Calling in the Contractors

Calling in the Contractors

Recycled or New Timber? What to Do When You Want to Save Both Money and the Environment

by Frank Elliott

For construction companies, sourcing timber that does not send a budget spiralling upwards is essential. Finding timber that is also ecologically friendly has also become important, however, and sometimes these two goals clash. You'd think that recycled timber would take care of both of these issues, but that's not always the case. You've got to look at timber carefully, no matter whether it's recycled or new. 

Recycled Conserves Resources, but Beware the Timber's Past

Using recycled timber means you aren't encouraging the decimation of forests. However, older timber may harbour pests or may have been treated with chemicals that aren't so environmentally sound. For example, some timber used to be treated with copper chromium arsenic. You really don't want that on your property now. If you can find stable, recycled timber that was treated within current national guidelines, and that is not harbouring pests, that timber is acceptable.

New Timber With All the Legal Trimmings Has an Eco-friendly Side

If you buy new timber that meets all state and national regulations for treatment, species, and other issues, you'll have timber that you know is safe to use. The problem is dealing with the idea that you've just shown timber companies that cutting down additional trees is just fine with you, which doesn't sound so environmentally friendly. However, this new timber can have a couple of environmentally sound characteristics. One, you know that any treatment it underwent is considered acceptable and non-polluting. The other is that, if it's from a timber plantation, then you know the suppliers haven't cut down old-growth forests.

Timber plantations are there specifically to grow trees for timber products without destroying forests. The country is still trying to increase its timber-plantation supply, but the government, along with the University of Melbourne and additional organizations, are now working to encourage farmers to add timber plantations to their land.

Any Supplier Must Be Reputable

It should go without saying that any timber supplier you deal with should be reputable. However, that's often easier said than done as construction companies look for timber that seems suitable. You know to be wary of deals that seem to be too good to be true, but sometimes a deal that's a little better – not stunningly good, but a little better than what most other suppliers are offering – can also be from a seller who isn't really that trustworthy. You've really got to check out any supplier you want to consider when looking for recycled timber.


About Me

Calling in the Contractors

Hello! My name is Andy and I have recently finished building my dream home by the ocean. I have always loved swimming and surfing in the sea so the idea of living by the beach has always appealed to me. I used to live in a small apartment but I worked hard and saved as much cash as I could. By the time I reached the age of 47, I finally had the funds to build my dream home. I called in a team of construction contractors who built my house. They were really great guys and I picked up a lot of knowledge during the months they were working with me. I will share some of the knowledge here.