Timber framing has come a long way, and homeowners appreciate the benefits that milled timber offers as primary construction framing material. Not only is milled timber stronger than steel (pound for pound), but the clean, symmetric look adds aesthetic value to structures. Unfortunately, the popularity of milled timber has forced custom home builders to shy away from unmilled timber or whole trees. However, if you have reservations about unmilled timber, then it is time to drop the concerns. This article highlights the reasons you should incorporate unmilled wood in your framing projects.
Identifiable as Heavy Timber -- Complying with the regulations and building codes is mandatory for all custom home builders regardless of the material used. When working with milled timber, builders have to make sure that that the weight, sizes, strength, and fastenings meet building codes. It can be challenging because it encourages resizing and regular inspections to ensure that standards are met. However, this is not the case with unmilled timber trusses because the international building code identifies it as heavy timber. Therefore, it is possible to use unmilled timber for framing without addressing the challenges of meeting specific local codes.
Stronger then Milled Timber -- When trees go through the milling process to produce timber, significant portions get cut off to achieve the clean, symmetrical look that every homeowner and builder wants. However, although milled timber is still strong, some of the trees' natural strength is lost when the tension fibres in the outermost rings of the tree are cut off during the milling process. However, because unmilled timber doesn't go through the process, the tension fibres remain intact thereby retaining natural strength. It makes unmilled timber stronger than engineered timber for framing purposes.
Cost Effective -- Unlike milled timber, unmilled timber or whole trees can be used with the branches still intact. It eliminates the need to cut the branches off, a process that takes time, energy, and money. Furthermore, the arches formed by natural branches can be used as effective support features to hold other shorter trusses. Consequently, it reduces the number of connectors or fasteners that are required for a single project. Finishing on unmilled timber is also cost efficient because all you need to do is smoothen and vanish the surface. The curves and knots are left untouched because they give the building a natural look. In the end, unmilled timber helps your clients to save money without compromising on strength and aesthetics.
Consider using unmilled timber the next time you want to put in timber frames trusses.