For many years timber products, particularly in building, had a bad press, and for very good reasons. Before the advent of structures poured with concrete into shuttered moulds filled with steel, the main building materials were hallow terracotta bricks, stone and wood, with a lime based mortar holding it all together. In the mountain regions of Murcia and Alicante, and throughout Spain in general, the countryside is littered with dilapidated buildings that have fallen prey to rotting or insect infested wood. Add to this a seemingly cavalier disregard for foundations and damp coursing and it is amazing how some lasted as long as they have. But sticking with the wooden element: the timber beams used for roof supports and flooring were simply cut from living trees, shaped (sometimes not) and put in place. The wood was rarely seasoned, and it certainly wasn’t treated against wood-boring insects and dry/wet rot. The local bug population moved house, literally, and continued chomping away indoors as if nothing had happened – until the house collapsed of course. Thankfully those days are long gone. As regulations and new standards were introduced into the construction industry in Spain, so wood also had to meet the same criteria if it was to be used for building purposes.
Today, good quality timber can be found throughout the different semi-autonomous regions of Spain, from Catalonia to Andalusia. The wood is seasoned and pressure treated against pest infestation and the elements, but it must still be treated after being cut and shaped. A good, professional carpenter will seal any cut and joint with preservative and anti-bug treatments before assembly. This is essential if the wood is to have a long and trouble free life.
Based on the border of Alicante and Murcia, Woodworks Direct take every precaution to make certain their wooden structures are of the highest quality and are fully treated after every cut and joint. They also stain the wood with a choice of colours, giving the timber an even greater level of protection.
Wood is natural and is incredibly strong whilst remaining flexible, which is a real bonus in a country where earthquakes are not uncommon. And it is comparatively light, so manoeuvring large wooden beams into place does not require a crane or multiple slipped discs. The other real plus point is that wood looks great. When undertaking a reformation of an old property it is always best to use as many original building materials as possible, and wooden beams replaced by concrete ones do not look the part. And, it simply isn’t necessary when high quality, treated timber is readily available. Whether it is to be a simple garden shed, a pergola or a gazebo or major structural renovation to an old farmhouse or finca, wood has to be the first choice, and a professional carpenter undertaking the work goes hand-in-hand with that choice. Lumber harvested from managed, sustainable plantations is the green way forward. Don’t think in the past, think the future and think wood.