Timber Choice

Westwind Oak specialise in structural timber frames most often using Green Oak, Douglas Fir or Glulam, each of which have their own unique qualities.

Green Oak

Green Oak is a hardwood. It’s called ‘green’ because we use it when it’s freshly cut, flexible and easy to work with. We can even source naturally curved pieces for shaped sections like braces and cruck blades. Like most other building materials oak will shrink and move as it seasons. Oak is very dense, durable and is naturally resistant to decay and rot. Over time, the oak becomes stronger and turns a lovely honey colour. It can last for hundreds of years as the many Medieval examples of timber frame buildings can testify.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is the hardest of the softwoods, with a high strength rating which makes it an affordable alternative to Oak.  It grows very tall and straight so extremely long pieces of timber can be sourced for wide span rooms. It’s often used in more contemporary style buildings.  When first cut it has a warm pinkish appearance which darkens as it dries with a uniform grain pattern. Unfortunately, Douglas Fir is not suitable for making curved beams and, although very durable, does not perform quite as well as Oak in wet external conditions.


Glulam can be a great alternative if you want curved softwood beams that span large distances. Glulam is a high-performance engineered timber product used for load-bearing structures. It can be produced to individual shapes and its versatility means that it is particularly useful for timber engineering.

Have any questions? Why not get in contact with us today.