May 29, 2021

When it comes to building a cabin, your personal style will ultimately dictate the kind of build that will suit you best. But if the last few years have been any indication, the timber frame cabin is definitely a favorite on Lake of the Woods. 

There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself when selecting a type of wood to frame you dream home. Does it stay straight? How much does it shrink? Is it easy to work with yet durable over time? How likely is it to rot? Is it insect resistant ? How well does it accept stain?  Is there an affordable supply of your preferred wood that’s easily accessible?



Traditionally the Lake of the Woods area had lots of red and white pines available for timber and log construction. Unfortunately they are a much less common occurrence today. Both of these types of materials tend to stay straight and are easy to work with.  The down side is they are soft woods and don’t do particularly well when exposed to the elements. You also need to be fairly careful when making stain selections with these materials as they tend to yellow over time.


Spruce is also widely available in the Kenora area. Although it is plentiful and inexpensive, spruce is a poor choice for either log or timber building, as it’s not a resilient wood, and tends to twist and split easily.

Oak can also be found nearby, and makes for a beautiful home. With that said, oak can also be difficult to work with, is expensive, and tends to crack extensively with out considerable attention to humidity levels.

If we had our way, however, we most often recommend Douglas fir and western redcedar. Both woods are true and resist twisting and checking. Best of all, they are both top grade and economical, as there is a plentiful supply in British Columbia.

Have questions about Kenora builders, contractors, or interior cottage design? Please contact Bill Scurfield by email at or visit our website
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