We always favor the use of locally, and sustainably harvested native species of timber and try to match species whenever possible.  Although species such as Douglas fir are popular with modern timber framers from coast to coast, we feel that it is inappropriate to use in New England where it is a non-native species.  We feel that the unnecessary use of non-native species often exploits the communities where the timbers are harvested and unnecessarily wastes petroleum resources in transportation while offering little to support our local economy.

Pressure treated timbers should never be used in the context of historic preservation and restoration.  The factors that lead timbers to rot should be addressed by ensuring proper drainage and airflow.  The use of pressure treated timber is a poor short term solution that will only delay existing site issues for future generation to fix.  In extreme situations where rot resistance is critical, some untreated species, like white oak, are equally as resistant to rot as pressure treated timber.  Most pressure treating methods are highly toxic and volatile.

Laminated and engineered timbers have become more popular over the years, even within the preservation community.  We feel that these materials should be avoided whenever possible and only used in extreme circumstances when all viable timber options have been exhausted.  The introduction of laminated and engineered materials often comes at a cost of the removal of historic joinery and markings.  We have seen major structural failures in these man-made materials and heard countless horror stories from our colleagues about de-lamination.  As of yet, there is no significant evidence to suggest that laminated materials could have the same longevity as natural or joined timber.  We feel that it is irresponsible to experiment with modern materials on irreplaceable historic structures.

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