The type of lumber you use in construction can make the difference between great outcomes and failure. Prior to contacting a supplier, it is important that you understand your options more so when it comes to pressure and untreated lumber. The purpose of this post is to help you understand your options.
Pressure Treated Lumber
This type of lumber is ideal for contact with the ground or concrete that can wick water. It is treated to prevent insect damage and rot. The pressured lumber is created by placing untreated softwood lumber in vacuum chambers with preservative agents; mostly copper or boron based compounds. The vacuum works by forcing the preservative agents deep into the wood thus ensuring preservatives go all over the wood.
As a result of the added components, pressure treated lumber is bulkier than the untreated lumber. It can be hard to cut. What is more is that it will cost you more than the untreated softwood lumber. However, pressure treated lumber is less expensive than the naturally rot-resistant lumber.
Untreated Rot-resistant Lumber
There are types of lumber that are rot resistant, naturally. This trait is used as a selling point for families that have kids and animals that tend to chew on wood. The main species with the natural rot resistance include cypress, western cedar, redwood, Pacific yew and black locust. The first three are the most common and the least expensive. All in all, when compared to pressure treated lumber, the untreated lumber is lighter, easy to cut but more expensive.
Untreated Softwood Lumber
There are times when you will be able to substitute the untreated softwood with rot resistant lumber. A good example is where you will have contact with cement. In this case, you can sandwich the roofing felt between cement and the untreated lumber. If there are any exposed parts of the untreated softwood, you can cover them up with caulk. Caulk keeps moisture from getting to the untreated lumber thus preventing rot. Alternatively, the untreated lumber can be coated with good quality paint. Doing so will be ideal if you plan on using the softwood outdoors. Oil-based enamel offers the best protection against insect damage and rot.
The three are the types of lumber that you will find from your supplier. When used properly, they can help you meet a wide range of needs. It is important to note that the best choice is one that is based on the environmental demands and your desire for more environmentally friendly materials. The cost of the materials will also have a part to play.
The quality of building materials you end up using will affect your construction. This is why your choice of materials should not be based solely on the cost of the materials but how well the materials will withstand the elements. You should liaise with your supplier to better understand the merits and demerits of all the available options. Don’t choose a material because your friend recommended it but because it will help meet your needs.