Timber Wood

Why use timber and what are the best external uses?

Timber WoodTimber is a hugely versatile material and is increasingly used inside and outside homes. In fact, timber-framed buildings are increasingly popular around the country. For the purposes of this article, though, we are assuming that you are not building a new house from scratch but, rather, that you are looking to include timber in your home in some other way. We look at the ways in which you can do that on the outside of your home this month.

Why use timber?

Apart from its versatility, timber is also a sustainable material when it is sourced properly. That versatility comes from the wide variety of wood types that are available which can be used for almost any purpose in and around the home. We covered this in some depth in a recent article on a guide to wood types if you are looking for a refresher or guidance on the difference between hardwoods and softwoods.

As a raw material, timber comes from trees, making it a renewable source when done right. Not all timber is sustainable, so our previous guide on this can help you as well.

Outdoor uses of timber

There are three main ways in which you can use timber outside your home:

  • Decking
  • Fencing
  • Cladding

Get the right timber and you could be enjoying both for a long time. Decking needs to be rot resistant and non-slip. Good types of wood for this are softwoods, including pine, cedar and spruce. All three are affordable, readily available and from sustainable sources. To ensure longevity and durability, make sure they are treated with the right wood preservative so that you don’t have to worry about repairs or replacement within a few years.

Hardwoods are also becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, with teak and oak being good options. Make sure they are sustainably sourced when you make your decision, though.

When it comes to fencing, posts are typically made from softwoods such as spruce, and in particular Sitka spruce. There are other options, such as pine, larch and Douglas fir, but their availability will depend on where you are in the UK. With posts being partly underground you must ensure that they are suitably treated to protect against decay and rot. Also, be mindful of where your fence is located and what the weather conditions are. For example, if you live in an area that is very windy or which has different or challenging soil conditions along the length of your fence you may need to get a specialist’s help to get it right.

Cladding will help to protect your home from the elements as well as increase its kerb appeal. Natural timber tones can be a beautiful visual aesthetic while bold colours can break up the drab greyness of a city and give your home more character. Whatever type of timber you use – either a softwood larch or composite type – be sure that it is suitably treated to reduce weathering and be prepared to re-paint it regularly.

Internal timber uses

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the interior of your home. From kitchens to wardrobes and cabinets down to individual pieces, there is almost nothing you can’t do with timber. Check back next month for ideas and advice on how timber can work for you inside your home too.

Ask us anything you want to know about timber! At Parsons Joinery it is one of our preferred materials, so we know all about it. Call us on 01273 814870 or drop us a line at and we’ll be happy to help.