Selecting Heavy Timbers for Your Project

Your selections of lumber and heavy timbers for a building project are some of the most important decisions you’ll make. In fact, the health, beauty and longevity of your timber frame depend on it!

The grade, cut and moisture content of lumber all play a crucial role in the durability and appearance of a structure. Low-grade lumber that has been improperly cut or dried is prone to warp and shrink over time, thereby altering the building’s aesthetic and structural integrity.

DC Builders is located in the Pacific Northwest, where the reputation for quality timbers is among the best in the world. With Douglas fir and Western red cedar as some of the region’s biggest exports, quality lumber is produced in our own backyard.

All our lumber is sourced from mill-direct relationships we’ve spent more than a decade cultivating with high-grade suppliers. We believe in doing things the right way, and that includes using the best materials on the market while also supporting our local timber industry.

We take pride in our team’s thorough knowledge and understanding of the construction materials we source, which makes for a painless process in getting to the heart of your project’s needs. With your vision for the building in mind, we’ll guide you in selecting the perfect timbers for your build.

All our projects are constructed from the highest recommended lumber grade for structural integrity: Select Structural. The same can be said for lumber cut, as all our timbers are free of heart center (FoHC). Timbers that are FoHC result in structural frames that hold their shape and appearance for the long haul. This is due to the fact that the soft pith in the middle of the timber is excluded from the cut.

Similarly, all of our lumbers have been subject to high-standards for kiln drying. This guarantees that moisture content within the timbers is well below levels for concern, thus bolstering structural stability.

Know Your Wood

DC Builders has access to a variety of timber types, and is well versed on the materials it uses in its construction projects. Below is a rundown of some of our most popular options.

Douglas Fir

Synonymous with DC Builders’ headquarters state of Oregon, Doug fir is a major Pacific Northwest export. This builder favorite is world renowned for its stability and resistance to warping, as well as its consistent appearance.

Because Doug fir trees are generally tall, their lumber lends itself well to lengthy boards and exposed timber beams. The rustic appearance makes it ideal for interior and exterior panel siding, as well as tongue and groove ceiling cover.


Prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, cedar trees have developed self-protective qualities that allow the trees to ward off insects, rot and temperature-related illnesses. This makes cedar highly useful to building in areas where humidity, heat and cracking are concerns.

Cedar is not typically used as a structural component in construction because it is much weaker than its counterparts redwood or cypress. The best use of cedar is for decorative, exposed portions of a project. Cedar is roughly half the cost of 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.

Because of its rich red color, redwood is both iconic and expensive. However, if left untreated without the use of stains and sealers, redwood will eventually turn to a dull grey hue. This material is typically used for exposed portions of structures due to its relatively high cost.

It’s always a good idea to check the local building codes for your area before you begin a construction project. Regardless of the type of wood you choose, it is necessary to first consider the size of the building, its intended use, as well as climate and soil type.

Get the ball rolling for your own project today and request a quote for your project!


Digital Catalog

Needing inspiration for your custom heavy timber build? Request a catalog today to get a better idea of what we can create for you and the many ways our team can bring your vision to life.