An Odd Ode to Our Sample of CLT

August 5th, 2020

Dear Readers, 

We felt like two kids opening a long-anticipated gift. We tore through the plastic covering like hangry barbarians, eager to see this symbol, icon, of our dream…the very structure of our home. 

Trash and wrappings strewn around, we admired the beauty of the Southern Yellow Pine. This will be the walls of our home. Our roof. Our floor. The floor our children will learn to walk on, the walls that will be covered in [maybe] heartfelt art projects, the roof which will shelter our family. 

Corny. Yes. 

But it’s kinda funny how it is our dream. This little block is the beginning step of a crazy, ‘ballsy,’ dream which has had the wind knocked out of it a few times…pardon my French. 

I told William that I want to make it into a picture frame. Carve out the middle, and put us and our eventually built home right there, in the center, surrounded by a carbon sequestering, beautiful wooden frame. 

Yeah, it’s a block of wood. But it is our block of wood.

Two Lil’ Kids

Sample Details

The Ravaged Aftermath

Three Ply Southern Yellow Pine, Sample Courtesy of SmartLam

Yet Another Picture of our Three Ply Southern Yellow Pine,  Sample Courtesy of SmartLam

Now, onto the technicalities and what we learned…it’s only three ply, but that sucker is heavy. We have accepted the reality that we will need a machine to put our floor, walls, and especially roof in place. I also can’t imagine how heavy a whole house of CLT could weigh…it may pose to be a problem in transportation and prefabrication aspects. 

The three ply of Southern Yellow Pine is also the ‘cheaper’ version from SmartLam. The fir, spruce, and pine from SmartLam’s Montana facility are more expensive by two dollars per cubic foot, but they also apparently have slightly better spanning/loading capabilities. William and I are not entirely sure which version we are going to go with yet…

We are so incredibly thankful to SmartLam for sending us a free sample of their CLT…and we are also quite impressed with how quickly it arrived!

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!


Shelby Aldrich


  1. Hello Honey,
    It’s so nice to be a part of you and William‘a dream. I love you blog.
    Keep your plans going even though it may seem slow in the beginning.
    We love you both,
    Aunt Jeni and Uncle Russ

    • Hey Aunt Jeni and Uncle Russell!!

      Thank you guys for following along! And for your loving support of our kinda-sorta craziness 🙂

      We love you too!


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© 2020 Sustaining Tree