How to choose a bar for building a house

Many of those who live in stuffy apartments, and when entering the street fall into a gray smog and stall from the noise of cars, I want to change the environment. Live in a wooden house, breathe fresh air and enjoy the silence. And those who decide to do this often wonder - how to choose a timber in order to build a beautiful and reliable house for your family.

Today, the construction market presents a variety of types of timber, differing in geometrical parameters, profile, grade, method of production. Choose the best - the task is not easy, especially if the financial possibilities of the buyer are not limitless.

Beam - the most popular building material of wood

From this article you will learn about all types of this material, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as how to save on the purchase without compromising quality.

Which timber is better

If you are not faced with the question of what to choose - a timber or frame, if you have already decided that you will build a wooden house, then first of all you need to study the range of local building markets and hypermarkets. As a rule, they offer three main types of timber: planed, profiled and glued.

Let us consider each species separately with all its disadvantages and merits.

Planed timber

The material is obtained by trimming a log, during which a product is obtained having a rectangular or square section. The main competitive advantage of planed timber before glued and profiled - low price. Compared to a log, it is easier to assemble into a log house, and compared to a brick it requires less effort and cost to build a foundation for a house from a bar.

For the construction of houses the recommended thickness of timber 150-200 mm

However, besides tangible advantages, this type of timber has serious disadvantages that you need to be aware of and to reckon with if your goal is a strong, durable and warm home.

Planed timber делается из древесины естественной влажности.

It gradually decreases as the wood dries, and this can lead to the following unpleasant consequences:

  • Deformation. You can buy a perfectly smooth, beautiful timber, but after a while, amazing metamorphoses will start to happen to him: he can bend or even turn out with a “helicopter”;
  • Cracks. This is the most common defect that worsens not only the appearance of the material, but also its operational properties;
Deep cracks are clearly seen on the photo - the result of tree drying
  • Rot, blue, mold. If raw timber is stored in inappropriate conditions - in poorly ventilated rooms or in piles close to each other, such manifestations are inevitable;
  • Shrinkage. When building a house with your own hands, it is important to remember that with time the timber will dry out and its geometrical dimensions will decrease. As a result, the entire structure will shrink, which depends on the initial moisture content of the material and environmental conditions.

Note. If it were only a matter of losing a few centimeters in height, this trouble could have been ignored. But as a result of shrinkage, window and door openings can be deformed, and the exterior and interior walls of the walls can be damaged. Therefore, the log house should be allowed to stand for several months, preferably under the roof, before continuing construction.

  • Slits The usual planed timber often suffers from inaccurate dimensions, so when building walls it is difficult to avoid the gaps between the crowns. They increase as the wood dries. They must be sealed: put sealing materials between the crowns, caulk the walls to prevent the penetration of cold and moisture.
Log cabin with planed timber with seam insulation

The planed timber itself does not differ in the ideal shape and surface, and when applying the described defects, it completely loses to the outwardly shaped and glued. Therefore, it needs additional exterior decoration.

Profiled timber

To avoid the appearance of some of these problems, you can, if you purchase a profiled beam. It differs from the planed one by the shape of the section: its front sides are smooth, and in the workers a spike-groove or comb type is made.

Which profile of the timber to choose depends not so much on personal preferences as on the moisture content of the material.

  • The thorn-groove connection assumes the use of a heater laid between the rims in the grooves. Even if the timber shrinks with the formation of gaps during drying, the insulation for the timber will prevent the blowing.
  • The tabs of the profile "comb" very closely fit each other and do not require the use of insulation. But when changing the moisture content of the wood parameters comb can change. Therefore, choosing such a profile, you need to be sure that the bar is dry and will not give much shrinkage.
Comb Profile

For reference. The advantage of profiled timber is that before milling on a four-sided machine, the wood is dried until it reaches a moisture content of no more than 22%, otherwise the quality of processing will be low. Therefore, it gives less shrinkage than planed.

Many woodworking enterprises produce profiled timber in size, according to the customer’s design, immediately cutting into it “cups” for joints and corner joints. You no longer have to think about how to choose a groove in a bar - the blockhouse is assembled according to the type of the children's designer.

But this material, nevertheless, is not without such disadvantages as the appearance of cracks and shrinkage, which requires to arrange a technological break in construction.

Glued laminated timber

This type of timber has the best performance, but also the highest cost. Its main advantage is low humidity and, accordingly, the absence of all those negative aspects that arise during the drying of the material and the shrinkage of the finished log house. You can build a house out of it in one season, without waiting for natural shrinkage.

Such a timber is lamellas glued together well-dried and free from defects.

You will learn how to make glued laminated timber from other articles in this resource. We note that its manufacturing technology allows us to obtain a high-quality product at the output, practically devoid of the drawbacks of raw wood, but possessing all its useful natural qualities. In addition, it has an impregnation against rotting and fire, does not need additional finishing.

As in the case of a profiled bar, glued can be made to order in accordance with the selected project at home. And some manufacturers offer ready-made kits to which assembly instructions are attached.

Note. Not so long ago, a new product appeared on the market - a D-shaped glued laminated timber, the convex front surface of which imitates a rounded log.

D-shaped profile

How to save on the construction of timber

The budget deficit in the construction of the house does not always allow you to choose expensive and high-quality materials. But if you know how to choose the right bar - the usual, not subjected to special treatment, and how to prepare it for work, you can save well and get a good and beautiful structure. Our advice will help you with this.

So what to look for when buying?

  • Evenness of a bar. Determined visually and practically. The product should be put on a flat surface alternately with all faces and make sure that it is not curved or twisted by a “propeller”.
  • The distances between the annual rings visible at the end of the beam should be the same. If they narrow or expand on the one hand, it means that the bar will “lead” over time and it will bend.
  • The surface of the wood everywhere should be uniform uniform color. Visually noticeable color contrast at the ends or side faces indicates the presence of layers with different internal stresses, which will also lead to deformation.

Much more difficult to determine the moisture content of the material. But even if you see that the timber is quite fresh, but of good quality, you can independently bring it to the desired condition. True, this will take time.

Fold the purchased material into piles by placing even stitches under each layer through 1-1.5 meters. Leave the distance between the bars in a row of 2-3 cm so that they are blown from all sides by air. On top, also put streaks and cover the stack on top.

Warehouse storage for drying

To avoid drying too fast, accompanied by cracks, position the timber so that the sun's rays are not directed into the ends. And whiten the ends themselves.

Construction can proceed when the moisture content of the material is less than 20%. In this case, you can count on a uniform shrinkage, the absence of deep cracks. Yes, and it will be easier to work with him.

Council Before choosing a groove in a bar for its corner or longitudinal connection, study the corresponding articles on our website.


It is difficult to say which type of timber is better - glued, profiled or regular. Everyone has their own requirements for materials. Adherents of all natural may not like the fact that the glued laminated timber contains foreign polymer substances in its composition. And for those who do not want to wait for a housewarming for a long time, planed or profiled timber will not work.

In the video in this article, you will see additional information on this topic, which will help you to make a balanced and unique choice in your case.

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