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Three Main Differences Between Landscaping Timber And Building Timber

by Kyle Carpenter

If you walk into a hardware or home improvement store to look at wood and timber, how much do you know? Sure, you may know something about how would is sized and cut, but can you tell the difference between building timber and landscaping timber? How about planks versus posts? Faced with literal walls of wood products, you may need some help. For starters, here are three main differences between landscaping timber and building timber.

Landscaping Timber Is Rough

Most landscaping timber is rough-hewn or roughly cut. Not all the pieces may be the same size. The reason for this is that most landscaping timber is leftover wood, i.e., it is what is left of a tree when the rest has been turned into wood for building. Most people buy landscaping timber expecting these natural anomalies in the wood's cut, size and appearance because they plan to use the timber for more rustic purposes.

Other pieces of wood designated for landscaping purposes are cut in an almost cuboid cylinder formation. These pieces are used to construct retaining walls for gardens or elevated landscaping plots. Their ends are quite rough, but they are otherwise smooth. You may also use these as fence posts to install a fence.

Landscaping Timber May Be Treated for Use Outdoors

Much of the landscaping timber you can buy is treated or coated with a weatherization coat so that it can withstand the elements as it sits exposed outdoors. You can buy landscaping timber that is untreated, but then you will have to preserve it yourself or replace it when it completely rots. Building timber (or lumber) on the other hand is often covered with siding or roofing materials, and does not need to be treated. The majority of building timber/lumber may not be treated just because it will be tucked underneath other materials and protected from the elements by the overlaying or overlapping materials.

Building Timber/Lumber Is Often Cut into Planks

Building timber/lumber is often cut into planks because it will lay flat on roof or side of a house/building. More three-dimensional pieces are used in roof construction. The planks and boards are smoothed and sliced flawlessly, but if they are exposed to moisture during shipping, they may warp a bit. This is very different from how landscaping timber is "made," since it is only sliced or cut to fit the needs and special requests of consumers.

Visit a lumber store, like Jensen  Tiewalls , for more help.