Quite often people ask to speak with Sam re what timbers he’d recommend for this or that.

So we thought we’d write them up for everyone. This is general advice only and does not take into consideration your personal or building situation. We recommend seeking professional building advice from a licensed tradesperson.

For Straw bale walls:

Timber headers – 240x35mm hardwood

Lintels – as they’re structural it depends on spas and timbers. Refer to the National Construction Code NCC free to download . Look up the tables depending on what you have for the thickness, and grades of timber


Hardwood Timber Outriggers – 120x35mm should get you a 900mm overhang (look up the NCC under ‘rafter overhang’)

Posts non-structural – Whatever you can source and love

Posts structural – look up the NCC, speak with a licensed carpenter/builder or get them specified by your engineer

Traditional Timber Frames

For Traditional Timber Frames:

Best to speak with the team at Traditional Timber Frames Australia who specialise in these timbers. Sometimes they use a minimum of 150x150mm timbers or larger, depending the situation, timbers available and your preference. Usually timbers are oversized to give the uprights strength. Milled and kiln dried timbers are best and more stable. We haven’t found it to be cheaper or easier if we have timbers milled on site and then made (because of weather, shipping to from sites)

Cypress pine is a softwood and more affordable, however it’s not bush fire resistant. You’ll need hardwoods if the timbers are exposed and you’re in a bushfire zone.