November 28, 2023

Spruce, Douglas, American Oak, or European Oak: what to choose for your cabin?

When making the choice of which wood to use for your cabin, chalet, pool house, home extension, pergola, or horse stable, there are several factors to consider. The aesthetic appeal, particularly the colors present in the wood, varies among different wood types.

The wood’s structure also differs with each type, and not every type is suitable for use as construction wood. Hence, the selection of four highly suitable wood types for construction is used for all Mocha constructions, each with unique characteristics. 

 

4 types of wood, highly suitable for the construction of your cabin

Spruce

Spruce is the preferred building material in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. This wood type exhibits a robust northern appearance after processing. Only beautifully straight-grown logs are eligible for production, and we exclusively use them for constructing our Mocha designs. Widely used in residential construction, spruce is particularly well-suited for building durable structures. The logs are harvested through cultivation on specifically designated plots for timber production. These plots are replanted after harvesting to ensure a future supply of wood.

Douglas Fir

This species is cultivated as a robust wood supplier. From these logs, we obtain beautifully colored wood. Logs from mature trees in this harvest are carefully prepared by us to create a unique appearance in the final product. It is a wood type frequently used in residential construction. Similar to spruce, these logs are sourced from plots specially designated for timber production, with replanting following harvesting. 

American Oak

This wood delivers material highly suitable for construction. American oak is a very stable wood species. Beams are obtained through a careful selection from the saw log. With a light pink tint, this wood is aesthetically pleasing. The logs are acquired through selective cutting in forests to make way for European oak. This method is applied where American oak could potentially dominate as an invasive species. 

European Oak

Oak, a tree with a rich history as a construction material, has been used in ancient times for castles, churches, and large buildings such as universities. This wood, designed to endure for centuries, has been used to build ships, and the finest wines and whiskies mature in oak barrels, preserved for their character. European oak provides the most durable wood for our production. The logs are obtained through a selection from densely grown natural forests. Oak forests require maintenance, and through this selection, these logs become available for construction. This method allows the growing tree to continue developing until the next selection, contributing to controlled forest management and increased biodiversity.

A few things to consider when choosing your type of wood

Softwood vs Hardwood

Generally, wood has been placed into two categories, softwood, and hardwood, although it has nothing to do with the density of the tree. Hardwood originates from deciduous trees, typically more expensive and harder, heavier, with a lower sap structure, close grain, and more fire resistant than softwood. Some examples are European and American Oak. Softwood, on the other hand, originates from evergreen trees, is typically less expensive, generally softer, almost always light, contains higher sap structure, has loose grain and generally weighs less than hardwood. Some examples are Spruce and Douglas Fur.

Natural aging and preservation

Due to the influence of light, especially ultraviolet light, all four wood types undergo a natural aging process, each in its unique way. This process is accelerated by the sun, and nature will take several years to let the visible parts undergo aging. Being a natural resource, wood is susceptible to decay and insects. To prevent damage from both, you have the option to apply a preservation treatment to the wood before installation. This will provide extra protection to your wood. There are generally three accepted ways to treat your wood-  Tanalisation, Double vacuum low-pressure treatments, and Dipping. This is an option to consider, as we produce our products untreated. 

Good luck with the choice of your wood. Remember, after all, it’s a matter of personal choice. Our Mocha Plug & Build cabins are available in all of the 4 mentioned types of wood, all suitable for construction. You can’t go wrong on this one! 

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