Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Header_mlWelcome to our resource of Frequently Asked Questions about timber design and building issues. This service is provided in conjunction with WoodSolutions’ 3000 pages of information for timber design and construction professionals at

Durability of larch

We want to use European larch (Larix decidua) glulam in an external environment. European standards indicate the product meets requirements but would like to understand if there is an equivalent Australian Standard to EN 350 part 1 and 2, or DIN 16800. We are concerned that Adelaide has extremes of temperature from a very dry hot summer to a wet winter. Read Answer

Achieving uniform grey

Timber has been erected as cladding to an east-facing facade. Some of it has greyed off and parts under the balconies and windows have remained green timber. Is there a chemical or wash that can be added to grey off everything?  Read Answer

Fire rating detail

I am drawing up a fire rated detail for a Class 5 building. Basically, there is a 190 core-filled reinforced block wall with a 90 x 35 top plate and above that I have drawn 2 x 45 timber blocking between roof trusses. Please send me a contact email and I will forward details. Read Answer

Tallowwood for piles?

I am looking for advice regarding the best choice for ground driven piles approx. 200 mm for use as external supports for house verandah in Western Australia. I was thinking of using tallowwood? Read Answer

Spotted gum in ceiling

We're installing spotted gum engineered flooring and thought it would be good to use it to line the ceilings of an alfresco and front porch area. Is spotted gum the right species, what is the best fixing method, and how should we finish it? Read Answer

Avoiding ash to ashes

I'm trying to find the lightest wood that will comply with Section C 1.10 - for a Class 6 building without a sprinkler system. Our certifier has advised that silver top ash will comply for smoke development and spread of flame index. Are there any other options? Read Answer

Tighten the screws

We recently removed an old deck and replaced all but the posts with treated pine bearers and joists, and a spotted gum top. The deck is attached with pre-drilled 75 mm stainless steel screws. In recent heat the deck top seems to have become loose. Is this shrinkage, and if so how can we fix it? Read Answer

Changing decking colour

We have just added a beautiful spotted gum deck with cedar posts. We applied a big brand name sealant and the colour we used made it all a kind of yellow and 'dumbed down' the reds - we don't like it. Is there a clear one on the market? Read Answer

Will Glulam Take the Heat?

Is glulam a suitable structural material to use in a climate where annual temperatures vary between 20-40 degrees C? If so, would this extremely hot, dry climate adversely affect quality and structural properties? Read Answer