Building From Timber, The Choices…

The choices are endless when looking at using timber in construction, and all the woods have their own distinct properties, strengths and weaknesses, all beautiful in their own right, wood can add such natural warmth and beauty to your home, inside and out. What type of wood would you use in your next home improvement or construction? Well here we’ll try and help you with some details about the most popular timbers used in the construction industry (alphabetically, no favoritism here and they all vary in prices)


Hardwood/ light brown almost white. Strong & durable, can be bent, stains & takes paint well, often used as a cheaper substitute for Oak, what’s is ash timber used for? Well mainly ash is used for indoor construction not really bathrooms or kitchens as it doesn’t like water and rots quickly.


Hardwood/ deep red, fades when exposed to light. Strong but not so durable, not for outdoor use, rots quickly, warps when drying fast, used for stairs, can be turned well.


Softwood/ reddish brown but silvers with age untreated. Doesn’t tend to split or warp, doesn’t rot quickly so used a lot in garden structures, gazebos, shingle roofing, decking, sheds, gates & fencing. Not a hardwood so not used in large structural construction.


Softwood/ brown and dries darker in colour if untreated. Indoor joinery & carpentry not really for outdoor use, used in plywood, knotty.


Softwood / orange in colour, initially drying to blue/silver if untreated. Used for windows, doors, floors, shingles, great for outdoor construction.


Hardwood/ light brown to silver grey if untreated. Where do we start? Great for outdoor construction, floors, doors, furniture, matures beautifully, can be treated with stain, paint, varnish takes to it well or left natural. Many people askIs oak better stronger than most other timbers. Well the answer is yes


Softwood/ Pale “pine” yellow coloured, we all know the colour darkens with age. Used for doors, windows, stairs, shingles, sheds, furniture. Cheaper wood.


Softwood/ varies in colour reds / whites / yellow depending on which species of spruce. Use for Indoor carpentry or joinery, rarely outdoor as it needs to be treated.

So on this basis one of the main large construction timber for outdoors use is oak, it’s properties lend itself to outdoor construction and although some of the other timbers are used outdoors, this wood is used not only in the construction of the build but also decoratively, making oak buildings distinct and beautiful