Common Types of Structural Timber Used in Australia

Timber has been used extensively in construction from time immemorial but has not lost its appeal even in today’s era of synthetic materials. Timber structures look classic and timeless and create an aura of natural elegance all around. Timber is also tough and can support heavy loads because of which wooden beams, bearers, joists and lintel supports are so common in houses across Australia. Across the nation, primarily two types of structural timber are used in construction and other purposes; namely hardwood and softwood.

Seasoned Hardwood

In Australia, properly seasoned hardwood is highly priced in structural applications because of its high durability, excellent strength-to-weight ratio and natural beauty. It is sourced both from carefully sustained native forests and plantations and are usually sold as continuous; solid structures.

Unseasoned Hardwood

Unseasoned or green timber has been historically used for framing purpose and for constructing large residential structures. It is sourced from a wide variety of deciduous species. However, unseasoned timber has certain drawbacks such as warping or twisting in the structure as the wood dries out over time. That is why seasoned hardwood is more preferred by customers over unseasoned wood although in rural areas it is natural to see more use of unseasoned wood because of easy availability. In fact, most rural households and tribal areas depend on unseasoned wood for constructing beams and joists.

White cypress is predominantly used as unseasoned softwood across Australia. This timber is quite durable and offers excellent resistance to termite and moisture. It is extensively used to manufacture beams, posts and deck joists.

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