hardwood lumberYou’re already looking forward to your next DIY project. You have a plan, you have the tools, and you have the enthusiasm of the intrepid Do-It-Yourselfer. Now, you just have to choose the right wood for the job. Not all lumber is created equally, and it is essential to choose the right type of wood and grade for the task at hand.

Each wood species has its own qualities that are best suited to particular uses and projects. Here’s how you can make sure you choose the best wood for the job every time.

What do you need structurally?

If you’re building a structural project, such as a residential or architectural installation, you’ll need to consult with your plans, local code official, or residential codes. Different wood species and grades have unique properties, so be sure you know what structural grade you need.

How are hardwoods measured?

Hardwood lumber products is often measured in the “quarter” sizing system. Boards are sold in 1/4 thickness increments, where the thickness is called out in the number of quarters. For example, a four-quarter or 4/4 board will be 1″ thick, while a ten-quarter or 10/4 board will be 2.5″ thick. This will need to be surfaced down, losing around 1/4 to 1/2″, depending on size and twist in the board. 

 Are you using the wood for exterior or interior purposes?

If you’re working on an exterior project, you’ll want to choose a wood that’s resistant to the sun and to weathering.

Certain woods can help protect against insects and water damage, while other types may be best used indoors. You’ll also want to look for types of wood that are known for their durability and strength.

When it comes to interior projects, you don’t need to worry about the wood you choose being resistant to insects, moisture, and extreme temperatures. In this case, you’ll want to focus the most on the appearance of the wood.

What are some popular wood choices?

There are pros and cons for all types of lumber, so it’s wise to know a little bit about your options.

For instance, pine is a softwood, which means it’s probably a bad choice for your new dinner table. Yes, it might be cheaper than oak, but that doesn’t mean it’s a better choice. Because of its handsome appearance, cherry or walnut wood pieces are a popular choice for furniture and other projects where appearance matters. For outdoor furniture, tables, decks, and similar DIY projects, redwood, teak, and white oak are popular choices.

What kind of finish are you looking for?

For wood finishes, you’ll want to consider the workability and surface appearance of the wood. That’s because these factors will make a big impact on the wood’s ability to accept an even application of paint, stain, or oil.

If you’re using the wood for cabinetry, the finish should be a major factor in the project. The wood ought to be smooth and consistent so the paint doesn’t make a rough or bumpy appearance. Your wood supplier can help you out if you’re unsure of what type of wood is the best to choose.

Where can I find high-quality hardwood lumber?

Up to 94% of all new American homes are built with wood frames. But wood is also used in a variety of other places within the home; it’s crucial that you choose the right hardwood lumber for the job.

Whether you’re looking for hardwood lumber, flitch cut slabs, or cherry wood pieces, Horizon Wood has what you need for your project. To learn more about our specialty wood products and timber prices, contact Horizon Wood today.

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