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Why use Douglas Fir Post and Beam

Why use Douglas Fir Post and Beam

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.

Why use Douglas Fir Post and Beam

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.

Why use Douglas Fir Post and Beam

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.

All about Yellow and Red Cedar Siding

All about Yellow and Red Cedar Siding

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.

Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar

Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar

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.


Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar

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.

Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar Even in reverse, with the Cedar cabinetry and the cooler countertops you can achieve a modern, clean look which is still inviting and soothing.


Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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. Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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.


Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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. Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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.


Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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. Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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.


Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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. Creating an Active Setting in Your Home with Cedar 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.
The Resurgence of Commercial Cedar Siding

The Resurgence of Commercial Cedar Siding

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. The Resurgence of Commercial Cedar Siding 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. The Resurgence of Commercial Cedar Siding 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.
What’s in a Siding? Hardie Board vs. Cedar Plank

What’s in a Siding? Hardie Board vs. Cedar Plank

What’s in a Siding? Hardie Board vs. Cedar Plank

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.

What’s in a Siding? Hardie Board vs. Cedar Plank

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.

What’s in a Siding? Hardie Board vs. Cedar Plank

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.

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

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.

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

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.

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

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.

Why Builders on the West Coast Love Cedar Sidewall Shingles

Building Stronger With Kiln Dried Douglas Fir

Building Stronger With Kiln Dried Douglas Fir

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

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.

Building Stronger With Kiln Dried Douglas Fir

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.

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

It’s easy to see why cedar remains a popular siding choice among Canadians, in spite of the higher costs. Cedar is extremely durable, and its natural preservatives guard from the ravages of rot, decay and insects. Longhouse manufactures an excellent selection of custom cedar siding profiles. Each has its own features, so it’s good to know a little about them before making an informed choice for a project.


Commonly known as ‘clapboard’ siding, this is possibly the most popular wood siding. Cedar bevel siding comes available in any width and is installed horizontally.

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

Bevel siding is manufactured by re-sawing lumber at an angle to make thicker pieces on one edge, resulting in saw textured pieces on one side. The other side can be smooth or saw textured depending on both cedar grade and customer preference. Due to its thickness, it provides a beautiful shadow line along the building exterior.

Western Red Cedar bevel siding comes available in solid wood or finger-joined. This style is also available in clear and knotty grades.


Channel, or ‘lap’ cedar siding, is also popular with customers desiring a rustic look. This type of siding comes with flexible installation options: vertical, horizontal, and even diagonal.

Installing lap siding results in a shadow-line look, due to the fact that each board partially overlaps the next, thus creating a channel between boards. The overlap also provides additional protection from moisture.

Channel siding comes in a variety of patterns, widths, and thicknesses. It’s also offered in either clear or knotty grades, smooth or saw textured. An additional benefit of channel siding is that it expands and contracts under changing temperatures without cracking or warping.


Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

The most versatile siding choice by far, tongue and groove cedar siding is made when boards are manufactured to have a protruding tongue on one edge and a groove on the other, so that one board fits into the other. This is installed vertically, horizontally, and diagonally as well.

Tongue and groove custom siding is available in the same options as channel siding.


Board and batten siding is manufactured with wide clear or knotty Western Red Cedar and installed with battens (narrow boards) vertically over the joints. Any combination of board widths may be used to achieve the desired effect.

Furthermore, boards can be installed in reverse with the wider boards over the battens to create a deep channel effect. Although there are many choices, a typically appealing combination is 1×3” battens with 1×10” boards.

Popular Cedar Siding Profiles

Nothing compares to the warmth and natural beauty cedar siding provides. All cedar siding products are available in high grade clear stains and colours, which naturally affects costs. The customer can save when choosing ‘green’ or unseasoned Western Red Cedar siding.

Now you know the features of cedar siding. For further information, contact the seasoned professionals at Longhouse Specialty Forest Products in Parksville. They can help direct you to traditional or custom siding profiles perfect for you, all using FSC Certified Western Red Cedar.

Haida Skirl Lumber Available

haida scroll cedar for sale

Haida Skirl is a type of cut lumber that Longhouse Specialty Products sells from carefully selected Western Red & Yellow Cedar.
Red & Yellow cedar‘s characteristics protect against decay and

insects, ensure materials stay straight, lay flat, and provide an excellent base for paints and stains. Our in house quality coating systems can be used with confidence for a variety of pre stained siding, soffits/ fascia boards, timbers and decking.

Each piece of Haida’s Skirl is carefully inspected and we strive to provide a 100% tight tight knot grade. It is the only wavy edge siding that is manually produced by specially trained operators, as a result each piece is unique. The extra thickness of Haida Skirl siding provides a deeper shadow line which emphasizes and enhances Haida Skirl’s appearance.

Haida Skirl Features

  • Sawn textured, fine grained to accentuate the natural beauty inherent in Western Red & Yellow Cedar.
  • 100% tight knot
  • Available in Clear grades
  • Available raw or stained or painted

For more inspiration and more photos on how you can use Haida Skirl check out Pinterest here

douglas fir decking for sale

Tongue & Groove Roof Decking

douglas fir decking for sale

When you are building a new home or renovating and a ground level deck is not possible, sometimes opportunities exist above on the roof.

Many buildings have the potential of developing roof spaces such as converting your roof into a deck. Longhouse Specialty Products understands building constraints and sells quality cedar/ fir kiln dried tongue and groove lumber for the construction of roof decks.

Our T&G Roof Decking is available in Douglas Fir, Spruce / Western Red Cedar / & Yellow Cedar. Longhouse prides itself in providing consistent quality on every piece, saving our customers both time and money with great results.

All our cedar and fir lumber is available with or without stain or paint. Available thicknesses in 2”, 3”pre-drilled, 4”pre-drilled.

Contact Us for more information:

douglas fir decking for sale

Please send us information about what kind of lumber (fir or cedar) and stained or not stained as well as approximately how much you are looking for. We will do our best to get back to you asap.