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The uses for timber are almost endless. Its excellent environmental credentials and widespread feature in makeover programmes, lifestyle magazines and architectural press has led to something of a renaissance for wood in recent years, a trend which seems set to continue.
However, to make the most of the unique appeal of timber in our homes and buildings we need to be aware of its natural characteristics which, if overlooked, can cause projects to fail and disputes to arise.
As one of the oldest materials known to man, wood has provided us with fuel wood, pulp and paper, utensils, furniture and a first class, environmentally friendly building material. So, given our familiarity with timber, why is it that some attempts to use it can result in problems, and even expensive litigation?
In some cases, it is our very familiarity that is the problem. So often, our failure to specify the correct species, treatment and condition of the timber can result in problems later. Likewise, poor manufacture, installation or incorrect maintenance can also result in timber projects falling short of expectation. Consequently, it is often not the timber itself that is at fault but the way in which it is used.
An understanding of some of the basic properties of timber will help to ensure that it is used correctly, whether it is for a multi-million-pound building or a weekend DIY project.
It is the intention that our “Wood Works” Blogs will help to inform you of what you need to bear in mind when specifying or selecting wood products and where to go for further information.
We start in “Wood Works No. 1” with one of the most important and yet least understood factors, that of moisture content. This may at first appear to be a ‘dry’ subject, but we hope you find it of interest!