Timber is a reasonably resilient material, but bad handling & poorly organised storage on job sites could potentially lead to damage & wastage.
In order to maintain correct moisture content, physical appearance & discourage any splitting, decaying or discolouration, it is important to store timber products correctly prior to construction.
The packaging around Timber products is designed to protect it during transport only. Store timber products under adequate cover that not only protects the product from weather but is also well ventilated to prevent condensation.
You must always stack timber on a solid, flat surface with even supports & level packers to prevent warping, bowing, sagging, or touching the ground.
Unless your design is being made specifically for a short life span, all structures, especially any exposed to external conditions, require on-going maintenance.
The purpose of any maintenance regime is to ensure the structural integrity, safety, original look & condition of your construction material, so that it can continue to effectively perform its intended function.
Maintenance must therefore be considered at your design stage, as you will find that the level & frequency of maintenance is a function of the original design & each materials specifications.
It is at this point where original costs must be weighed up against future costs.
You should periodically check your structure for any physical changes. Any possible leaks or exposure, where moisture could infiltrate & cause decay, & any signs of damaged timber, should always be attended to without delay.