Timber for garden projects

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Wood is a natural product that can be used in a huge variety of ways to immediately enhance any garden. It is important to choose the right timber for the job so that it will last longer. Timber garden products can last for years, but that little extra care will help maximise their service life.

This Choose and Use sheet covers a number of important factors when specifying garden projects, with a focus on how the use of preservative-treatments on outdoor timber can allow a low-cost softwood to match the performance of a naturally rot-resistant hardwood.

The sheet also covers a wide range of other garden projects, including weathering and maintenance, the disposal of waste wood and some of the considerations which should be made with regards to timber fencing.


  • Treated or untreated?
  • People, pets and plants
  • Timber structures and buildings in gardens
  • Planning permission
  • Fixings
  • Fencing
  • Balustrades
  • Play equipment
  • Sleepers
  • Weathering and maintenance
  • Disposal

Suggested Reading

Treated timbernavigation-arrow

Timber won't rot if it's kept dry to a moisture content below 20%. When it's used outside, this may not be possible.

There are two solutions to this problem, either you can use a naturally durable timber - such as oak or western red cedar - or you can...

01/01/2012 |  Choose and Use  

Maintenance treatments for external timbernavigation-arrow

The maintenance of external timber commonly serves two purposes: the continuation of certain performance requirements and/or the continuation of a desired visual appearance.

This sheet provides guidance on the use and maintenance of timber finishes in external environments. It offers a number of best practice suggestions on the available...

01/01/2012 |  Choose and Use  

Living in a modern timber frame homenavigation-arrow

This publication will help timber frame companies and insurance organisations encourage homeowners to look after their homes by understanding better how they are built. This document covers a number of key topics including how to check if the house is timber frame, how the house was built and also some...

01/01/2011 |  Info from other organisation