5 Reasons We Love Douglas Fir!

Douglas fir post, tie beam and knee braces

Click to see more of the Down East Boat Barn.

We have built many timber frames over the past 50 years, and we LOVE working with Douglas Fir! It is a popular choice of wood for many reasons by our designers, timber framers and clients. Our shop is currently full of Douglas Fir timbers ready to be raised this spring – with more on the way.

Douglas Fir is one of the strongest and most durable softwoods making it ideal for large timber frames. It has excellent structural properties, which means it can withstand a lot of weight and pressure without breaking or bending.

Kitchen designed with douglas fir timber frame

Click to see more of this home’s great room.

Douglas Fir is perfect for the heirloom quality structures we design and build. It typically has a low shrinkage rate, is resistant to warping, twisting, and checking which means it maintains it shape and stability over time.

Our timber framers love the workability of Douglas Fir. They find it easy to work with; it can be planed, drilled, sawn and sanded smoothly. Our traditional method to join and fasten timbers uses mortise and tenon joinery but Douglas Fir is receptive to glue, nails and screws which is great for post and beam connectivity.

Douglas Fir is a readily available, a renewable resource and easy to source. It is an environmentally friendly choice as it is also considered to be a carbon sink, meaning it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Douglas Fir timbers used to build a barn

Click to see more of the Cape Cod barn.

The grain pattern of Douglas Fir is uniform and distinctive. The warm reddish-brown tone of the wood is so beautiful that we generally only apply a clear natural oil finish after sanding the timbers before raising the frame.

Lending itself to simple, modern, or contemporary design, Douglas Fir mixes well with many other building materials to achieve the aesthetic goals of our designers and clients.