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New Height Restrictions for Wooden Structures

Timber buildings have been around for centuries. Thankfully, over time, code restrictions have been revised and changed, with concerns of fire safety topmost in many architects’ and builders’ minds. 

Recently, new height restrictions have been introduced for wooden structures in the newest Mass Timber Code Proposals guide. Specifically, Code Change Proposals G75-18, G80-18, and G84-18 deal with tall wood buildings. The three code changes state that height, number of stories, and allowable area, should be reviewed only after one becomes familiar with the types of construction.

According to a recent news article, ‘Peter Busby designs a 40 storey timber tower proposed for Vancouver’, posted on treehugger.com, a new timber tower is in the works. Peter Busby of Perkins+Will Canada is the designer onboard the proposed green-build project. According to their website, Perkins+Will has one of the highest numbers of ‘Certified Passive House Designers’ of any design firm in North America (presently 25 in Canada, in case you were wondering).

One of the founders of the Canada Green Building Council (CGBC), with which Longhouse remains a member, Busby has a vision towards reducing energy consumption in new builds. To paraphrase, the tower is the tallest Busby thinks can technically be made with wood today. The building is to be predominantly made out of cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and dowel laminated timbers (DLT). This timber is manufactured in British Columbia and culled from damaged trees. Busby is optimistic it can be built between 35-40 stories high.

However, several people doubt the project will in fact go ahead due to the revised building codes. The new codes permit wood structures up to 12 stories with exposed wood elements, and up to 18 stories with wood enclosed in gypsum board. Procedures may be taken that permit variances from the code but could be time-consuming. To date, the tallest wooden skyscraper in Canada is the Brock Commons at UBC, at 18 stories. 

Furthermore, zoning on the site in question has a limit of 14 stories. Unquestionably, every project should be studied to be suitable to the existing neighbourhood. Although wood is having a renaissance, there seems to be much debate about whether the proposed 40 towers is too tall for the site.

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products has played a role in thousands of exciting custom projects worldwide. We’ve had the pleasure of working with several talented individuals in the design and construction industry. Dedicated to sustainable construction methods and growth, in addition to maintaining as tiny of a carbon footprint as possible, we’re keeping a close watch to see how these new height restrictions affect future modern projects.

12 Outdoor Decks from Around the World

Designing a deck distinct from identical, cookie-cutter ones around you is a visionary’s dream. And certainly, creating an outdoor living space with worldly charm can be seamlessly tied into your home when prudently thought out. Knowing what types of plants are native to each area, along with typical local decor, can assist you in constructing your exotic patio area. With these concepts from other countries, you too can feel like you’re on vacation as soon you step outside your home.

Canadian East Coast

East Coast decks are strung with lanterns and lights for evening outdoor entertainment after hard work days. Toss in some Muskoka chairs, teak furniture with bright red Canadian colours for a true Canadian feel. Wood or interlocking stone decking. Ornamental grasses that tolerate salty, humid coastal conditions.

Canadian West Coast

A typical modern West Coast style deck is constructed from locally sourced British Columbia cedar wood, conveniently sourced through Longhouse in Yellow or Western Red Cedar. West Coast patios are open, often accented with modern wicker furniture or teak, and outfitted with an outdoor kitchen. Patio covers are also constructed for our unpredictable rainy weather. Large pots varying heights, of greenery, ornamental grasses and blooms placed thoughtfully throughout the patio space accent our naturally beautiful outdoors as well. Strings of lighting to brighten cool coastal evenings on the patio.


The casual ambience of a Balinese patio offers tufted floor cushions and hanging lanterns for romance. Mix and match seating a further candle light mimic the magical space. Tropical greenery planted (palms) and stone sculptures often accompanied by a water feature.


An outdoor California patio may overlook a pool for an inviting oasis built with paving materials that withstand the sun. The design may incorporate a greenhouse for fresh, organic vegetables. You may find an old growth tree and perhaps a living wall with native plants, built out of reclaimed wood. A pergola climbing with honeysuckle also offers day to night enjoyment. There is also a rich array of wild flowers and palms. 


A rose garden is a popular planting with a cosy cottage feel. English gardens are often overflowing with blooms and colourful pots of flowers, and a seating area for much-loved afternoon. Concrete pavers create quaint garden pathways.


Sleek and modern with an aim towards minimalism, showcase the palms flowing in the breeze. Alternately, they may be jazzed up with patterned seat cushions and colourful, tropical throw pillows for comfort. Modern lanterns hung add cool ambiance for late night soirées.  

France Deck

Think European vibes with a Parisian bistro set, beside a lush teak pergola climbing with clematis. Toss on black and white striped cushions for an authentic Parisian feel. French countryside patios often come with a variety of sweet potted plants and a statement repurposed mirror or frame as a focal point. 

Hawaiian Deck

For a tropical feel, go with bright tropical print cushions, plenty of palm trees swaying, and a cement patio that withstands the humidity. Open-aired Place carved tiki accents and torch lighting for an authentic island feel.

Italy Deck

Think Positano without the breathtaking views, unless you’re lucky to already have one of those! Italian marble sculptures are typical for outdoor living spaces, along with potted plants, wisteria, and climbing ivy. Throw in a gazebo for an intimate dining area to search those fresh Italian pasta dishes. Comfortable cushioned chairs, a long dining table for lots of family and friends, and pendant lighting setting the mood.



Beautiful handcrafted Mayan hammocks and dazzling hand painted tiles and pots accent Mexican terraces, along with drought tolerant potted plants. A trellis or pergola adds shade as well. Covered sundeck for plenty of outdoor entertainment as Mexican families love to spend time together enjoying delicious Mexican food. Wood deck made from coconut palm wood. 


A Moroccan terrace, you’ll find brilliant coloured cushions, sheer drapes swaying in the breezes for a romantic, laid-back ambience. Elegant and confident. Beautifully patterned textiles mixed in, metal Moroccan style lanterns, and hand painted Moroccan tile flooring. No Moroccan garden is complete without some super-sized palms or heat-loving exotics. Not only do these architectural plants create cool, shaded areas, they also form beautiful shadows on smooth pools of water, they also create a year-round lush garden. Evergreens contrast with richly painted walls too; a common colour scheme used is a deep raspberry pink plaster and aqua-green tiled floor which blends beautifully with the foliage of towering banana plants. Plant them in enormous terra-cotta pots for added impact.



A Turkish patio might be constructed with local marble, accented with brass details, and finished with a terrazzo flooring. Iroko wood is a teak-like material used. Gorgeous Turkish lanterns add warmth and exoticism to the space.


Travel lovers can find all sorts of inspiration observing patio designs. Fortunately, Longhouse is Vancouver Island’s source for amazing outdoor deck design and can bring your exotic patio dreams to fruition.

Manufacturer of the Year

Longhouse is happy to announce that it recently won the award for Manufacturer of the Year. Longhouse received the award from the Vancouver Construction Association. There were many factors that led to Longhouse receiving the award. The project that received the recognition was the Pacific Centre Family Services Association. Longhouse is excited about the recent award and is looking forward to more projects in the future. View some of our past projects here or give us a call to inquire about starting a project of your own with us today.
How to Achieve a Modern House Design

How to Achieve a Modern House Design

Our homes are our safe havens shared with loved ones, and beautiful modern home design is something many homeowners aspire to attain. Trends come and go but modern design has staying power. Indeed, who wouldn’t want large expanses of windows with natural light filtering in and an invitingly open floor layout?

How to Achieve a Modern House Design

What’s confusing is some people believe modern equals contemporary or traditional. However, regarding home planning it basically refers to a design fixed on minimal form and function. For example, open living spaces, earthy hues, and natural materials such as cedar and stone are all vital to a modern living space.

Achieving modern-day building style is effortless when you bear in mind the individual elements of design.


To begin with, a modern floor plan is more symmetrical and intentional than traditional floor plans that were somewhat haphazard and not as well thought-out. Modern floor plans are open and flow sensibly from one room to the next. Further keep in mind that modern architecture embraces clean lines with minimal embellishment.


Modern home design connects the indoor living space with the outdoors. After considering your local climate and landscape, think about implementing an organic garden, indoor trees, sliding exterior walls, and a spacious deck. Longhouse Specialty Forest Products specializes in only the highest quality timbers and delivers cedar wood decking, a popular choice in modern home design, in several custom profiles. Lustrous Douglas Fir post and beam is also a sophisticated material used to accentuate a modern home.


Warm, earthy tones are often an integral characteristic of modern home projects. For the interior or exterior of the home, natural cedar wood, including rich Western Red Cedar, can be delivered pre-stained in the colour of your choosing by Longhouse.


Consider how even the smallest details affect the overall look of a home. Energy efficient windows and modern cupboard hardware are timeless design features.


Thoughtfully planned homes often include a focal point for family gatherings and leisure. For instance, a modern cedar deck incorporates an outdoor kitchen, hot tub spa area, or even a soothing water feature.


Eliminate busy wallpaper, old fashioned small tiles, carpet, and slender strips of wood—major design elements in traditional schemes. Instead, opt for wide plank Douglas Fir flooring—ideal for high traffic areas with a fresh, organic grain. If renovating, simply replacing old paneled doors with sleeker designs and hardware provides a straightforward update.


Architects respect ‘vernacular’ designs, otherwise known as local trends, and that applies to West Coast style. Coastal homes incorporate the warm, natural beauty of Cedar siding, a prime choice in modern design. Cedar creates a gorgeous design aesthetic as decking, eaves, fascia, siding, and soffits.


Large floor plans and basic square design make up a modern look. Also plan for larger windows to let more natural light inside and enhanced outdoor views from the inside.


A flat roof is another indicator of modern house design, in addition to simplified eaves and other streamlined roofing materials.


Natural looking textures incorporate the warmth of nature into your modern home. Cedar wood is available in visually smooth or knotty textures, distinctively natural characteristics. Douglas Fir plank flooring also provides a vibrant, natural feel to modern living spaces.

How to Achieve a Modern House Design

Indisputably, a modern house is built with sustainable, natural materials that are recyclable and renewable. In achieving modern home design, consideration must also go into installing efficient heating and cooling systems, and of course, energy efficient appliances and lighting.

Longhouse is the perfect place to source the popular Cedar and Douglas Fir wood required for your built-to-last modern home. Renewable and Forest Stewardship Council certified, and therefore, sustainable, these natural materials are ideal in designing your modern sanctuary. As well, Longhouse specializes in custom cut Western Red Cedar, Yellow Cedar, and Douglas Fir. We’re here to assist you in planning your luxurious new living space that will surely provide years of pleasure and satisfaction ahead.

How to Design a Luxurious Outdoor Deck

How to Design a Luxurious Outdoor Deck

The days are longer with increased daylight and now is the time to begin planning your outdoor living space and get back to basking in the great outdoors. But where to begin? Designing a splendid outdoor deck for your family and friends to chill this summer may initially feel intimidating, but with preplanning and basics, you can design the outdoor deck of your dreams.

Cedar softwood decking provides the idylic warm and luxurious aesthetic for any deck. With different stains to choose from, cedar decking also merges seemlessly with nature already outside your door.

You want to get the most out of your leisure time. Inhale the fresh air with these fresh outdoor deck design ideas and start celebrating!











  1. First, consider your needs. Do you want to incorporate an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, or cosy reading area? Perhaps a fire pit to enjoy stargazing and socializing on warm summer evenings? Your new cedar deck can be as complex or simple as you like.
  2. Visualizing outdoor space can be daunting so invest time in scanning online deck pictures, collecting inspirations along the way. Pinterest and Houzz.com are perfect sites to gather ideas of what interests you, as well as what is possible (or not) in your space.
  3. Walk through where to place furniture and leave space for walkways in the deck area and start rough measuring.
  4. If you’re hiring a contractor, he or she can take care of building permits and codes. If not, it’s up to you as the homeowner to check with the city and apply for permits and ensure building codes are followed. Don’t be afraid to ask staff for help along the way. Accept that your deck design may change as you go along.
  5. Calculate a general budget to help avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the build. Tools, materials and deck décor add up quickly.
  6. You may want to contact local authorities to mark underground utilities like gas lines to avoid upsetting and expensive deck design mistakes.
  7. You don’t need to be an artist to sketch down rough plans for furniture, plantings, and BBQ placement to help actualize your deck space.
  8. Also think about conveniece and flow of the indoors to the outdoor deck. Ease of access and an outdoor kitchen and dining area that makes sense for your needs are primary points to consider.
  9. Contemplate outdoor scenes and whether they need to be disguised with creative greenery or left free of deck railing for unobstructed views.
  10. What type of plantings do you desire around the deck? Select potential trees, flowers, and plant containers; then, make note of required space.
  11. Additionally, consider shade and sun. You’ll likely want a covered seating area and a modern cedar pergola can do the job. Or perhaps an awning or umbrella will suffice, with spots for hanging planters and strings of patio lanterns.
  12. Depending on the area, you may want to have multi-level decking that creates different spaces and flow for a seating area and a hot tub, for instance. A water feature also adds a touch of nature with the soothing sounds of running water. Serene koi pond with bench seating, anyone?
  13. Furthermore, privacy screens are essential for comfort and intimacy from neighbours or less than spectacular views, so design seating areas carefully.
  14. Remember to go big rather than small—you’ll want your deck to be spacious enough to place outdoor items without being cluttered.
  15. Good lighting delivers the relaxing or romantic mood people appreciate in the evening. Consider where you want garden and deck lighting for optimal ambience.

Undoubtedly, creating a luxurious outdoor living space makes it easy to take full advantage of warmer seasons. Since cedar is naturally resistance to decay, it’s an ideal choice to become the foundation of your outdoor deck and withstands harsh weather. With pre-finished, custom cut cedar decking, you can select from Yellow or Western Red Cedar. Staff at Longhouse are happy to help you find what suits your needs best. Soon, when you step out on your new deck, you’ll smell cedar wafting in the air and know you’ve attained backyard bliss.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

The straight grain in Cedar makes it a very stable wood when turned into siding. Being slightly harder than other softwoods, Cedar comes with a host of benefits when used as a siding because it is less likely to cup, split or swell. Cedar is largely admired for being resistant to rot and many insects. Whether you choose to redo the entire house or just sections of it in Cedar siding, here are some great siding styles you can choose from to create the right aesthetic for your home.

Lap Siding.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

Probably the most common form of siding is the lap siding, also known as bevel or clapboard siding. This type of siding is created by sawing a board lengthwise in a slight pie shape, creating a narrower edge on one side. Starting at the bottom of the wall, the siding boards are slightly overlapped on top of each other as you move up the wall, thus the name “lap siding”. This type if siding layout is durable and sheds water quite well as there are no edges to absorb and hold moisture.

The more overlap there is with the boards, the sturdier the structure will be, with the average exposure being from four to eight inches. A smaller exposure area is a more expensive look as it will require more pieces of siding to achieve. Although Cedar doesn’t necessarily require any staining, periodic staining and painting can help to keep it looking fresh and vibrant for decades. If you live in a particularly wet climate, you may wish to do some caulking around the edges to help reduce any weather damage.

Drop Channel Siding.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

Drop Channel Siding is probably one of the most versatile styles of siding because it can be installed horizontally, diagonally, or vertically. This type of siding is very popular with cabins. As the name suggests, this siding is achieved by cutting a small groove down the long edge on the bottom of the board, and then milling down the top edge which would be able to fit snuggled into the grooved edge as the siding boards are overlapped on top of each other.

An added benefit to this type of siding is the overlapping edge on the grooved side of the board which then overlaps the adjoining piece. This small ledge is perfect for allowing any water to bead from the board and not slip into any nooks or crannies. Another benefit is the how it allows the wood to expand and contract with the temperature changes without compromising the structure.

Aesthetically it can provide a rustic appearance to the exterior of the home and the partial and overlapping beveled edge creates an interesting shadowline.

Tongue and Groove Siding.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

Much like the Drop Channel siding, this can also be installed in any direction. As its name would suggest, each board is milled with a groove on one side and a corresponding tongue on the other to allow the planks to interlock securely together and create a smooth surface. This type of joinery is often used in antique wood flooring.

Split Logs.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

The concept of the Split Logs is perfect for anyone who logs the log cabin look, but still loves their current more modern home.  Regardless of the size of your home, this look can establish a cozy ambience and create a more inviting atmosphere. To create this look the wood must be sawed with the bar still attached. One side of the board retains its curved, natural log appearance, while the underside is flat so that it can be attached to the wall, giving the final appearance of logs.

It is quite common to provide a protective sealant to this type of siding to assist with sealing out moisture and preventing insects from venturing behind the panels. Maintenance is very similar as with any other type of Cedar Siding.


7 Styles of Cedar Siding

This historic style is commonly used on the exterior of barns and other farm buildings. Installed vertically, it is made up of alternating wide and narrow boards. The wide boards are spaced evenly across the exterior with the narrow boards nailed over the space between then. The batten is the narrow stip.

This particular style allows for greater expansion and contraction of the wood, developed by farmers who often used unseasoned wood and varying widths of boards. Nowadays the need for this not necessary as most wood used in siding has been properly seasoned. In the case of Cedar, it naturally resists this type of movement, which makes it so perfect to use as siding.

Shake Siding.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

Shake Siding looks a lot like shingles but is thicker and more durable.  Shake can more of a roughhewn cut to it, and are sometimes sawn by hand. Shakes can be purchased in 16, 18, or 24-inch lengths, and are usually attached to a sheathing starting at the bottom of the wall. Each layer overlaps the other, providing a very rustic, course look to the exterior of any home.

Because of the rough nature of the wood, it’s important to check building codes in your area to see if they are permitted to be used as the nature of the rough nature of the wood in some areas is cited as a fire hazard. It’s important to treat them with a fire-retardant just to be safe. If you are using anything but Cedar, it’s important to properly maintain them in case of splitting of insects. If left unstained, the weather effect on the Shakes provides a beautiful rustic aesthetic to the exterior of any home

Shingle Siding.

7 Styles of Cedar Siding

Shingle Siding is very similar to Shake expect that the shingles have been smoothed out and are more consistent, giving a slightly more modern look. This type of Siding was quite popular on Victorian homes and can be stained or painted depending on the desired look you want to achieve. They are easy to install and preferred for oddly shaped walls such as turrets.

Much like Shake, is recommended to have them treated with a fire-retardant and check building codes in your area to be sure that they are allowed. Often this type of siding is only prohibited in area that see frequent fires. Again, if you’re using Cedar, minimum maintenance will be required as the wood is already insect and rot resistant. And if left unsealed, will age nicely over time.

Come check out our huge selection of Cedar Siding, our experts will help answer all your questions to make sure you select the right siding for your home.

Why Use Cedar Shake for Siding

Why Use Cedar Shake for Siding

Nothing beats the beautiful rustic exterior of a home with Cedar shake siding. With so many newer more modern options many forget that unfinished Cedar wall shingles can easily last 50 years. And you can get even longer life with the right installation techniques. And if you’re looking for something which will give a long, maintenance-free life, then this is definitely what you’ve been searching for.


Unlike siding, when Cedar shingles are installed correctly, any one spot on the wall may be three layers thick. Making sure they’re installed over a drainage mat or dimpled plastic sheet not only helps to prolong shingle lifespan, but it helps to hold the shingles away from wall sheathing so water can drain out.

This low-density softwood has an open cell structure, unlike other siding materials. It’s a terrific insulator. And because of the density, less heat is transported through the wood, which means less heat escaping your home during the winter, and less cool air escaping during the summer. The layer of the shingles also helps to create a natural acoustic barrier which is great if you live in the city near a high traffic area.


But let’s be honest, most people don’t choose Cedar shake for all of its fabulous durable properties, but it’s style. Cedar shake or Cedar shingles do come in a variety of stains and textures. The natural look it offers blends well with your environment. There is a spectrum of patterns and styles including bevel, board and batten, channel, tongue and groove, and wavy edge bevel. In its unstained, unfinished natural state it offers a textured, grainy wood with a subtle aroma. But if you need a little colour in your life, you always have the option to paint it.


Sometimes maintenance can be a huge deal breaker when it comes to choosing which siding or shingles are best for your home. Maintenance is the equivalent to be told by your parents to clean your room when you’re perfectly happy with how everything looks. The great thing about Cedar is that it has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which mean you can leave the wood untreated without worry of warping, rotting, or cracking. However staining or painting won’t detract from these natural properties. However, the natural weathered appearance it attains over time is often a most desired look to attain. Which just proves its timelessness and durability. If you like the stained look you will need to re-stain or re-paint on a semi-annual basis.

Why Use Cedar Shake for Siding

Just like any other shingle or siding, basic maintenance will always be required. Like any other exterior, you’ll greatly expand the lifespan if you annually pressure wash it. Just be sure not to turn up the pressure too high or you could strip and damage the Cedar. Whether you own your own pressure washer or you rent one from your local hardware store, it’s probably the only major part of maintenance you’ll need to do other than checking for any loose or damage shingles from natural weather occurrences.

This long-lasting and attractive building material is available in a shake shingles or siding in our Coastal Western Red Cedar. Use it as an accent piece or cover your entire project. Whether you’re going for traditional rustic or sleek and modern, you’ll be find the beauty of Coastal Western Red Cedar provides an eye catching natural design aesthetic.


How and Why Cedar Siding is Environmentally Friendly

How and Why Cedar Siding is Environmentally Friendly

The appealing qualities of Western Red and Yellow Cedar siding are well-known to architects, engineers, and homeowners. Aesthetically pleasing in its natural state, consumers desire it for this quality alone, in addition to its pleasant wood scent. When maintained regularly, cedar wood also outlasts many other types of siding material. But one of the major reasons Cedar siding remains superior to other man-made siding options is because of its small environmental footprint.

How and Why Cedar Siding is Environmentally FriendlySiding substances, such as concrete, steel, and composite, simply cannot beat cedar in the eco-friendly department.


Cedar breaks down naturally to be absorbed back into the earth without the harmful effects of other man-made siding. Consumers can appreciate that when the cedar siding has come to its natural end that it won’t end up leaking toxins into the earth in a landfill.


Since cedar maintains inherent protective properties, the siding will help insulate the home better, thereby reducing heating and cooling costs year-round. Although more expensive than certain siding material, the homeowner eventually saves in utility costs with cedar.


Manufacturing wood produces less toxins and greenhouse gases than man-made siding materials. Therefore, air and water quality are not adversely affected by cedar siding.


As mentioned, the energy required to manufacture, transport, and install steel for example, is much higher than energy use for cedar. BC sourced Western Red Cedar siding simply does not require the same amount of energy to produce as other substances—definitely a winner in the ‘green’ department.


Cedar wood is easily recycled (as wood chips for instance) and regenerated like no other material can be. Man-made materials often emit toxins into the air when manufactured and eventually get dumped into our landfills—not cool.


Wood may be replanted and harvested many times over. Indeed, it is the only building material that is 100% renewable. In BC alone, there is an average of 8 million seedlings planted annually. Most other used siding material is transported to a landfill. Meanwhile, cedar trees are replanted and continue to fill our air with more oxygen, while simultaneously reducing pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide. Cedar trees are a huge benefit to the green movement!


Untreated cedar wood siding does not release any toxins into the air and it therefore safe for everyone’s health.

How and Why Cedar Siding is Environmentally Friendly

Certainly, builders select Western Red and Yellow Cedar siding for plenty of excellent reasons, including its less harmful environmental impact for future generations. Homeowners value nature-friendly cedar siding for not adding to the toxic build-up of material in our landfills and for leaving a more positive future ahead for their children than previous generations.

As a consumer, when you purchase Forest Stewardship Council certified wood products, you can appreciate that the wood is sourced from FSC® certified forests. Longhouse Specialty Forest Products maintains the FSC® certification by the Rainforest Alliance. Sustainable cedar forests are carefully managed in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, purchasing cedar siding from Longhouse that is directly sourced from Vancouver Island is a win for everyone, including our planet.

Why you should Choose Cedar Decking

Why you should Choose Cedar Decking

A beautiful deck built into your outdoor living space is a haven where you, your family, and friends can all appreciate spending time together. Barbecuing, gathering for drinks, or simply enjoying the view are seamless on a solidly built deck. Fortunately, the mild rainforests of Vancouver Island produce amazing coastal softwoods, cedar being one of them.   Why you should Choose Cedar Decking   Undoubtedly, cedar wood is the best choice for decking for a number of reasons, particularly if you want your deck to last. Treated or untreated, cedar incorporates natural beauty, as well as providing a safe walking surface in your outdoor living space.   20 REASONS WHY CEDAR DECKING IS THE BEST  
  1. Longhouse can pre-stain cedar siding in-house, a big advantage over competitors.
  2. Cedar decking is affordable, costing less than, say, composite decking, and lasting longer than cheaper types of decking.
  3. A naturally great insulator, a cedar decking remains cooler than other decking material when exposed to hot summer sunlight.
  4. Inexpensive treated wood may be full of moisture—thus, it will shrink unevenly and even bend once dried. Therefore, cedar looks better longer.
  5. Cedar decking ordered from Longhouse Specialty Forest Products is FSC® certified, so it is an eco-friendly choice for modern builds.
  6. Cedar decking is breathtakingly beautiful, unlike many artificial decking products that attempt to look aesthetically charming but don’t quite hit the mark.
  7. Left untreated by toxic chemicals, cedar’s natural beauty still shines through while resisting rot.
  8. With proper maintenance, cedar decking lasts longer than other decking.
  9. Purchasing pre-stained siding offers a resilient and attractive final product, available in any colour.
  10. Cedar resists mold, unlike other decking materials, such as composite, which is susceptible to mold and mildew on the surface and in the product’s composition. Also, cedar siding is prone to less rot and bacteria than other types of wood.
  11. Wood decking is entirely biodegradable and comes from a renewable resource.
  12. Cedar decking material is safe. Mildew growth on a composite deck surface is extremely slippery, and therefore, dangerous, to walk on.
  13. Cedar has more flexibility than say, redwood, and since it’s also less dense with less natural oil, it is thereby more accepting of stain.
  14. Lighter cedar wood decking is easy to work with.
  15. Cedar is durable—other decking materials wear more easily. For instance, indents or abrasions inflicted on composite decking products cannot be sanded out.
  16. Custom cut yellow cedar decking is conveniently manufactured at the mill in Parksville.
  17. Cedar secretes oils (extractives) that resist harsh weather, moisture, and insects, such as carpenter ants. Indeed, most cedar lasts 15-25 years, often longer.
  18. Cedar decking is versatile. For example, western red cedar, accepts different bleaches, stains, colours, and finishes. It can also be purchased in a variety of grades, dimensions, and textures, unlike other decking materials.
  19. Pre-stained or untreated cedar and all other types of cedar products are readily available from Longhouse, so if you’re an islander, you’re supporting a local business.
  20. Ordering pre-stained cedar makes the job easier, helping you avoid the costs of hiring someone to apply the stain.
Why you should Choose Cedar DeckingMoreover, pre-finished decking purchased from Longhouse Specialty Forest Products can be shipped anywhere in the world. If you’re a proud homeowner who takes pride in your outdoor living space, putting due care and attention into your cedar decking offers amazing benefits for decades, protected from rotting, weathering, and insect infestations. Select from custom cut Yellow Cedar Decking and Western Red Cedar to handle any climate and all footsteps.
How to Maintain your Cedar Siding

How to Maintain your Cedar Siding

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.


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.


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 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.


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.

Re-staining Steps:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.