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Timber is Trending

Timber is Trending

Wood floors, timber beams, and barn board facades are not new to housing but lately there is an increased interest in bringing a natural look and warmth back to our homes.  Perhaps, it is the fundamental comfort that wood adds to any space, inside and out, that makes a house feel like a home! … Or quite possibly it is the desire of many to incorporate more green products into their living space.   Reclaiming old barn board and beams is genuinely a great way enhance a home but equally to recycle. 

Regardless of the motivation, many people are opting to incorporate a variety of wood options in their Niagara custom home builds and renovations.  Some wish to revitalize their existing front porches by adding barn beams.  Afterall, wood beams not only provide support but the entrance way is the focal point of a home; and these beams can establish an ambiance and reflect the heartfelt welcome visitors will receive within.  

Other home owners are using timber for pergolas or gazebos to compliment their outdoor living spaces, distressed barn beams for fireplace mantles, exposed beams to support and beautify new additions, sliding barn board doors to replace traditional swing doors, or barn board accent walls to enhance any room, etc.  

Regardless of the style of a home, traditional or modern, wood likely has a place in the façade or structure because of its texture, strength or aesthetics. 

However, it is important to remember that wood is a natural element and as such it has certain qualities that need to be considered when deciding to incorporate wood into a design.   All woods have different strengths, hardness levels, moisture levels, grains, colours, and odours, etc.   Some woods are incorporated in decorative elements that do not require great strength, but tend to look better than others when painted or stained.  As a natural element, wood expands and contracts and will not be entirely uniform over time or when stained.  Knots and grains absorb stain differently, and can raise up or shrink differently than the rest of the board/beam and as a result of exposure to moisture levels.  Some woods are chosen mostly for their strength or distressed texture.  Imperfections or changes to the wood are often considered by some people to be a significant part of the beauty of wood.

It is essential to note that when exposed to the elements such as UV light (whether inside or out), rain and snow, wind, etc., wood will change in appearance.  Regular maintenance of outside timber is a must for protection of the colour, among other things.  Many people love the look that new beams and boards have when first installed outside.  However, over time there can be a natural silvering or darkening of colour and possible splitting.  If changes or inconsistencies are not appreciated, then it is best to consider man-made products that are likely more uniform and may remain so over time.   

Timber has been one of the oldest and best building materials used for construction of homes due to its strength, durability, and flexibility for design options.  Whether it is new timber or reclaimed wood, it can add character to any home and has proven, with the right maintenance, to have lasting qualities.   

If you are considering a renovation or custom home build in the Niagara Region, call Vanderzalm Construction Inc. at (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823.  We look forward to building your dreams into reality.