Many who are following the Ferrari build may be wondering how we arrived at the decision to frame the entire house out of engineered lumber. There were many factors that lead to the decision to engineered material to frame the home, but the Ferrari’s had two main concerns: straight walls and minimal cracking in the interior and exterior plaster finish. After doing some research on available products, it was decided to use Weyerhaeuser’s Timberstrand framing material which is also known as Laminated Strand Lumber.The LSL product does not expand and contract nearly as much as nominal lumber does (hopefully reducing the chance of cracking the plaster finish), it is straight, and could ordered in lengths of up to 32′. The product also had other benefits:
[singlepic id=122 w=450 h= float=]
1. The adhesive used for manufacturing is not a Formaldehyde based adhesive like other adhesives used to manufacture plywood, mdf, and other wood products.
2. It is made from Yellow Poplar and Aspen; a weed species of wood that can be harvested on much shorter cycles (20 years) than Douglas Fir (50 years) and does not require planting new seedlings (as Doug Fir does). When these trees are cut down, new shoots sprout out of the stump that is left, and those shoots grow into new trees that can be harvested.
3. Less material is wasted since, unlike green lumber, every inch of the board can be used. No boards had to be culled, we didn’t have to avoid knots, and didn’t have to worry about crowning studs.
4. The final benefit that was realized, was the ease of which the walls could be plumbed and lined. Since the LSL material is dry and does not “shrink” like green lumber does, It made plumbing the walls a smooth process.