Affordable timber products
AS ONE of the most popular building materials in Queensland, timber combines raw, natural appeal with significant eco qualities.
The Weekend Shopper is a rich resource for locating all types of timber products, from second hand and antique items for that rustic look, through to newer, treated options.
For those building or renovating a cottage, Queenslander or post-war property, finding affordable timber in the Shopper can help reduce the overall cost of the project.
There is a different range available each week, including hardwood posts, fence palings, gates, weatherboards, balustrades, lattice, floorboards, architraves, railings, doors and windows including casement and sash styles.
Products come in different varieties, from softwoods such as pine to hardwoods like Brushbox.
Timber miller and importer Podge Murphy will happily tell anyone about the benefits of timber.
Mr Murphy, of Endeavour Timber Products at Northgate in Brisbane, reckons timber beats other materials such as concrete and plastic hands down.
“ Timber is brilliant,” Mr Murphy said.
“ Timber has natural variation, life and warmth; timber has a smell and feel to it – it is emotive. Concrete is dead and plastic is inert.”
If forested responsibly, the use of timber in construction can offer a variety of environmental benefits.
As a renewable and biodegradable resource, it takes considerably less energy to produce than other materials such as concrete, insulates naturally and helps reduce greenhouse gases.
Not all varieties are susceptible to termites and borers, and there are successful methods of treating timber pre-construction to prevent infestations.
In places such as the Sunshine State, where timber is a traditional building resource, our homes not only provide shelter but offer an efficient method of storing carbon, similar to trees in the forest.
Timber structures also radiate an aesthetic appeal that has seen Queenslander-style homes become one of the state’s favoured building styles.
For interior use, Mr Murphy said Australian varieties such as Brushbox and Ironbark were some of the most coveted, while Spotted Gum provided a popular option for decking.
He said overseas varieties including Kwilla offered a good quality, affordable alternative as well.
While there are some issues associated with timber, such as the possibility of expansion and contraction in different temperatures, Mr Murphy said the benefits far outweighed the potential problems.
“Off all the materials to work with timber is the least forgiving but the most rewarding,” he said.