Question: Is softwood or hardwood a better choice for an outside project?

Answer: It’s a common misconception that hardwood is a better choice because it’s tougher but this isn’t necessarily the case. The difference between softwood and hardwood is defined by plant reproduction, not toughness, and in fact some hardwoods are softer than softwoods. That said, hardwood is generally denser than softwood. It’s also slower growing, generally making it more expensive to purchase.

Question: So which timber should I choose?

Answer: In Australia, we are lucky to have some magnificent hardwoods to choose from, in particular hardwood from a variety of Eucalyptus species. These timbers will look fantastic once oiled, to display the natural variations founds in many hardwoods. However, softwood is an excellent choice for a variety of applications, particularly when budget is a consideration.

Take, for example, this deck, verandah and balustrade built for an Outside Concept client to extend their outside living space. Softwood was chosen instead of hardwood to keep the cost of the project down, allowing the clients to paint the verandah and balustrade to compliment their surroundings. If they choose, they can also stain the deck in a colour of their choice, helping to protect the deck for many years to come.

Find out about Outside Concepts’ 10-year structural warranty. Call us on 1800 601 674.