Posts Tagged ‘wood barns’

Choosing the Right Lumber for Custom Wood Projects

Lumber for Custom Wood Homes

Know your wood

Whether you’re building a deck or a lavish stable, decisions about building materials are critical to the durability and appearance of the project. As a general rule, the long-term performance of wood, or composites, weighs heavily on material quality and decay resistance, either natural or that imposed by chemical treatment. A quick review of the following basic materials, both the advantages and downfalls, may aid in the decision-making process for your next project.

  • Cedar

Prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, cedar trees have developed self-protective qualities that allow the trees to fend off insects, rot and temperature related stresses. That makes cedar very useful in structure building where humidity, temperature, and cracking are a common problem. Cedar is not typically used as a structural component in construction because it is much weaker than its counterparts; redwood, cypress, or pressure treated lumber. Cedar is best used as the decorative, exposed portions of a project. Cedar is usually about twice the cost of pressure treated lumber but only half as much as redwood.

  • Redwood

Similar to cedar, these towering giants also have chemicals within their foliage and bark that make them resistant to fungal disease and insect infestation. Redwood’s internal cell structure also allows them to hold large amounts of water and air in pockets, so it works well for insulation and thrives in high-moisture areas. Redwood is famous, and expensive, due to its rich red color. Left untreated, through stains and sealers, the wood will turn to dull grey. This material is also only typically used on exposed portions of structures due to its cost, nearly four times as much as pressure treated lumber.

  • Cypress

Cypress is found in common and premium grades, localized mostly in the Southeastern U.S. It’s a tan, reddish color, somewhat lighter than redwood, and is equal to redwood and cedar in its resistance to insects and rot. Cypress is typically used for both structural and ornamental purposes but it’s certainly not a cheap material. While less expensive than redwood and cedar, cypress is really only affordable if you live in the Southeast – the farther you are away, the more expensive it becomes.

  • Pressure-Treated (PT) Wood

With a more pronounced grain than cedar, redwood or cypress, PT lumber is made mostly of southern yellow pine, and occasionally fir. PT wood is most commonly used as the structural material for projects and occasionally with the right stain, can be used as the decorative material as well. The wood is treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) which is used as an insecticide/preservative, as well as simple water repellant. Arsenate has been reported as potentially toxic to humans and animals and it is advisable to determine the type of treatment was used before purchasing the lumber. Less toxic, chemically treated lumber is now available that doesn’t contain arsenate, but is slightly more expensive compared to the bargain price of PT lumber. When working with PT lumber, of any kind,  it is recommended to wear gloves and a dust mask.

  • Tropical Hardwood

In the past ten years, tropical hardwoods have become more abundant, but still remains one of the most expensive building materials, by far. The reason for the added cost is due to the shipping costs and their durability that eclipses both redwood and cedar. These hardwoods have a life expectancy of 40 years, minimum, and are resistant to insects and decay. Other than the cost, other drawbacks include: most tropical hardwoods need to be predrilled for fasteners and there are major ecological concerns as to the harvesting of these materials.

It’s a good idea to check out the local building codes for your area before starting a project. No matter what type of wood you decide on, it’s important to take into consideration the size of the structure, use, climate, and soil type before building any structure.

Press Release: Custom Homes, Barns Showcased on New Website

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Released by Webwire on November 15, 2011

DC Building Showcases Dreamy Custom Wood Built Homes on New Website

Boring, Ore., November 10, 2011 – Most people have dreamed of owning their own wood built, cabin-style home hidden away from the white noise of the city – lazily relaxing the day away in front of the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate, or maybe hot buttered rum – getting lost in your thoughts while gazing out the window watching the horses run in and out of their own custom built equine home. I guess you could say DC Building is in the business of making dreams come true.

DC Building is a general contracting firm in Oregon that has become experts in their industry for building custom wood homes, barns, commercial buildings and beautifully designed equine facilities.

“Our mission is to provide excellence in workmanship and customer service. Our custom construction service comes with the assurance that we have dedicated ourselves to providing the very best customer service and overall excellence in everything that we do,” promises Owner Bret Loftis.  “We will build it faster, better, period – and we have a four page list of references to prove it,” he adds.

DC Building has set themselves apart from the competition with their keen eye for detail, sound approach to construction and insistence on standing behind their work – offering a three year guarantee on all labor and craftsmanship.

They recently launched a new website to showcase their gallery of must-see custom wood homes, garages, commercial buildings and equestrian facilities. These past and current projects are so gorgeous you’ll have to see it yourself to truly comprehend their true beauty.

Visit their newly designed website and gallery at


Bret Loftis
DC Building Inc.
Cell 503.956.1851
Fax 503.863.3838

Fire Safety for Custom Wood Barns

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­Custom wood barn by DC Building

Prior to the early 1900s it wasn’t uncommon to find animals running free in the backyard or even inside their owner’s home. But as years went on, families have done their best to provide more sustainable shelter for animals.

While it is nice to give your equine animals quality shelter, it’s also nice to make sure their new shelter is safer than the backyard. Each year hundreds of thousands of animals die in wood barn fires. Based on research, in almost every incident, the fires were preventable. Fire prevention is actually a low-cost measure, especially when compared to the loss of your custom wood barn and animals.

There are two simple rules that will drastically help keep your wood barn and animals from meeting a fiery demise.

Rule #1: Good Housekeeping

As a barn owner, the rake and push broom are probably the best fire prevention tools you have. Simply keeping things picked up can seriously prevent tragedies. For example, the afternoon sun shining on an old piece of glass, on a dusty window ledge could cause a fire. If the glass was in the garbage and the window ledge had been dusted – there would have been no fire, property loss, emotional distress of losing your animals, etc.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness:

  • Keep walkways and aisles un-obstructed.
  • Use metal garbage cans with tight fitting lids.
  • Tidy up loose hay, wood shavings and debris.
  • Don’t let dust or cob-webs pile up.

Rule #2: No Open Flames

This is probably the most obvious, yet most ignored rule to fire safety in wood barns. The most common source of this are matches – especially with smokers. Implementing a no smoking rule is the best idea for any wood barn owner. Posting “No Smoking” signs around the barn and verbally warning visitors that smoking is not allowed would be wise.

Smokers aren’t the only cause for open flames in a barn. Wood barns with singular water pipes to individual stalls can sometime freeze up. I know many barn owners that admit to using a lighter to heat up the spigot in such cases. If you’re horse came by to check things out, with a mouthful of hay – you might have a serious fire and burn issue on your hands. Try pouring hot water over the spigot instead.

For wood barns in cold locations, where you just gotta have a wood stove burning. Consider building a barn with stables that allow open or canvas-curtained rear exits for your horses or livestock. It’d be a miserable experience to know your animals were trapped in the stall while your wood barn burned to the ground.

Along these lines, be sure to post a sign outside your wood barn that says how many horses or other animals in stalls and pens (including your barn cats and dogs.) Give a copy of this info the local fire department too!