Depending on the nature of your building project, you’ll be looking for various properties when choosing wood for house pilings. Each type of house piling has its own unique advantages that may benefit a project in one application, but may not be the best solution for another. Here’s a quick look at popular wood for house pilings and things to consider when choosing:
1) Round Wood Pilings : Round pilings are a common choice for constructions like raised homes, bulkheads, and docks due to their great strength and compression properties, abundance, and relatively low price point. Round wood pilings can last roughly 30 years in the water and much longer when installed on land. They also have a much stronger design due to having an allowable bending movement of about 60 percent higher than choices like square timber pilings. This bendability and added strength makes it an ideal choice for projects near the water where strong storm surges can be expected. But their major drawback is their lack of uniformity that can cause a challenge in applications where straight lines in required.
2) Square Timber Pilings : In contrast, square timber pilings are often chosen because of their dimensional uniformity that are ideal for projects requiring straight lines and sharp edges. The main drawback is square house pilings with exposed heartwood don’t accept pressure treatment as well as other options. This can make this lumber more susceptible to harmful organisms that would reduce its longevity. When installing, square pilings should be rotated so that its face is squared to the future construction options (which differs from the round wood’s ability to be built upon on any side).