Why Shade is Important to Home Renovations

Shade in garden with pergola cover timberworks 1

Designing today’s backyard has become as complex as designing the kitchen or bathroom inside the house.  And one of the biggest questions that most homeowners struggle with is, “what is the most important element to the backyard?”
Many will argue that landscaping is the key ingredient, while others will argue it may be the theme that is the most important. At Cover Timberworks, we support the position that a shade or garden structure is the most important piece to the backyard puzzle.
Few backyard elements do more to enhance your outdoor living experience than a shade structure.  The backyard structure is a necessity and is the catalyst and anchor for your outdoor space. A pergola or pavilion sets the tone of your space and can then be accented with:

  • Landscaping
  • Hardscaping
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Fire feature (fire pits or fireplaces)
  • Pool
  • Other Ancillary options

So, whether it’s an arbor that welcomes guest to your house, a pergola that provides dining under a canopy or vines, or a pavilion that frames your outdoor room and calls your attention to the sights, sounds, and smells that could have previously been mistaken for vacant air, these structures are a source of some of the most acute outdoor living pleasures.
Cover’s pre-engineered pergola and pavilion kits are built with exacting attention to detail, the finest quality materials, and old world craftsmanship.  More than a simple collection of timbers, Cover Timberwork’s unparalleled designs and superior timber frame construction set the benchmark within the industry.  No matter how large or small your space, developing it into a comfortable, beautiful outdoor living area will make your home feel larger and give you an enjoyable place to relax or entertain. For more ideas and inspiration for making the most of your outdoor living space, visit your Cover Timberwork’s showroom today and see how “We’ve got your outdoor lifestyle covered.”

What is the best timber for your pergola or pavilion?

Cover Timberworks Close up sanding

Douglas Fir is universally recognized by architects, engineers, and timber framers as the preferred choice for use in structural timber applications such as pergolas or pavilions. The benefits of Douglas Fir include:

  • In strength, Douglas Fir rates the highest of any western softwood. The greater density found in fir is easily recognized in its weight which can be up to 40% greater than cedar by example. This added strength allows us to free span greater distances between the posts of your garden structure.
  • The greater density of Douglas Fir also means it’s less likely to warp or crack when compared to other softwoods commonly used in pergola or pavilion construction.
  • If a timber includes the heart or the bullseye of the tree it becomes more subject to cracking. Avoiding that bullseye when using large timbers becomes more difficult and costly. However, the size of a Douglas Fir tree makes it possible to more easily source higher quality huge timbers, up to 60’ long while avoiding the bullseye. At Cover Timberworks we use only #1 Appearance Grade FOHC (Free of Heart Center) Coastal Douglas Fir in the construction of all of our timber frame garden structures.
  • The beautiful grain pattern and it’s superior ability to hold paint and stain finishes make Douglas Fir the preferred choice for all outdoor living projects.
  • Douglas fir is one of the most abundant wood species in North America, making it the environmentally friendly choice and among the reasons why it’s the most popular choice of wood in Timber Framing.

7 FUN FACTS ABOUT TIMBER FRAMING

1.  THE DOVETAIL JOINT IS AN ANCIENT TECHNIQUE FOR JOINING PIECES OF WOOD
The dovetail joint is a common traditional joint technique used in timber framing, furniture making, and other woodworking. The dovetail joint dates all the way back to the first dynasty of ancient Egypt where evidence of the dovetail join was found being used in furniture entombed with mummies.

2.  THERE CAN BE A HIGH LEVEL OF SKILL INVOLVED IN TIMBER FRAMING
Timber framing takes a good amount of skill and experience. Someone with a background in carpentry could expect to serve an apprenticeship for about a year before they could be considered an experienced timber framer.

3.  TIMBER FRAMING IS A VERY OLD BUILDING TRADITION
Timber framing is an ancient building method that goes back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The building method was developed as a way to build strong and secure buildings out of large pieces of wood, without metal nails, which were expensive and labor intensive to produce.

4.  TIMBER FRAME STRUCTURES CAN LAST FOR A VERY LONG TIME
The oldest known timber frame building in the world is a Buddhist temple in Lhasa, Tibet believed to have been built in 652 BCE. The oldest timber frame building in North America is the Fairbanks House in Dedham, MA which was built around 1637.

5. THERE ARE A VARIETY OF WOOD SPECIES INVOLVED IN TIMBER FRAMING
The wood species that Cover uses is Douglas Fir.

6.  TIMBER FRAMING CAN BE AN ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDING METHOD
Wood is considered an eco-friendly building material. Wood is a renewable resource, takes less carbon to produce than steel or concrete, and traps carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as the tree dies and decays. Building primarily with wood sourced from secondary growth forests that are ethically and sustainably managed is a great way to build green and to reduce the environmental damage and carbon footprint of your building.

7.  THE SIZES OF TIMBER USED FOR FRAMES CAN BE QUITE LARGE