Choosing the right wood for a home improvement project can be tricky for experienced woodworkers and novice DIYers alike. Luckily, knowing a few key lumber facts can make it easier to select the right woods for a whole range of projects—from framing to decking to furniture making. What is the real difference between hardwood and softwood? What does a wood's grade say about it? Which is more durable, pressure-treated lumber or composite decking? Should you opt for plywood or oriented strand board? Before you choose a wood for your next home project, understand the wood's benefits and drawbacks. Here are 11 facts you should know before you buy lumber for your next DIY.