Whatever you are building with timber, it is essential that you pick the right timber products for the job. You might think that all timber is the same, but nothing could be further from the truth. While all wood can be cut and shaped, that doesn't mean that all wood is equally easy to work or that all wood is equally resilient to varying environmental conditions. If you need to use timber, then you must buy the right timber products or else your new project could go seriously wrong or even be structurally unsafe. Here are four things that you must consider to help you choose timber products.
Will your timber serve a structural purpose?
All timber that is used in the structure of a building is required to conform to the Australian Standard AS 1684. If you can't see proof that the timber you are considering using meets that standard, then do not try to use it as structural timber. It isn't safe, and you could be endangering yourself or others.
Is it fire-compliant?
If you are building in an area which is classified as a fire risk, then you must be certain that all of the timber products which you use comply with the appropriate local building codes. The two relevant codes are AS 1720.4, which relates to the fire resistance of timber structures, and AS 3959, which covers the construction of buildings in areas prone to bushfires.
Where will you use these timber products?
If you want to use the timber products inside your home, then a softwood is a great choice, but if you want to build outside, then you will have to think about choosing a hardwood with a strong resistance to decay. If you really must use a softwood outside, then you should consider treating it with preservatives to prevent it decaying and rotting away or being attacked by insects. If you want to buy timber products that have already been treated, then look for the appropriate stamp on the material to see what type of preservatives have been applied.
How easy is the timber to work with?
No matter what you may want to create from the timber, you will undoubtedly have to shape the material in some way. Not all timbers are easy to work with, so discuss your requirements with your supplier and ask them to suggest a good wood for you to use.