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        Wooden Structures & Architectural Decor For The Garden & Landscape


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Selection of Wood

 

Wood is a dynamic material that acclimates to the surrounding environment. Wood swells and shrinks with changes in humidity which can often cause, to a varying degree, twisting, warping, bowing and splitting. Like your skin, wood is also susceptible to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Lastly, wood that is left unprotected will age and deteriorate with each passing year. These traits are inherent to wood and can never truly be eliminated, only managed through careful planning and maintenance.

There are many species of wood that possess certain characteristics that make them desirable for outdoor use. However, cost and availability are the typical governing factors when selecting a wood species for your project. The woods most often selected for outdoor structures include Western Red Cedar, Redwood and treated Southern Yellow Pine. When a "weathered" appearance is desired the project can be built using Douglas Fir and untreated Southern Yellow Pine.

 

Regardless of your preference, each piece of wood for your project is hand selected  to ensure the finest possible quality, color and grain orientation.  These most common woods are shown below:

 


 

Western Red Cedar

 

western red cedarThe heartwood of Western Red Cedar varies from a pinkish to dark brown color. This initial color will turn to a very stately and uniform silver gray when exposed to the elements. The wood is very light in weight and is straight-grained but coarse-textured with prominent growth rings. An excellent choice for outdoor carpentry projects.

 

Redwood

 

redwoodThe heartwood of Redwood is, as its name implies, red in color. The wood is light in weight and has a fine grain structure and will maintain it's initial color well when subjected to the elements. Extreme durability and good dimensional stability makes Redwood a popular choice for tables, bridges, pergolas and garden architecture.

 

Douglas Fir

 

douglas firThe heartwood of Douglas Fir varies from pinkish-yellow to reddish-brown. Moderately strong yet hard and heavy c0onsidering it is classified as a softwood. Douglas Fir, left unprotected in the elements, will turn a light to medium brown color. An inexpensive alternative wood but requires periodic maintenance with a protective finish.

 

Pressure Treated

 

pressure treatedSouthern Yellow Pine (SYP) is the most common wood used for pressure treating. It is strong and stiff yet has a reputation for being dimensionally unstable and prone to seasonal movement. Typical building materials are wet and heavy and best results are obtained when the wood is machined and assembled shortly after purchase.

 

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