Builders and homeowners continue choosing cedar siding for new builds. Cedar’s awe-inspiring, long-lasting beauty, renewability, and textural appeal simply can’t be beat. But while many value the style and natural appeals of cedar, there remain those intimidated by the maintenance of cedar siding.
Although custom cedar siding is incredibly resilient to insects and rot, owing to its natural preservatives, it remains imperative the homeowner care and protect their exterior siding regularly—doing so effectively increases its lifespan. Though cedar is strong, neglect diminishes its life and brings about possible cracking and early decay. Therefore, it’s important to find out how to serenely enjoy the amazing benefits of cedar siding longer.
LIFE EXPECTANCY OF CEDAR SIDING
Cedar siding generally has a life expectancy of 20-40 years, but can last an amazing 60-70 with meticulous care. Cedar’s longevity also depends on whether left in its natural state or stained. Some manufacturers offer warranties of 25 plus years for cedar siding.
Applying finish certainly extends the life of cedar siding. In contrast, cedar siding that touches the ground, making it vulnerable to moisture and pests, greatly shortens its life. For instance, cedar shakes will soften and rot in about five years if left untreated under rainy conditions.
PROTECTING CEDAR SIDING
Homeowners should inspect cedar siding regularly for three things: insects, moisture, and cracks.
For instance, termites cause severe damage to cedar siding so it’s important to find problems early before it’s too late. Moisture should be limited as much as possible on the cedar siding keeping it off the ground and by ensuring gutters are cleared to keep water away from the siding. Filling in cracks as soon as you notice them with sealants or paint will also keep moisture from entering the wood.
CLEANING CEDAR SIDING
Cleaning cedar siding is not unreasonably pricey and is completely within a homeowner’s capabilities. Untreated cedar siding weathers over time without excessive warping and cracking, but still requires care. Stained cedar siding requires more maintenance than other woods, but also lasts longer.
A thorough cleaning once or twice a year will greatly extend the life of cedar. Prone to dust and dirt accumulation, cedar exterior siding receives a good pressure wash (on the lowest setting) well.
Basic items required for cleaning cedar siding are: bleaching oil, clear coat, paint, detergent, and sealer. As it ages, cedar loses some of its natural oils, hence the need for upkeep.
Begin with a soap and water solution to scrub the siding and wash it down; then, apply bleach on any mold or mildew spots. Vinegar is also an effective, environmentally friendly option. A soft brush can be used for scrubbing. Follow immediately with a good rinse to avoid soap residue.
In addition, an annual pressure wash on the lowest setting helps your cedar siding last, and keeps it looking great too.
STAINING CEDAR SIDING
Cedar siding requires repainting or resealing at least once/year to help it last. A protective coating also helps prevent deterioration and discolourations. Reconsider leaving cedar siding in its natural state—rustic cedar has character, but is also more vulnerable to wear and damage.
Professionals suggest re-staining or re-painting cedar exterior siding on a semi-annual basis, but it depends on the quality of the stain used and weather conditions.
Cedar may be left untreated in its natural state, or it can be covered with a clear coat by Longhouse Specialty Forest Products. It can also be painted in red or white.
Wash siding with a mixture of 1 part bleach and 4 parts water. Remove any traces of dirt; pat the siding dry with a cloth. Pressure-wash if necessary.
Remove old protective coating or finish with a power sander and 220-grit sandpaper. Sand until the natural grain is fully exposed. The cedar surface should be smooth. Remove sawdust with a clean cloth.
Apply the new layer of stain or paint with a brush, in a colour of your choice. Use many thin layers of stain for an even coat. Avoid letting stain pool and allow to dry according to instructions. A second application can be applied if a deeper stain is desirable.
Lastly, seal the siding with a coat of clear finish.
Cedar siding comes in a wide array of styles, such as bevel, channel, tongue & groove, and board and batten, so careful maintenance protects the look and properties. The friendly staff at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products can assist you in finding the best cedar siding to suit your needs and lifestyle.
There are many first-rate wood species to choose from for new builds and renovations. Wood is a tried and true material to use in classic and modern construction. While the choice is important as to which material to use, and possibly which kind of stain to have applied, there is an additional treatment to consider after the wood selection is made, and that is whether or not to have a fire retardant treatment applied to the wood.
According to the National Building Code of Canada, “Fire-retardant-treated wood” (FRTW) is imbued with fire-retardant chemicals in solution under high pressure in accordance with the CAN/CSA-080 Series of Standards, Wood Preservation. Therefore, the treatment in this respect decreases surface burning characteristics, like flame spread, rate of fuel, and smoke impact. Certainly, any builder can understand the importance of having this treatment applied to their project, particularly for a new school.
According to owner Brian Jenkins at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products, his company has been applying various non-toxic lumber fire retardant treatments since 1999. Furthermore, the treatment may be applied to all lumber species, such as Douglas fir or Western Red Cedar. As to the costs, they are similar to pre-staining rates.
The procedure must be applied before other stains to dry, untreated lumber. So, if required by an architect, a builder would purchase the Fire Spread Rating (FSR) treatment to fulfill their specifications. The treatment is water-based, non-toxic soluble chemicals suspended using water as a medium to apply to the lumber. Next, the wood is dried, with pre-staining applied later. The fire retardant can be used for interior or exterior applications, such as lumber siding on the exterior or fir timbers on the interior.
To illustrate, Western Red and Yellow Cedar lumber of 19 mm thickness have a FSR of 73 and 78, respectively. Preventative fire treatment is employed by Longhouse to protect your lumber investment to Canadian standard CAN ULC S-102 < 25 FSR and American standard “CLASS A” < 25 FSR, as stated in the company brochure.
The professionals at Longhouse have applied this treatment for all types of building developments throughout British Columbia. Projects range from schools, institutions, hotels, commercial buildings, to both single and multi-residential builds.
For further information, contact the knowledgeable staff at their Parksville office. They are filled with valuable information and two decades of experience in the application process.
When it comes to deciding on whether to choose a pre-stained cedar siding or decking for your project many people often fall back on cost alone to make their choice. But there are actually many added benefits to investing in a pre-stained cedar for your project that will actually save you more money over time.
Unless you’re going for an aged look to your cedar siding or decking, it’s recommended to use pre-stained cedar before you begin your project. Untreated cedar often has some degree of “mill glaze” on it, this is a smoothness that is caused by the mill blades. The heat from the blades has a tendency to polish the wood, sealing the grain – mill glaze – making it more difficult to get a deep stain that won’t wear off in a year. If you’re going to pre-stain your own cedar siding or decking, make sure to use an oxalic acid on the cedar to help remove the mill glaze. Allow time for the wood to properly dry before applying the stain. All of the extra steps alone involved in staining your own cedar are enough to convince you in investing in a pre-stained choice. But wait, there’s more.
To save yourself a lot of time and money, purchasing a pre-stained cedar for your siding or decking is more than just a cost saver, it’s also a cost saver as you won’t have to worry about any pesky mill glaze, clean up, weather delays, and time. Using pre-stained cedar also ensures that all edges of the siding and decking will be sealed, and you won’t have to worry about moisture getting at areas you couldn’t reach. You will also have a more even distribution of the stain, keeping your stain colouring more consistent, helping you avoid any unsightly dark discolorations or other inconsistencies in coverage.
Although cedar contains oils which are naturally rot resistant, not many people know that it is only the heartwood of cedar that is resistant. Heartwood is generally darker wood closer to the middle of the tree trunk. Chemicals called “extractives” form in the heartwood as the tree grows, it is these extractives that give the heartwood its darker colour and its rot resistance. However, no extractives form in the sapwood, making it no more rot resistant that any other type of wood. Unless you are an expert in cedar, it may be hard to tell if your decking or siding is comprised of cedar heartwood. Using pre-stained cedar can help to ensure a uniform seal of protection throughout your entire project.
Whether using cedar for residential or commercial building applications, pre-stained cedar not only preserves the grain, but also offer further design choices. The UV protection the stain provides will also add to the preservation of your aesthetics for decades to come, meaning minimal upkeep. The eco-friendly benefits of not having to worry about any type of chemical accident happening in or around your home or business due to staining helps to preserve the environmental safety of your family, friends, colleagues and customers.
Come check out Longhouse’s specialty cedar products and speak to one of our experts today and we’ll help you find the best product to suit all your building needs. We use only the highest quality logs from Vancouver Island and precision equipment to create specialty products. We provide mill direct services and ship straight to our customers.
Post and beam is a simple but sophisticated way to design a custom timber frame home. Basically, post and beam is the term used for building with heavy materials, such as Fir. The posts support the beams. Hence, post and beam refers to any building that uses these two pieces in their construction.
The most popular natural timber for post and beam construction, Douglas Fir, is handily sourced on the west coast, thereby making it both a sustainable and locally sourced choice for a new building project. Quality Vancouver Island Coastal Douglas Fir is readily available through Longhouse Specialty Forest Products. Customers select this western wood species (Pseudotsuga mensiesii) to create beautiful and luxurious looking modern custom homes.
Additionally, post and beam is nice and simple. It’s all wood and the aesthetic is natural and elegant. The end result is a structure with patterns that define a home. From sleek and modern to more rustic and handcrafted, post and beam offers excellent design prospects for the home builder.
Since Douglas Fir is relatively low in weight compared to its strength, it makes it an ideal choice for post and beam design. Used worldwide in heavy construction timber, it’s also capable of supporting heavy loads. Plus, Fir timbers have the characteristic of cracking and checking minimally when dried, unlike other timber varieties. The timber can be purchased unfinished or to the customer’s specifications.
Equally important, Coast Douglas Fir is stronger than other Douglas Fir and Larch species in its strength category. Demanding post and beam applications are easily handled by Fir. Longhouse offers quality high grade Fir post and beams.
Cost is obviously also a factor in choosing Douglas Fir timber over other wood species. The prices of wood types vary considerably, so ask a sales professional for a comparison so you can select the one in line with your building budget.
Also consider that while Oak timber is hard and strong, it tends to twist and crack. Cypress and Cedar timbers do not have the same load capacity as Douglas Fir or Oak. Furthermore, if the timbers will be exposed to the outside elements, it eliminates certain wood that does not stand up to inclement weather as well as Douglas Fir. Finally, shipping a wood species that is not local will also add to delivery costs.
The team at Longhouse is available to assist you and guarantees customer satisfaction upon delivery. Choosing timber sourced from a local business dedicated to sustainable forest practices is a no-brainer. In addition, Longhouse wood is FSC Certified and an ecologically sound choice.
Native to the Pacific Coast, Yellow Cedar and Red Cedar wood species have innately pleasing aromas and long-term value. They are both loaded with natural preservatives, also known as tannins, which provide superb durability to buildings over time. The inherent properties of the two woods also result in less rot and mildew, prone to other types of wood. For these reasons and more, cedar siding is an excellent choice for custom West Coast homes and commercial buildings. But there is more to be learned about these two woods.
Yellow Cedar Siding
Yellow Cedar is found only on the Pacific Coast of North America, stretching from southern Oregon all the way up to southern Alaska. Slow-growing and harvested in smaller quantities than Western Red Cedar, Yellow Cedar’s relative scarcity adds an element of distinction for use in siding.
The hardest of all cedars, the wood of the Yellow Cedar is characterized by a distinct uniform yellow colour. It is considerably harder than most commercial softwoods and therefore has excellent strength and wear properties as well as good shock resistance.
The Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Sitka Cypress are other names used interchangeably for Yellow Cedar. In fact, it’s a Cypress, not a Cedar. AYC is primarily valued for its’ density and durability. Consequently, it does not absorb stain as easily as Red Cedar.
Red Cedar Siding
Red Cedar is found only in BC around the Pacific Coast and as far north as Alaska, but also in the valleys of the wetter areas of the interior and in western Washington and Oregon. Western Red Cedar is known to have the longest lifespan of any tree in BC.
Although softer and lighter in weight than Yellow Cedar, Red Cedar absorbs stain and paint much better since it is pitch-free and resin-free. In addition, Red Cedar Siding is more tonal, straight-grained, and non-porous.
Red Cedar softwood is moderately strong when compared to Yellow Cedar. Since it comes from the largest trees, it can also yield a larger assortment of dimensional lumber.
In addition, it dries quickly with minimal shrinkage and excellent stability. Red Cedar Shingles are also a classic siding option with excellent insulating properties. Knotty Western Red Cedar is a more rustic siding option.
Any type of cedar siding can be used for an entire siding job or can be installed as an accent point. Although pricey, cedar lasts virtually a lifetime and is environmentally friendly unlike many other siding materials.
When building a custom home, it’s important to select the best species of wood siding to maximize durability while minimizing cost. Longhouse Specialty Products is ready to assist you with any further questions regarding versatile cedar siding selections. They offer FSC certified Western Red Cedar siding directly harvested from Vancouver Island.
The great thing about building with natural materials, especially Cedar, is that they can be used both outside and inside the home. Cedar is probably one of the most popular home building materials for not only its durability and resistance to rot and decay, but its natural oils also act as an insect repellant for many types of insects. Timelessly stylish, using Cedar in your home can bring a radiant warmth to any space.
Creating an active setting in your home is a way of visually telling a story in each area of your home. Think of each room in your home as a stage and the type of story you’d like to tell your guests when they enter your home. Many people get trapped in the same trap of white walls, bland furniture and general confusion as to what to do with their space. Using Cedar in the interior design of your home, or if you’re looking to renovate, whether you choose the dark Western Red Cedar or a more golden variety, you can create a dramatic, warm and elegant setting, exuding character and enhancing mood.
Floor, ceiling and countertop accents are the perfect way to bring any kitchen to life like this Laurentian ski lodge perched on a former ski hill in Quebec. The metal appliances and white walls and cabinetry create such a cold façade, making the warmth of the Cedar highlights that much more attractive and inviting to the space.
Even in reverse, with the Cedar cabinetry and the cooler countertops you can achieve a modern, clean look which is still inviting and soothing.
Depending on your decorating style, the living room can be a great place to really add character and create a setting to exude a touch of outdoor masculinity with the relaxing harmonies of the outdoors. How about some recycled Cedar for a more antique or rustic look.
If you prefer a more modern look, liven up plain white walls with some Cedar beam accents and trim along the floors to help create more dimension to an otherwise open space. An easy and less expensive way to renovate and create added value and warmth to your space.
Much like the kitchen, we can see how adding those subtle hints of warmth with a darker Cedar can really bring to life something as boring as a hallway. The scent of Red Cedar would go a long way, allowing the calming smells to float freely throughout the home.
If you’re hallway is big enough, or perhaps you have enough room to create a secluded nook, just adding some Cedar paneling goes a long way. Throw in some warm accents to your décor and you’ve created more value to your home by efficiently using space people don’t normally think to use.
It’s surprising what a difference just changing your headboard can make to the atmosphere of your bedroom. Even something as simple as this design with some light accents can help to add a detail of style and setting to invoke restful nights.
If you have the time, money and space, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes and patterns like this arid inspired look make with reclaimed wood. It’s amazing how just accenting one wall or even the floor and roof can bring a room to life and express a sense of relaxation and comfort.
Yes, even the bathroom deserves a little makeover. If you have a small space, changing up your cabinetry can really go a long way to warm up bathroom. This look would go great with some matching Cedar panels on the roof. Inviting, modern and clean, your bathroom just gained a whole lot more attitude.
If you have more space in your bathroom, and perhaps prefer something more traditional, adding Cedar paneling creates the allusion of country charm and the soothing enchantment of nature to an otherwise forgotten part of your home. It won’t be long before you find yourself spending more time in here than you thought possible.
Cedar Siding is often synonymous with residential homes due its durability, versatility and appearance, along with its warm tones, alluring scent and numerous other benefits. When we think of a commercial space we often think of cement, stone, and drab colours devoid of any warmth. Commercial spaces of years long since past flocked to the ease of being able to erect towering structures easily with sturdy manmade materials, often accentuating them with carvings, statues and appealing structural design which would make any architect gasp at the ingenuity. Unfortunately, modern times have taken the magical allure from these simple concrete and stone structures and left us with the Big Box stores, much devoid of anything alluring other than the sales inside.
Recently there’s been a resurgence in the architectural design of commercial spaces. With so many changes taking place within the commercial space with online markets, and the great American pastime, the Mall, having to look for new and creative ways to lure in shoppers, there’s been a great interest in businesses looking to create commercial spaces which are warm and inviting. One of the easiest ways to revamp a drab commercial space is with Cedar Siding. This low-density softwood has a host of benefits such as: anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, natural insect repellant, it reduces heat flow and is a natural acoustic barrier. And with minimal maintenance and upkeep, it’s easy to see why this trend has been growing.
Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright was known for his use of natural building materials, his designs often inspired by shapes in nature. His use of Cedar both inside and outside were an inspiration to residential and commercial spaces throughout his career in the early 20th Century until his death in 1959. Many new commercial spaces are taking inspiration with these designs, creating commercial spaces that not only reflect the beauty and allure of Cedar Siding, but are also eco-friendly and built with sustainability in mind. A notable example of this design ingenuity is the STGM Head Office in Quebec City. Leave it to an architectural firm to design an office space with a commitment to environmental sustainability. The once cramped, generic 1980s suburban office building was completely resurrected, their use of Cedar Siding bringing life to the former service lot where it sits.
But don’t think that implementing the benefits of Cedar Siding means that you’ll have to redo the entire façade. A common design technique is adding accents to your space, in this case, the use of Cedar Siding strategically placed. This purposive design is all about creating an environment which should contribute to the creating of an experience for not only the occupants, but also the customers. Columbia Sportswear in Seattle has used this technique, adding to the appeal of their outdoor brand with the use of a knotty Red Cedar Siding.
Using reclaimed Cedar Siding is a great way to enhance your commercial space while also being eco-friendly. This slightly weathered siding can add a rustic charm to any business exterior, while still maintaining all the great benefits Cedar has to offer. Whole Foods has been known to add this type of Cedar Siding accents to many of its locations. And when Amazon bought the Whole Foods chain last June and used many of the locations as Amazon pick-up points for their online customers, it proved that a warm, welcoming and beautiful commercial space has no limitations.
With so many options available nowadays, you almost need a degree to decide on the right choice of siding for your home. Should you go manmade? Or, should you go natural? Ultimately, your choice may depend on a lot of different factors. However, the rising trend to return to something more natural like Cedar Plank has been gaining momentum, showing that it’s great for more than just closets.
Hardie Board plank is known as a cement board siding and has been around for quite some time. This affordable alternative to the real thing comes in a variety of colours and textures. Some of its more famous pros include: longevity, appearance, fire resistance and storm resistance. Cedar, on the other hand, as a low density softwood, can definitely give Hardie Plank a run for its money.
Hardie Board is known to be rot and insect resistant and can even handle salt spray from the ocean. But did you know that the natural oils in Cedar make it the best and cheapest form of pest control for your home. Not only is it a deterrent to rodents, it also keeps many species of insects and ants away. And although Hardie Board can be made to resemble Cedar, nothing beats the warm sweet smell of Cedar oil.
The noise abatement and insulating factors attributed to Cedar are a benefit when compared to many manmade materials. The open cell structure in Cedar means less heat is transported through the wood, keeping heat from escaping in the winter and the cool air from escaping in the summer. Similarly, as it reduces heat flow, it creates a natural acoustic barrier. And although some of the features we’ve mentioned already make Cedar a great choice as opposed to Hardie Board, most people choose Cedar Plank because of its style.
For many of us, our busy lifestyles often reduce our choices down to the subject of maintenance. There’s no point going all out if it’s going to take a lot of time and energy to maintain. Both Hardie Board and Cedar Plank can be painted a desired colour, although most who choose Cedar prefer it in its natural state with a great stain. And as Cedar ages, it adds great character to your home. And because of its natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, you can leave it untreated without worry of excess warping, rotting and cracking. So far, regardless of your choice, basic maintenance for either will be about the same in regards to cleaning and occasional re-painting or staining.
Honestly, nowadays, when it comes to getting the most value for your investment, it almost seems hard not to side (pun intended) with Cedar Plank. It’s a durable, natural product which has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years in home construction. There is basic maintenance which is no different than many of the other options on the market, but you get the added natural benefits of cedar wood oil as an insect repellent, its natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, a natural acoustic barrier, and it smells great. But if you’re ever unsure as to the best product to choose, always seek out a professional for expert advice to ensure that you choose the right product for your needs.
Western Red Cedar siding adorns countless West Coast buildings and homes. Specifically, cedar sidewall shingles remain an exceptional siding choice of builders for the exteriors of new and old projects. Providing an effortlessly timeless look for decades to come, buying FSC-certified Western Red Cedar shingles adds beauty and textural appeal everywhere they’re installed, making it ideal for coastal builds.
Cedar sidewall shingles are an excellent choice for premium building and housing exteriors for a number of reasons. First, cedar is an inherently enduring softwood that remains resilient to the elements whether treated or untreated. Second, cedar shingles are further naturally resistant to mildew and rot, cracking and shrinkage. Third, cedar shingles enhance insulation qualities in the building or home, thereby increasing heat retention as well.
While applying a finish to the cedar shingle promotes a longer life overall, proper regular care may also extend the life of the material. Cedar sidewall shingles are for sale from Longhouse Specialty Forest Products in pre-stained, untreated, or even painted the colour of your choosing. The fact that untreated cedar siding is totally eco-friendly is a primary benefit as well. Cedar shingles come in No. 1 (Blue label) and in No. 2 (Red label) grades from Longhouse. They’re also all available in high grade clears.
Pre-staining the cedar shingles preserves the grain and also gives the individual more design choices to choose from. Purchasing pre-stained cedar shingles from Longhouse also results in savings of roughly 65% versus paying a labourer to apply it at the building site.
Furthermore, with cedar sidewall shingles, builders choose the face that appeals the best to them and install it facing the outside of the wall. Alternatively, machine-grooved shingles are installed with the grooves facing the outside of the building.
Another appealing factor is the excellent selection of finishes obtainable with cedar siding. It can be left untreated in its natural state, or it can be covered with a clear coat by Longhouse. It can also be painted and comes available in red or white. Many builders choose untreated cedar sidewall shingles for a greener, cleaner environment.
Installation is also straight forward. Basic materials that builders require are stainless steel nails or staples and latex caulking.
Genuine FSC certified cedar shingles originate in naturally distinctive sizes, grains, and colours. This attractive design cannot be replicated with other sidewall options. Builders know best and let the luxury and natural beauty of cedar sidewall shingles enhance their coastal builds. For more details, contact Brian Jenkins, Owner/Operator at Longhouse toll-free at 1-800-811-2010.
Native to the Pacific Northwest, Douglas Fir is one of the strongest North American softwoods. Its qualities make it one of the first choice for contractors to use for such things as framing for buildings, bridges and railroad ties as its ideal for structures that need to withstand high winds or earthquakes. Its stiffness also makes it great for flooring. Some woods can shrink, crack or twist as moisture levels change, what makes Douglas Fir such a popular choice is that it retains its size and shape as it seasons.
The Kiln Drying process subjects the Douglas Fir to drying cycles while maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels. This drying process helps to further increase stability, reduce checking and maximize equalization within the wood. Traditional air drying of wood can take days, Kiln Drying can be done a lot quicker, making it more cost effective. Bugs and insects are also killed during the drying process.
Here at Longhouse, we use coastal Douglas Fir products from sustainably sourced old growth Vancouver Island Douglas Fir to manufacture structural products such as timbers and beams perfect for roof decking and flooring. The tough nature of Kiln Dried Douglas Fir make it the perfect material for high traffic residential and commercial applications. Available in many head turning finishes, and also fire treated with our class A non-toxic retardant for commercial properties. The wide plank solid flooring adds a bold statement to any room.
Longhouse Specialty Forest Products is proud to be FSC® certified by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007. FSC® is the only Forest certification system that environmental groups like Greenpeace, The sierra club and WWF support. Longhouse supports sound forest practices and effective management of forest resources for future generations to enjoy.