The Benefits of Using Local Wood Species

The Benefits of Using Local Wood Species

As a timber builder with over 35 years of experience under my belt, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go in this industry. But one thing that’s remained constant is my love for working with local wood species. Sure, the big box stores might try to push the latest exotic hardwoods from across the globe, but I’m a firm believer that the true treasures lie right in our own backyards.

The Strength and Durability of Local Woods

When I first started out in this business, back in high school, we used to build the concrete forms for new homes using pine boards. And you know what? Those boards didn’t just disappear once the job was done – oh no, we’d tear ’em off and use them to frame the house itself. As I’ve told folks before, in my gut, those boards are just stronger. But don’t just take my word for it – the proof is in the pudding.

You see, those local pine boards are nearly twice as thick as the plywood or oriented strand board that most builders opt for these days. And while I may not be able to back that up with scientific data, I can tell you that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the way a well-built, board-framed home just feels more solid, more substantial. It’s like the difference between a cheap particle board desk and a sturdy, solid wood table – you just know quality when you see it (and feel it).

The Cost-Effectiveness of Local Woods

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Bob, won’t using all those boards drive up the cost of the project?” And to that, I say, “Well, yeah, maybe a little bit.” But in the grand scheme of things, that extra cost is going to be a drop in the bucket. It’s like the cost of the front door – it’s there, but you really don’t need to worry about it.

Think about it this way: the average homeowner isn’t going to notice a few extra bucks tacked onto the price tag, especially when they’re getting the kind of quality and durability that comes with local wood species. And let’s not forget about the long-term benefits, too. Those boards are going to stand the test of time, outlasting any of that flimsy plywood or OSB. So, in the end, you’re actually getting more bang for your buck.

The Ease of Handling Local Woods

Another big advantage of working with local wood species? The sheer ease of handling it. Just try spinning those four-by-eight sheets of plywood around on a roof, especially when there’s any kind of wind. It’s a recipe for disaster, let me tell you. With those boards, though, you can move ’em around, nail ’em up, and not have to worry about them blowing away on you.

And then there’s the layout aspect. One of my favorite things about using boards is the way they allow for diagonal sheathing, which helps to really strengthen the home’s frame. It ties that sill right up to the ridge, no bracing required. Plus, it just makes the whole thing a lot quieter, too – those boards have a way of absorbing the vibrations in a way that plywood and OSB just can’t match.

The Aesthetic Appeal of Local Woods

But the benefits of using local wood species don’t stop there, oh no. When it comes to the timber building and woodworking company I work with, we take a lot of pride in the way our projects look and feel. And let me tell you, there’s just something special about the way those local boards dress up a home.

For starters, they’re a lot more attractive than that drywall stuff. I mean, who wants to be banging nails into that brittle material, hoping you don’t crack the whole wall? With boards, you can hang all sorts of decorative elements without a second thought. And the texture – oh, the texture! It’s just so much more visually interesting than the smooth, uniform look of plywood or OSB.

The Sustainability of Local Woods

Of course, the real beauty of using local wood species goes beyond just aesthetics. These are renewable, sustainable resources that we have right here in our own backyard. Contrast that with the exotic hardwoods that have to be shipped in from halfway around the world, and it’s a no-brainer in my book.

I mean, think about it – when you go down to the lumber yard these days, they’re always trying to push the latest and greatest wood that came from New Zealand or who knows where. And I can’t help but shake my head and think, “My God, you’ve got to truck that thing, ship it from New Zealand to Maine. There’s just something fundamentally wrong with that.”

But with local wood species, the supply chain is so much shorter, the environmental impact so much lower. You just slice it, put it up, and you’re good to go. No glue, no fuss, no muss. It’s the greenest, most sustainable product in the world, and I’m proud to be a part of that.

Spreading the Word About Local Wood

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If this local wood is so great, why isn’t everyone using it?” And that’s a fair question. The truth is, I don’t see a lot of other builders doing it this way without some serious education. The lumberyards aren’t exactly pushing it, either.

But you know what? That’s not going to stop me. I’m going to keep on spreading the good word about the benefits of using local wood species, one project at a time. Because at the end of the day, I know that I’m not just building houses – I’m creating something truly special, something that’s going to stand the test of time and bring joy to the people who live in it.

And let me tell you, the reaction I get from my customers is priceless. The senior VP whose house I’m working on right now couldn’t stop raving about it. He brought his president by, and they were both just blown away by the craftsmanship, the quality, the sheer beauty of it all.

So, if you’re in the market for a timber building or a woodworking project, I urge you to consider the benefits of using local wood species. It might cost a little bit more upfront, but trust me, the long-term payoff is well worth it. And who knows, maybe you’ll even catch the bug and start spreading the word, just like I do. After all, when you’ve got a product this good, it’s hard not to shout it from the rooftops.


Get the latest updates on timber construction trends, sustainable practices, and exclusive offers from Timber Building. Subscribe to our newsletter for insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Stay Informed with Timber Building

Contact Us


Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.