Lumber and wood have long been used in building construction as it is readily available, long-lasting when maintained properly, economical, and accessible. In addition, they are relatively lightweight compared to manufactured materials such as steel and concrete but still provide comparable structural integrity. More importantly, lumber is a natural and renewable resource, and with many countries cracking down on forest management laws and policies, wood has become increasingly sustainable.
If you are working with a truss contractor, chances are you will need to select the type of wood to frame your construction projects. Your choice will differ depending on your project requirements and needs, as varying woods will have different qualities and strengths that make them unique and suitable for specific types of projects. Wood can be classified into two types – softwood and hardwood, and they both create different solutions for different functions and spaces. Therefore, it is important to select the right type of lumber for your construction to save money and time in the long term.
Which Should You Choose: Hardwood or Softwood?
The first question you should be asking is whether you will be using hardwood or softwood construction. In general, hardwoods such as birch, elm, and oak are often used in the construction of walls, ceilings, floors, paneling, and cladding.
They are considered versatile due to their superior durability and strength. Therefore, they can be utilized in a myriad of other non-construction purposes such as boatbuilding, furniture, and musical instruments due to their high density in their structures. Additionally, they come in a limitless variety, and each type has its own unique set of strengths and qualities. However, as they require a longer drying time and take a longer time to grow, they are generally more expensive.
On the other hand, softwoods include cedar, cypress, fir, pine, and spruce and are commonly used to create the internal parts of the construction such as doors, window frames, and furniture. They can even be used for exterior projects such as decking, landscaping as they are valued for their aesthetic appearance. Compared to hardwoods, they are more accessible, affordable, and can be easily altered to create different shapes and designs as they grow faster.
If you’re looking to get internal moldings of your construction custom-made and specialized to suit your needs, these softwoods can be considered for their superior quality and versatility:
- Cedar: Low density, high-quality, and lightweight wood that is easy to transport and is great for thermal insulation. It is also excellent for projects that require wood that is naturally resistant to decay and can ward off pests and insects, making it perfect for wall coverings and closets.
- Cypress: Natural resistance to moisture and wet conditions, ideal for outdoor furnishing such docks and decks in tropical conditions.
- Fir: It makes up 25% of North America’s lumber production and is commonly used as furniture items, plywood, house posts and logs, fences, and firewood.
- Pine: Readily available, accessible, and commonly used in woodworking, cabinetry, and furniture crafting.
- Spruce: With over 35 species, spruce is easily available and is a popular choice for many construction projects, and is suitable for indoor housing and furniture construction projects.
However, if you’re looking to frame your building structures, you should be looking into these high-quality woods:
- Birch: It can be found in the northern states of the US and Canada, recognized for its cross-streaks and think bark, making it perfect for more minor construction projects, furniture production, and pattern-making.
- Chestnut: Easy to work with and is often used for roofing and flooring purposes as it is highly durable and rot-resistant.
- Elm: Highly versatile as it comes in various textures and hues, resistant to splitting with its interlocking structure, and is commonly used in construction, veneer, flooring, mining timbers, and firewood.
- Maple: Unique wood ideal for furniture building designed to be highly durable and long-lasting.
- Oak: With over 50 types of oak available in the US, it is durable, rot, and insect-resistant and is often a mainstay in many home construction businesses.
Why You Should Work with US Framing
US Framing specializes in wood framing to meet the needs and requirements of our clients due to its efficiency and speed in construction. We utilize cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a wood framing method, as it requires lesser energy to construct than steel and concrete without compromising the structural integrity. In addition, our practices create minimal wastage of resources as doors and windows fixtures are prefabricated before being assembled onsite. Furthermore, we customize our framing methods according to your needs.
For more information about the framing services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us today!