4 Common Timber Species for Your Timber Frame

Choosing the right timber species can be a difficult task especially if you are building a timber framed structure for the first time. There are a lot of factors and options to consider when it comes to choosing the wood species that is most suitable for your building. Timber framed workshops, houses and garages have different requirements for timber species depending on their functions. However, there are some timber species that are commonly used in many timber frames. These woods have distinct characteristics that are suitable for different purposes. You can consider one of them according to the features you want in your timber frame.

Douglas Fir

The first choice of many timber frame builders is Douglas fir. The reason for this is due to the strength of this timber specie. Douglas Fir is strong and sturdy. It can also bear heavy weight and load easily. This should be your ideal choice if you want to use stone or concrete to cover the timber frame. It is also ideal for building timber framed garages. Among other timber species, Douglas fir has the least shrinkage and is also less prone to twisting and checking. Moreover, it is available in many tones from orange yellow to reddish brown which offers more versatility in appearance.

White Oak

White Oak has a high shrinkage, check and twist rate but it is still one of the most common timber species used in building timber frames. The reason of this is because while oak is more resistant to decay. If you want your timber frame to last for a long time, then you should definitely choose white oak. It is also sturdy and can bear heavy load. But remember that due to the composition of white oak, it is prone to gaps and rifts that can affect its visuals. The lack of visual effects however does not concern its structure. Choose white oak if you can compromise on the aesthetics of your timber building.


This timber specie is best in all categories. Cypress wood is durable as well as strong. It is commonly used to make porches, posts and beams because it provides supports to the timber frame. But just because cypress has structure benefits does not mean that it completely lacks visual effects. Natural cypress can create a unique effect that some people would desire in their timber home. Cypress is also resistant to decay which adds to its advantages. The only down side of this timber species is that it’s highly expensive. But considering all the features it offers, the high price is understandable.

Eastern White Pine

This timber species is not as strong as oak but it can bear a considerable load. People prefer eastern white pine due to its aesthetic effects. The timber comes in golden hues with red streaks. Plus, it is prone to checking and twisting after some time which is a disadvantage in many timber species but it only creates a rustic outlook in eastern white pine. It is also less expensive than other timber species.