When a project around the home involves wood, the type of timber you choose will be vitally important. Not all wood species are alike, and not all boards and planks and large sheets of timber you get at the lumberyard will be alike either. If you've never had to shop for your own timber supplies for a home project, note a few very important tips for making the right selection so you know your project lasts and always looks good as well.

Decay resistance

Many types of wood are treated to resist decay so they can be used outside, where they'll be exposed to high levels of moisture. However, some wood types are more resistant then others and these may not need this added treatment; this can mean a safer type of wood as it won't release chemicals when sanded or cleaned. Look for cedar, European oak, or black walnut for the most decay resistance. Douglas fir and larch have a moderate amount of resistance and can be better than treated pine when it comes to staying dry and not holding mould and mildew.

Hardwoods versus softwoods 

Hardwoods are very strong and durable; a softwood isn't necessarily actually soft in that it may crumble or bend to the touch, but hardwoods are usually preferred where you need the most strength. This can mean for a home's framing as well as items like stairs and banisters. However, cheaper softwoods can be used for cabinets and cupboards as well as furniture pieces like bookshelves or tables. 

Types of sawing

A long piece of lumber is sawn in many different way to get the boards you see at a lumberyard, and those different angles and types of sawing will affect the longevity and durability of timber. Flat sawn means a length of timber was sawn flat and it may expand in width over time, as it absorbs moisture. Quarter sawn is when the tree is cut in quarters, and this can cut down on the amount of moisture it may collect. The grain is very visible with quarter sawn wood so it makes for a good choice for tabletops and cabinets, where you want the wood to be visible and attractive. 

Rift sawn is a cut into the quarter sawn wood and this will have a vertical grain pattern on the end of the wood; this is the most stable of all timber supplies. Rift sawn timber is good for framing and other projects where you don't want the wood to change shape or move over time.

Contact a company like Hayter's Timber & Paving for more information on timber supply options.