When you visit a lumber yard or home improvement store, all those pieces of wood may look exactly the same to you. However, there is a reason why there are so many different prices for timber, and why they're often classified with different technical terms. Choosing the wrong type of timber can mean selecting pieces that detract from the overall look of a project and which in turn requires more work for you, or it may mean overpaying for a type of timber you do not really need.
Two common terms you'll see when choosing timber are sawn and dressed. If you are not sure of what these mean and which you need for your project, note the following.
Sawn timber simply means that it's been cut to a particular size or angle on the end, and it has not been milled, machined, or finished. It's considered raw or unfinished, and you may notice that it has a rougher surface. Sawn timber is what is used for construction where the timber will be hidden away, such as for frames or subfloors.
Quarter sawing is a technique that is done to reduce shrinkage over time. Sawn timber can be purchased seasoned or unseasoned; seasoned meaning that the timber has been dried so that the internal moisture content is stable. This is often best for construction in areas where the timber may be exposed to more moisture, such as in the tropics.
This type of timber has been finished on at least one side so that it has a very smooth edge. It may still need some sanding, but it's smoother and better for finished projects. Timber can be dressed on just one side, and you may see the label D1S (dressed one side) or the label D1S, D1E (dressed on one side and one edge. If the entire piece has been machined or finished, you will see the label DAR, or dressed all around.
It's important to remember that dressing timber means that the size will be slightly reduced. In some cases, lumber yards and home improvement stores will sell dressed lumber according to the size it starts at before dressing. It may be good to take a tape measure with you and note the actual size or circumference of timber that's been dressed before purchasing, so you know exactly how much it's been machined and reduced before you buy it.
Now that you know what the difference is between sawed and dressed lumber, you can head on over to a local timber distributor, such as Australian Treated Pine, to get the lumber you need for your home project.
If you live in an old house, you might find that some of the trees in your yard are as old, or older, than your house. Trees are a great link to the past of the house, but as they get older, like any living thing, they need a little more tender loving care! I help homeowners restore and maintain the trees at their house so that they look beautiful and healthy again. If you are the proud owner of an older tree and want to make sure it retains its natural glory, keep reading for my hints and tips.