Parsons-Wood-004When buying anything made of timber, you have to decide whether you want to use softwood or hardwood.  You need to consider which type is best for your project. Timber windows for example need to withstand the elements, but they also need to look aesthetically pleasing and suited to the home they will be a part of.

Examples of softwood trees include:

  • Pine. A popular choice for its ability to bend, which makes carving easy. Pine also stains well and is easily available, simple to work with and long lasting. For these reasons, it is commonly used for furniture, flooring and framing. It comes in lots of varieties.
  • Cedar. Cedar is a tough softwood that means it can be used in lots of different ways, including roofing. It handles moist environments well so makes it a good choice for outdoor uses – outdoor furniture, building exteriors and decking are common uses. Cedarwood boasts a distinct aromatic smell, which makes it a popular furniture choice in domestic properties. Candle lovers will have noticed that cedarwood is often used as a base note on scented candles and other scented products.  It’s “woodsy” smell acts as the perfect warm anchor when combined with floral or citrus notes.
  • Redwood. Redwood is able to withstand exposure to moisture and is our preferred softwood for exterior joinery, such as timber windows and external doors. We brush coat with preservative before finishing and painting our products which prolongs the lifespan of the joinery. Redwood is also ideal for patio furniture and garden fences to save you worrying about premature rotting or warping.

What is the difference between softwood and hardwood?

Softwood is a term used to describe timber from coniferous or needle-leaved trees.  Hardwood is sourced from deciduous and evergreen broad-leaved trees.
As a general rule, hardwoods tend to be denser than softwoods, making them sturdier and more weather resistant, while softwoods tend to be more workable. However, this is a general classification and cannot be applied to all – some softwoods can be very study, and balsa wood, one of the lightest and least dense woods, is in fact a hardwood. 

 What type of wood do we use at Parsons Joinery?

At Parsons Joinery, we carry a diverse range of softwoods and hardwoods so we can always find the right option to fit with your exact requirements.

It may surprise you that despite the popularity of hardwood varieties such as oak, softwoods are used far more commonly across the globe.  In fact, it is thought that around 80% of all timber used comes from softwood trees.  We are particular fans of Redwood and unless otherwise requested, craft the majority of or timber windows from softwood with hardwood sills (to aid protection against the elements and the risk of decay as the sill is the most exposed to dripping rainwater). Softwood tends to be generally more thermally efficient than most hardwoods, and it tends to have a higher growth rate, making it a more environmentally-friendly timber option.

All our products and all our timber come from FSC or PEFC certified forests. So, if your windows are installed by us, you can rest assured that the wood used to create your products is of exceptional quality, sustainable and good for the environment.

If you are looking to undertake a bespoke joinery project, or you are looking to replace your timber windows or doors, we’ll be happy to advise you and make sure you can select the right type of wood in terms of its performance and aesthetic qualities, but ultimately the wood we use for your project is up to you – give us a call and we’ll chat it through 01273 052342.