A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wood Species for Your Home’s Exterior

In case you didn’t know, the type of wood you use for designing and decorating your home has a big role to play in the overall aesthetic you achieve. Using the right wood specie can help add natural beauty to your home. A good wood specie can also help your exterior wood items better withstand external elements. 


That being said, selecting the appropriate wood specie for your need can be quite stressful since there are so many available options. This is why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand how to choose the perfect wood specie for your home’s exterior.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wood Specie

You need to consider several factors when choosing a wood specie for your home’s exterior. Here are some of the most important ones.


  • Durability

When it comes to choosing a wood specie, many people prioritize aesthetics while forgetting that there are equally other important things to consider. One of these things is the durability of the wood. 


The durability of the wood should be the most important factor that guides your decision-making process. You should consider a wood type that is structurally sound and highly resistant to decay. 


Since the wood will be used to build exterior components, it must withstand weather conditions with minimal shrinking or swelling. Examples of wood species that possess such qualities are cedar and redwood.


You should avoid wood species like pine as they tend to be less durable. As a rule of thumb, always go for the high-grade version of any wood you intend to use.


  • Aesthetic appeal

Aesthetics is another important aspect when choosing a wood specie for your home’s exterior. Generally, woods can add a natural and earthy aesthetic appeal to your home’s exterior.


But it gets even better when you choose a wood specie that perfectly complements your home’s architectural style. Hence, you must consider how the wood specie will blend in with your home’s design.


When you narrow down your options based on the architectural style of your home, you are more likely to choose the perfect wood specie. 


For instance, if your house is a Spanish Mediterranean architectural style, a suitable wood specie for your exterior will likely be mahogany. This is because mahogany exudes a rich, luxurious appearance that can easily complement the Mediterranean style. 


In another case, such as a colonial-style house, wood species like cypress would fit better since it has a rustic and natural look that blends in easily. 


  • Quality of the wood

One thing is to choose the perfect wood specie; another is to get the best quality of that wood specie. The wood quality you choose for your home’s exterior will determine how easily the professionals can create what you want out of it. Eventually, it will also determine the quality of the finished product. 


Since different wood species possess different qualities, the appearance and feel of the final product you use them for will reflect the wood’s quality. 


The quality of the wood will also influence the final product’s suitability for the area where it will be placed. Lastly, you will have to consider if the structural properties of the wood will be suitable for the kinds of woodcraft projects you want to use it for.


  • Soft or Hardwood

When it comes to woodworking, professionals generally use either softwoods or hardwoods. Woods are classified into soft and hard types based on the properties of the trees from which they are obtained.


Softwoods are generally easy to work with because they are light and soft. Moreover, these types of wood can be easily reconstructed into different forms. This makes them the most common type of wood professionals use for woodworking projects.  


Hardwoods, on the other hand, are very strong. Hence, they are more durable than softwood. This also makes them a good choice for major exterior wood works. 


So when considering a wood type for your home’s exterior wood projects, you should prioritize using hardwoods. 


We suggest that you make use of the mahogany hardwood specie. This species is very durable and attractive. Moreover, the mahogany wood specie tends to blend in with different types of architectural design styles effortlessly.


Types of Wood Species for Home Exteriors

There are different types of wood species you can use for your home’s exterior. Each wood specie has its unique characteristics. Being aware of these things will help you make better decisions.

  • Cedar

Cedar is one of the most popular wood species. They are mostly known for their durability and resistance to insect infestation.

Since they don’t easily shrink or split, they are an excellent choice for exterior applications. Aside from how durable they are, they are also beautiful, but they are expensive.


  • Redwood

Redwoods are another species of wood that are very durable. They are highly resistant to insect infestation, don’t easily shrink, and require very little maintenance. Unfortunately, they can be rare to find.


  • Pine

Unlike redwoods, pines are very easy to come by and cost less. Unfortunately, they are very prone to splitting and shrinking. In addition to that, pines are not resistant to insect infestation. As a result, they often need a lot of maintenance.


  • Mahogany

Mahogany is a very rich and luxurious wood specie. It is highly durable and resistant to insect infestation. Though they are very expensive, they are worth the investment.



Wood is an excellent choice for your home’s exterior and with the variety of species available, you’ll be able to find one that meets both your style and practical needs. There are many factors to consider when selecting a wood species for your home’s exterior, from aesthetic appeal to environmental sustainability. We’ve presented the information here on a few of the popular wood species and their characteristics so you can choose which is most appropriate for your next project. 

If you need assistance selecting the right wood species or are ready to order quality custom-cut cedar products, contact us at Longhouse Cedar! We’re familiar with all aspects of cedar lumber production and take pride in offering our customers high-quality cedar lumber products that are perfect for any outdoor project. With reliable customer service and fast delivery, let us help ensure your home’s exterior projects look perfect even after years of exposure to the elements.