Wood Framing:
Pros, Cons and Precautions

Wood framing, or "stick building", as some like to call it, is the most popular and traditional method of building a home. From early American log cabins, to Hollywood mansions, wood seems to be the framing substance of choice.


wood framing

WHY IS WOOD FRAMING SO POPULAR?

* It is relatively inexpensive.

* Most builders use this framing method, so their crews are adept at framing with wood.

* Wood is readily available (for the most part).

* Wood is a "breathable" substance - it can take on humidity or tolerate drier air within limits without structural damage.


WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS TO WOOD FRAMING CONSTRUCTION?

* Most wood is treated with pesticides which are dangerous to human health.

* Wood is susceptible to mold and fungus problems if the humidity levels remain too high.

* Wood is subject to warping, twisting or cracking with extreme variations in temperature.

* Untreated wood is inviting to termites and carpenter ants.

* Engineered wood products are constructed with formaldehyde-emitting glues that are threatening to health.

Types of Wood-Framed Homes

Besides the typical wood-framed home, there is a resurgence of interest in homes built like those of "yesteryear."

Some examples of these homes include:
~ TIMBERFRAME HOMES
~ CORDWOOD HOMES
~ LOG CABINS

Although wood is considered a "natural product", there can be

allergic sensitivities to various types of wood, with the biggest problems coming from the softwoods.

Because of the cost difference, softwoods are generally used for framing, while the hardwoods are reserved for inside the home - such as for flooring and furniture.

In ANY type of wood framing, the question of chemical treatment is an important one to answer. For instance, it may not be uncommon for log cabins to be heavily treated with pesticides. Are chemicals used in the chinking? If so, how much outgassing is taking place inside of the home?

For more specific information about log cabins, check out the following website:

Log Cabin Connection - A log cabin is a dream home for many people. Learn tips and insights from a licensed contractor and log home builder about designing, building and enjoying your own log cabin.



Precautions with Wood Framing

Since home is where we spend a large portion of our lives, it is critical to consider the safety of that environment when building a new home.

In some cases, the only option (or only affordable option) may be

standard construction materials.

wood construction framing

In this case, you can choose the least problematic of the wood products, and be sure to have a barrier constructed between the framing materials and the living space.

The tighter the building envelope, the healthier your indoor space will be.

You will want to consider spending a bit more on the materials and finishes INSIDE your home - since that is the air you will be breathing on a regular basis.

Books written from a healthy house perspective are more common now than ever, and you can find specific guidance to help you make the best decisions for your situation.





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