The use of timber indoors and outdoors still remains a popular choice by many. With numerous types of wood available, its strength and beauty makes it easy to understand why it is so widely used.
Outdoor timber constructions include sheds, garages, porches summer houses and gazebos to name but a few. Each offers the homeowner additional space to relax and enjoy, or alternatively additional storage space which is separate from the main property.
Whilst you gain the extra space/storage, the environment benefits too;
Looking after the environment
As a sustainable material, the methods used to harvest, produce and transport timber are far more environmentally friendly than those of other building materials such as steel and concrete.
As more trees are planted, the levels of CO2 absorbed into the atmosphere increase; so regular harvesting of mature trees for use as a building material, means that new younger trees are being continuously planted to replace them, so the cycle continues and the environment continues to benefit.
The natural benefits
A timber construction will naturally provide a level of thermal insulation. This is one of the reasons why timber is used for outdoor constructions as the need for a separate heating system is not required.
Building with timber usually means that there is very little waste. If the timber structure is being made at a factory, on-site waste is kept to a minimum, whilst off-cuts are recycled and used again. If the build is taking place on your property, off-cuts can be kept and used for future projects, or burnt (as fuel).
The man-made benefits
We’ve detailed some of the environmental benefits, but let’s consider how we can use timber to our benefit:
Once you have sourced the timber for your project, actual construction time is quite quick. This is especially true if the construction is being carried out by a professional carpenter.
With the addition of a sound absorbent quilt/product, it is fairly straight forward to make your timber construction sound proof.
With its robustness and durability, timber is a very strong material, thus your timber construction will last for years just with basic maintenance such as annually applying wood treatments.
Caring for your outbuilding
Timber will stand the test of time without too much intervention, but if you want to avoid the weathered look there are products available on the market that you can use. By using the correct paint/stains you can be sure that your timber construction remains in top condition.
If you are opting to paint, look for a water-based paint as these tend to discolour less than solvent-based paints. The added benefit of using water-based paint is that as the wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture levels, the paint will move with the wood and not cause any splits or cracks.
Providing that you invest in a good quality water-based paint, it shouldn’t need painting more than once every 5 to 6 years.
If you have decided to stain rather than paint there are many exterior wood stains and varnishes available from the larger DIY outlets. These are designed to protect the wood from the elements, thus preventing rotting, warping and discolouration.