When purchasing timber, you have to make a lot of different decisions. You have to choose a timber type, decide what size you need, choose whether or not you want to purchase treated timber, and more. One initial decision that you will have to make is whether you are purchasing structural timber or decorative timber. There are some pretty major differences between the two, so it is important to make the right choice. If you still don't totally understand the differences between the two, it might be difficult for you to make the right choice for your project. These are some of the differences that you'll want to know about.
Decorative Timber Isn't as Strong
First of all, you should know that decorative timber is designed to be used for decorative purposes. It's not designed to be used for building. Therefore, it simply is not nearly as strong as structural timber is. Although quality does vary between different types of decorative timber, none of it's made to support a lot of weight. Therefore, if you're actually building something, then structural timber is going to be the better choice. If you're just looking for wood that you can use for decoration, then decorative timber might be what you'll want to look for.
Structural Timber Often Isn't as Attractive
Although structural timber is much stronger than decorative timber, the truth is that it's not really designed with aesthetics in mind. This means that it might not have the same decorative cuts or attractive finishes as decorative timber. In many cases, this does not matter, since you will not even see the decorative timber after it's installed. For example, if it's used for framing — which is common — then it might be covered with sheetrock walls. If you are going to be using structural timber in a manner where it will be visible, however, you do have the option to cut or stain it so that it will look nicer.
Decorative Timber Often Won't Pass Inspection
Whether you're building an entire home, a home addition, or a small structure, inspections will probably have to be done at various points while your project is being done. You will need to make sure that you use approved materials when you're building so that you don't have problems with these inspections. If you use decorative timber for framing purposes, there's a good chance that you will have a problem with your inspection, even if it seems like the decorative timber is working well enough for its purpose.
If you need structural timber for a project, talk to a supplier in your area.