's had salt and pepper added to it, but that it's been dried before being sold. Wood will always hold a certain amount of moisture, and as it dries, it can then contract or shrink slightly. This can affect your building projects, as unseasoned wood used for a home frame can mean the home settles and cracks as the wood shrinks, or the wood may start to curve and warp and become very unsightly. If you don't choose seasoned wood from the lumberyard, be sure you season it yourself by storing it horizontally above the ground for several days in the environment where it will be used. This will allow it to dry and, in turn, it will be less likely to shrink or warp after it's been used.

2. Rough-Sawn and Planed Wood

Rough-sawn means that wood has been cut to a certain measurement. You may notice that rough-sawn woods looks a bit rougher than other types of studs and pieces, as it hasn't been planed. Planed wood means wood that has been smoothed on all four sides. Rough-sawn wood is usually cheaper because of not being planed, and it's good for where it won't be seen, such as for wall studs. Where wood will be seen, such as for an outdoor deck, you want to choose planed wood.

3. Sustainable and Reclaimed Wood

Sustainable wood means that it's been grown in forests that have been set aside for harvesting the wood for lumberyards, instead of harvesting the wood from nature areas and the like. This wood can be good for those who are eco-conscious and don't like contributing to deforestation. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been taken from other projects; you might call this recycled wood. This too is an eco-friendly choice, but be sure you examine reclaimed wood carefully as it may be damaged from nails and adhesives, or it may have bowed and bent slightly due to age and weather exposure.

If you have any other questions about what timber to use, consider contacting a local timber product supplier.