Lumber is important when building or remodeling homes. Wood elements can make up a big part of any house. Read on to understand the various kinds of wood and the things to look for when purchasing wood.
Hardwood vs. Softwood
Often, hardwood is produced by deciduous trees and softwood by coniferous trees. Compared to softwood, hardwood tends to be stronger and grows longer. This makes it more expensive than softwood, depending on which Lumber Yards Houston you buy it from. However, softwood is still an effective building material. As a matter of fact, a lot of lumber kinds used in homes are softwoods. Examples of hardwoods include beech, oak, teak and American black walnut while softwoods include pine, Western red cedar and hemlock.
When buying wood, it is important to consider its qualities aside from the type. When it comes to wood quality, you should decide based on the following:
- Treated wood. Pressure-treated wood is often impregnated with a preservative and with a brown or green tint. This wood can be put in contact with outdoor surfaces like soil where there may be insect infestation or a serious damp issue. While all treated wood will break down after some time, how it was treated can affect its overall lifespan.
- Seasoned wood. When first cut, wood contains a high amount of moisture. This means that it has to be dried out before being ready for use. Wood in the market may still have some moisture content. And because distortion can take place during the drying process, wood must be stored horizontally, above ground level.
Rough-Sawn or Planed
You can find wood either rough-sawn or planed. Because of this, buying this construction material becomes even more confusing. Plus, lumber is often sold based on its dimensions when cut into rough-sawn lengths first. Thus, the size of rough-sawn lumber must be close to what is stated when you purchase it. However, planed lumber tends to be smaller than its labeled size as it went through the smoothening process before being displayed for sale.
When purchasing wood, ensure you look for knots, uneven grain or splits. Splits can take place because of growth defects or shrinkage. Softwoods tend to warp and damage more easily once stored. Expect to pay more for wood that is free of any issues. However, whether you are buying house pilings or other forms of lumbers, make sure you examine the lumber thoroughly before buying.