Your timber choice may not be a one-off financial cost. Things to consider may include the cost of replacing and re-installing all or some of the timber due to-

  • Inappropriate species choice
  • A lack of specification of moisture content, grading or structural rating.
  • A supplier who does not supply the specified grade of timber ordered.
  • An inexperienced or unreliable merchant or salesperson
  • An incompetent or uncaring specifier, builder or tradesperson
  • Damage in transit
  • Timing- The hardwood you choose is unlikely to be on the shelf of any supplier in the species or size you want. You may need to order your timber 3-6 months in advance to make sure you get what you want and not hold up your project. Ordering with plenty of lead time will also save you money. Not looking into this at the preliminary design stage may leave you with limited choices of species and suppliers.
  • Allocation of budget- The hardwood component of the project is often one of the most structural or aesthetic components of your project. You may be looking at this timber every day,  for a long time. Making decisions at this stage, based on primarily on cost, may be a mistake. It may be better to wait until you can afford the best material for the project, rather than being disappointed with the costly alternative of removing and replacing the timber.

The cost to the environment is also a factor that more people are conscious of , and feel responsible for. It is extremely difficult for anyone- even the supplier- to know whether a timber has been ecologically sourced- an FSC or PEFC label does not guarantee anything except that someone is making money from an assurance. The Governments Illegal Logging Act may have enabled multinationals to log illegally and made true ecologically harvested Smallholder mills illegal.

Regardless of the source of the timber, If it does not last, or has to be removed due to poor installation or performance, the cost to the environment and the cost to you has at the least, doubled.

An ecological timber choice is one that lasts the life of the of the project.