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Cedar, Deal, Hemlock, Larch, Pine, Redwood, Spruce, Whitewood, Yew.

Softwoods are cheaper than hardwood. They deteriorate faster, especially when used for external projects. They need to be treated with wood preservers or paints to protect the wood from the elements.

When softwood is used in a loft space, for rafters or joists, the wood should be treated with a preservative against woodworm or rot. If floorboards are going to be exposed, they should be treated with a clear, lacquer finish. This will stop dirt working its way into the surface and at the same time, enhance the appearance by showing the natural colour of the wood.

Softwood can be purchased in standard lengths. Many have a high resin content, which gives a build up of seeping sticky liquid in pockets on the surface. These sections and any knots must be treated with knotting before priming to seal the surface, otherwise they will spoil the overall finish of the timber. It is common for the wood to be split in places or warped. Inspect the quality of the wood purchased for suitability for the job in hand.

It is worth remembering that any timber intended for internal use may shrink. The warm conditions can lead to minor changes. To make sure of correct measurements, lay the timber in the environment for a couple of days prior to cutting.

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