Explaining Cedar Grades

Deciphering cedar grades can be confusing. First, cedar can be graded using two different criteria: structure and appearance. Structural Grade Appearance Grade Used when strength and physical properties are the primary consideration. Generally, this grading only applies to timbers over 2” in width. Used when strength is not the primary consideration. Instead, cedar is visually…

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5 DIY Cedar Projects to Finish in a Weekend 

DIY Cedar Projects

Western red cedar is the ultimate building material because it’s naturally resistant to rot and decay, dimensionally stable, and is a sustainable resource. Many people choose cedar for large projects like decks and siding, but it’s also a great choice for smaller DIY projects.   We’ve rounded up 5 DIY cedar projects from Real Cedar that…

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Best Lumber for Building a Pergola

Pergolas are a great backyard addition, and we field a lot of questions about the best lumber to use when building this type of outdoor structure. Our top two recommendations are always the same: western red cedar or Douglas fir. Western Red Cedar Pergolas Cedar is our number one choice for pergola lumber because we…

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Pergola Hardware

To build a pergola, you need two things: lumber and hardware. While people do have questions about the best wood for a pergola, the bigger roadblock is usually what kind of hardware to use. There are countless hardware options on the market, but we suggest one of two brands: Toja Grid brackets or the Outdoor…

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Deck Board Profiles Explained 

Deck Board Profiles

There’s more to choosing decking than just picking the material. You also need to choose a deck board profile. There are three main profiles: solid, grooved, and tongue and groove. The type of profile impacts the performance and appearance of your deck, so it’s important to choose the right decking profile for your project.   Solid…

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2024 Cedar Pricing and Availability

2024 Cedar Availability

Cedar prices and availability have fluctuated over the last few years, but we’re expecting our stock to remain stable again for the 2024 building season.  The building industry has continued to remain stable, which has allowed us to maintain most of the pricing for our 2024 stock.  2024 Cedar Pricing At The WoodSource, we aim to…

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Recreating Broken or Missing Handles 

Reproducing Antique Handles

A frequent request in the CNC shop is whether we can replicate broken (or missing) handles. Usually, these requests come from people with antique or heritage items, like historical guns, treasured heirlooms, or other one-of-a-kind objects. We recently completed an antique gun handle replica for a customer. Here’s the process we went through to create…

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Interior Wood Panelling Options

Installing wood panelling is a popular way to upgrade a room and add warmth and character to a space. There are a variety of interior wood panelling options, and it’s important to choose the right product for your project.  There are a few decisions to make when choosing wood panelling:  Difference Between Siding and Panelling  Siding…

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4 Types of Sawn Wood 

When processing logs into planks and dimensional lumber, four main saw patterns can be used:   It’s important to understand the difference in saw patterns because the way wood is cut affects its stability and appearance.  Flat Sawn (Also called Plain Sawn)  Log Cut Surface/Face Grain End Grain Flat sawn is the most common cut pattern…

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Buying Marine Plywood — What You Need to Know 

Marine plywood is a specialty sheet good often used on boats and other outdoor applications. It differs from other plywood by the species of wood, number (and thickness) of layers, and the adhesive used in manufacturing. Marine Plywood Core Marine plywood is made up of many thin layers which reduces voids and large knots in…

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Best Wood for a Sauna 

Saunas (both indoor and stand-alone outdoor buildings) are becoming increasingly popular in Canada. As more Ottawa homeowners design and build saunas, we field many calls asking for recommendations on the best wood to use. Our go-to suggestion is western red cedar, but if someone wants a different species, thermally modified wood is a unique option. …

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Parts of a Staircase

Are you upgrading (or building) a staircase and overwhelmed by the parts and terminology? Below, we break down the two main parts of a staircase and explain each component in detail. Step System The step is comprised of four main components:  Stringer: The structural part of the staircase. Tread: The walking surface of a staircase.…

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Wood Texture Options: Rough Sawn, Skip-Dressed, Fresh Sawn, and Dressed

Wood Texture Options

When purchasing lumbers and timbers, you’ll be confronted with wood texture (sometimes called finishing) options. Understanding the difference between rough sawn, fresh sawn, skip-dressed, and dressed lumber might seem overwhelming, but it’s actually very straightforward!  Texture Roughness Rough Sawn High  Fresh Sawn  Medium  Skip-dressed  Low  Dressed  None  Wood texture options What is rough sawn timber?   Sometimes…

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Prefinished Wood Siding Guide

If you’re looking to re-side your home with wood, you have two main options: unfinished wood siding or prefinished wood siding.   Prefinished siding is popular because it comes with a factory finish, so you don’t need to worry about painting or staining after installation. It’s very easy to install and is warranted for up…

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How to Match Gingerbread Trim 

There are over 7,500 properties listed in Ottawa’s heritage register, with many of the homes in the Victorian or Carpenter Gothic style. While these homes are undoubtedly beautiful, a problem homeowners of these heritage buildings often face is how to match deteriorating (or missing) gingerbread trim.   You could try to replicate the trim by hand…

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Unfinished Wood Siding Guide

Wood Siding Guide

When it comes to choosing wood siding, there are a lot of options. First and foremost, you have to decide if you want to install unfinished siding or go with prefinished siding. For this article, we’re focusing exclusively on unfinished options. Learn about prefinished options in our article: Prefinished Wood Siding Guide. There are three…

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Cedar, Ipe or Red Batu Decking — Which is Best for You?

Wood options for deck

When it comes to the best wood for an Ottawa deck, there are three main options: Western Red cedar, Ipe, and Red Batu. Any of these woods would be an excellent choice for your deck, and often the decision comes down to personal preference and budget considerations.   Cedar  Western red cedar is the classic decking…

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Why We Recommend CUTEK Extreme to Finish Decks 

Are you looking to stain your wood decking? High-quality decking stains protect and maintain (or enhance!) the natural look of wood. But, with so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to decide which finish is best for your project.   We’re here to help by highlighting the benefits of CUTEK wood oil…

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5 Reasons to Use Red Batu for Decking   

Red Batu Decking

Red Batu hardwood is an increasingly popular exterior decking wood. Not only is it beautiful to look at but it’s durable in harsh weather conditions: a winning combination! Red Batu is similar to other hardwoods like Ipe, and can be used in place of composite or synthetic decking. In addition to decks, Red Batu can…

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4 Tips to Finish a Cedar Deck

Finish a cedar deck

Are you installing a western red cedar deck and looking advice before you apply your finish?  Cedar is an incredibly durable building material that’s naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects. To keep your deck looking great for years to come, follow these four steps:  1. Proper Preparation  The first step to finishing a cedar…

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4 Tips to Finish Douglas Fir Lumber 

Finish Douglas Fir

When working with dressed Douglas Fir, inside or outside, you’ll want to protect the wood by properly finishing it. We talked to our experts to compile the top four tips on how to properly finish your Douglas Fir lumber:  1. Wait for Lumber to Dry  In order for stain or other finish to properly soak in,…

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Knotty vs. Select Cedar – Which Should You Choose?    

select/knotty cedar decking

Knotty vs. Select Cedar is the question we are going to help you answer today. Western red cedar is a popular material for interior and exterior applications, and rightfully so. It’s durable, sustainable, and beautiful. Cedar is also versatile because the wood is sorted based on a number of criteria, so you can choose the…

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How Much Does Composite Decking Cost? 

The most common question we hear is, how much will it cost? But when it comes to composite decking costs, it’s hard to give a definitive answer.  Relatively, composite is less expensive than PVC, but more expensive than wood.   There are also a number of companies manufacturing composite decking – and each brand has multiple…

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PVC vs Composite Decks 

PVC vs composite

For homeowners thinking about installing their first deck, it can be confusing to make sense of all the decking options – especially when it comes to PVC vs composite decking. At first glance, they seem fairly similar, but there are some key differences between the two.  PVC Composite Made of 100% synthetic material  Made from…

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How to Choose Between TimberTech Lines 

You’ve decided to go with a composite decking product and have narrowed it down to TimberTech. So, now you need to decide between the different TimberTech lines, but which one is right for you and your project? Three TimberTech Product Lines  TimberTech organizes its decking products into three distinct lines:  Choosing the right TimberTech line…

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