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We have a project in northern NSW. We're planning to use exposed timber in the following applications:

- rafters (interior and exterior);
- stud walls;
- window and door joinery;
- flooring;
- external decking;
- interior linings;
- cladding.

We would like to achieve a consistent and cohesive appearance in all these applications.

Specifying a single species is one option and we are currently looking at spotted gum. However, something lighter with a softer/gentler appearance would be preferred.

Can you recommend any other single species that we could look at? Or alternatively a mix of species that present a similar and cohesive appearance.

Woodsolutions Answer +

Spotted gum is available kiln-dried in a range of structural and joinery sizes, and has the required durability for exterior use. If you are looking for a lighter-coloured timber Victorian ash is available, preservative treated to H3 level and marketed as "Iron ash". However, be aware that any timber exposed to the weather will change colour to some extent. An applied finish will change the colour or, if left without a finish, exposed areas will weather to a driftwood grey colour. 

Exterior timber

We intend cladding the front of our domestic project with timber - 6.65 m high.
Can you please advise the most economical timber to use and profiles?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Vertical cladding would not be available in 6.65m lengths and would not be practical from a handling point of view. Your cladding could be fixed vertically if staggered joints were acceptable, otherwise we suggest horizontally fixed cladding in a lapped weatherboard style. Western red cedar has good weathering properties and takes an oil or stain finish well. However, you also need to consider the practicality of maintaining cladding that is 6.65m above ground. Perhaps you intend to let it weather to a driftwood grey colour without a finish. Again, western red cedar is dimensionally stable under weather exposure. You could also consider a kiln-dried hardwood product. Our Technical Design Guide no. 13 titled Finishing Timber Externally deals with some of the issues associated with naural weathering. It can be downloaded here -


I am looking for suppliers of American Cherry, American White Oak, American Hickory in large size profiles - The thicker the better. The bench needs to be very solid.
Other species considered - European Beech, Tasmanian Oak and Blue Gum. Could you point me in the right direction. I am having difficulty in here in Sydney finding conveniently located suppliers.

Woodsolutions Answer +

Tasmanian oak is readily available but the other species you are looking for may only be available from specialty suppliers. Britton Timbers, Mathews Timber and possibly other specialty suppliers in the Sydney market should be able to help you. However, the size range may be limited and hickory could be difficult to source.

Specialty timbers
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