Intro to Timber: Supply Chain, Products, and Where to Source it

Intro to Timber: Supply Chain, Products, and Where to Source it

Timber is one of the most common building supplies, and is widely used in various housing related structures, commercial buildings, decks, sheds, indoor trim, outdoor features, and DIY projects.

Even with the rise in popularity of other building materials, wood is still used as either a primary material or an accent piece. It is also used as a binder in composite materials as recycled wood continues to grow in popularity for certain applications.

Timber supply chain: the journey from tree to timber

Timber is usually sourced from large tracts of forested area where tree growth is pre-purposed for logging. An alternative source is from smaller private timber proprietors selling lumber from their property, particularly if the wood produced is high quality.

However, timber cannot be cut and ready to use straight from the tree.  If it’s set to be used in construction or carpentry, it needs to be purpose-prepared. Once the tree is cut, it is sent to a mill where it is sawed into the boards or timber planks for purchase.

Some timber species are naturally resistant to the elements, rot and other types of fungal decay, whilst other species need to be treated to protect against such things. Timber which is likely to be in posted in the ground or outdoors may require additional specialised coating or treatment.

Inlong past decades timber would be sourced directly from forested areas for building and construction.  Thankfully those days are long gone and there are far easier ways for you to source the timber you need. The most common resource is hardware stores or specialist timber merchants . The timber in stock is already cut, treated, and good-to-go for whatever your building project or need may be.

Timber products: not all timber is created equal

It’s important to note that not all timber is the same.  Characteristics and appearance vary amongst different types of wood and also between species of tree. The uses of jarrah will differ vastly from that of un-treated pine, and the wrong material use can be detrimental to your whole project.

Some timbersare better suited to indoor use and others to outdoor. Certain types will stain better than others, while some varieties are kept as close to their natural state as possible. What you plan to use it for will also determine how the timber is treated after it is milled.

Intro to Timber: Supply Chain, Products, and Where to Source it

Sourcing timber: find out exactly what’s needed

Sourcing the right kind of timber for your needs doesn’t have to be complicated, even if you know next to nothing about wood. Timber projects can range from fencing to flooring, from decking to infrastructure.Beyond just the timber, you may also need other supplies such as sealant, stain, hardware and tools to successfully complete your project.

By choosing a reputable timber supplier, all you need to be clear on is the purpose you need it for, the measurements, and a ‘ball park’ idea on how much timber you’ll require to complete your project.

Reputable suppliers have knowledgeable employees who can help you in answering questions and help with technical details you might be unsure about.

Buying timber: get the best deal on your timber

It’s likely that the best deals will be with a specialist timber supplier who carries a large amount of timber stock.  They will be a one-stop-shop for price, quality, and selection for a variety of possible applications. By comparison, an outfit that stocks timber along with other materials and hardware is unlikely to get the best – or most consistent – wood direct from the mill and as such, prices might be higher.

Merchant timber stockists are especially helpful if you need a high volume of timber for a substantial project, as wood from the same “batch” will be more consistent in appearance.  Be aware that matching wood type throughout a project is often important.

The best suppliers for your timber project materials are independent timber merchants whose business model is based heavily on customer service. They will work to customise and provide all information that is specific to your project.

What’s next?

Want to learn more about timber and how to choose, build, and maintain your project? Check out Austim’s timber blog.

Ready to find the best timber supplies for your project? Get in touch with Perth’s leading timber suppliers, Austim, today!

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What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
Colin Della Bosca
Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20

Austim Inspirations

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“The timber quality is excellent, the price was competitive, the communication spot on and the delivery just right. Well done and thanks again”