Wood Materials


This course is offered in partnership with MTCopeland.  Learn about joists, beams, sheet goods, and the properties of wood materials used in construction from builder and craftsman, Jordan Smith.  With over 100,000 satisfied students and a course catalog of over 1,000 classes, we are here to help you – Invest in Yourself.



Jordan Smith is the CEO and Founder of Smith House Company, a design+build firm  based in Austin, Texas. He learned to build and weld while working on the farm with his grandad, and after earning a degree in Welding and Materials Engineering, he spent the next 10 years working in the heavy construction building everything from robots to ships to offshore oil rigs before transitioning to residential construction. After spending a couple of years working with industry leading builders in Austin, Jordan and his wife Veronica struck out on their own to form Smith House Co.


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Course Description

Learn about joints, beams, sheet goods, and the properties of wood materials used in construction today.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction to Wood Construction – Humans have been building with wood for thousands of years. Pro builder Jordan Smith discusses that history, different types of house framing, and the advantages of using wood in construction.

Lesson 2: Properties of Wood – What is wood, really? Learn the composition of wood, the difference between hardwoods and softwoods, and how we measure properties like hardness, density, and strength.

Lesson 3: Forces and Stresses – In construction, wood has to withstand a lot of different forces. Learn about compression, tension, torsion, and shear, and how to think about loading scenarios.

Lesson 4: Lumber Grades, Sizes, and Types – Why isn’t a two-by-four actually 2 inches by 4 inches? What’s pressure treated lumber? What grade lumber should you use on your build? Jordan answers these questions and more.

Lesson 5: Engineered Wood – Jordan explains LSLs, LVLs, plywood, and the advantages and disadvantages of using engineered lumber instead of solid wood.

Lesson 6: Joists and Glulams – Learn about a few key structural members that are commonly used in light construction.

Lesson 7: Sheet Goods – Sheet goods are what keep the elements out of a finished house, and what help the structure resist shear forces. Jordan explains a few key techniques used to manufacture modern sheet goods.

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