Inside this guide, you’ll find:
1. Pointers on choosing the best wood and lumber for framing and other structural components.
2. Advice on when to choose pressure treated wood.
3. Information on milled wood used for flooring and wood for moulding.
4. Tips for choosing the best vendors for particular wood and lumber products.
Choose the best softwood lumber for framing and structural projectsWood products are typically classified as either hardwoods or softwoods, and softwood lumber is the mainstay for the home construction industry. Typically, softwood lumber for framing includes fir, spruce and hemlock. Structural framing lumber comes in four different grades - select structural (the most rare and expensive), No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 (the least expensive) - and in two moisture contents - S-Dry and S-Grn.
Softwood lumber for framing includes studs, joists, rafters, posts and beams up to 4" thick. Temple-Inland offers select structural wood for structural light framing. Truitt & White and Canfor are major producers of lumber and boast wide selections of lumber in various grades.
Consider the benefits of plywood for wallsWhile a number of products on the market - OSB, foam sheathing and gypsum, to name a few - are touted for their effectiveness in wall construction, plywood for walls is a proven, cost-efficient standard. It is also considered more resistant to the effects of moisture than some other options.
Georgia-Pacific is the nation’s largest manufacturer of plywood, offering a great selection of plywood for walls. The best choice if wood and lumber is permanently exposed to the weather is exterior plywood for walls, which can be found at gotpallets.com. Supress Products sound-engineered plywood for walls offers exceptional soundproofing.
The best choice for decks and fences is pressure treated wood and lumberPressure treated wood is created through a process that forces a chemical preservative deep into the wood. The chemical wards off insects and fungus, giving pressure treated wood a typical 20-year lifespan in the outdoors. The best pressure-treated wood and lumber has been treated with environmentally-friendly chemicals and re-dried after the treatment process to increase its overall strength.
For pressure treated wood and lumber, consider companies such as McGee Lumber Company and Culpeper. A list of vendors can also be found at Business.com.
Choose quality milled wood for moulding and floorsWood flooring and wood for moulding can consist of imported hardwood, regionally grown hardwood or salvaged material that is milled. The ability to "reclaim" wood and mill it into new flooring has become part of the sustainable movement and green building efforts.
The Old Barn Wood Company offers a line of reclaimed milled wood flooring as does Yesteryear Floorworks Company. Decorative Flooring offers a distinct line of milled wood flooring and accessories, and Moulding&and Millwork offers a wide array of wood for moulding.
Consider the best purchase options for wood and lumberFraming lumber and other wood products can be purchased a variety of places - lumberyards, mills, distributors and home improvement stores. The best places for you to purchase lumber building materials depends on your needs.
For competitive pricing and extras like free delivery, try small- to medium-sized lumberyards, such as the Ponderosa Lumber Co. If a large product line is key for your project, go with major manufacturers and distributors like Georgia-Pacific or Culpeper. For specialty wood products, try Hearne Hardwoods, one of the largest specialty lumberyards in the world.
- Characteristics to look for in residential framing lumber include strength, good thermal and sound insulation, attractiveness and workability.
- Consider buying certified eco-friendly wood products from sustainable forestry.
- Most walls are framed using 2" x 4" wall studs, but 2" x 6" lumber for framing can be used to provide more strength or to allow more room for insulation or large pipes.