HOW TO TELL HIGH QUALITY CEDAR FROM THE REST:
Choosing the right type of cedar siding is crucial to the discerning homeowner, contractor, or architect. By cutting corners and trying to save a few dollars the end result is something you may or may not like but will have to live with for decades to come. What separates Lumber Out West from all other lumber mills is our dedication to quality. Sure, there are cheaper places to buy cedar siding but nobody can beat the standards we demand from our select mills. For a custom quote or for questions please go to our contact/quote page.
Make sure to ask for coastal western red cedar and not the cheaper, knottier version called inland red cedar. The coastal species is grown within 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean from Washington state and extending up into Canadian British Columbia. This cold, wet environment produces lumber that is slower growing resulting in tighter growth rings and a very stable end-product. The color tends to be darker than it’s inland cousin which is very appealing to the eye when installed. The best grades of cedar come from this area near the coast and Lumber Out West has a direct connection to the top-rated mill in British Columbia.
The most commonly purchased grade of cedar used for home siding is called select knotty and is often referred to as STK (select tight knot) or #2&better. What homeowners don’t often realize is that lumber mills selling this grade will sort through their stock and select out the higher grades of wood mixed into the lot in order to create a separate higher grade that they can then sell for more money. The result is the homeowner gets a lesser, inferior product when making a purchase (even though it technically meets the grade standard). At Lumber Out West we make sure our purchases are with lumber mills that only sell the highest quality of any grade without any prior separation. Click here for a link to the WRCLA and their listing of the various grades of western red cedar.
At Lumber Out West our specialty is providing the highest grade of Western Red Cedar that can be found in North America. This grade of cedar is called Clear Heart Vertical Grain. By using a quarter-sawn milling process the grain in vertical grain all runs in the same direction (see picture on left). This lumber is produced from virtually knot-free trees giving the board a clean and seamless appearance. The vertical grain milling also is quite desirable for installation purposes as these boards tend to stay in place better over time than standard mixed-grain boards. Architecturally speaking, this look is what many homeowners dream of when picturing the perfect house.