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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2023 Cedar Pricing and Availability

Cedar prices and availability have fluctuated over the last few years, but we expect stable pricing and stock for the 2023 building season.  The volatility in cedar pricing between 2020 and 2022 was the result of a number of factors including a surge in the home building and renovation industry, lumber mills temporarily closing, and…

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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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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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What’s the Difference Between TimberTech Collections? 

TimberTech Collections

There are many decking options out there, and as a result it can be overwhelming to try and understand all the differences between the products. In a recent article we went into depth on the different TimberTeach lines. To summarize, the TimberTech brand offers three distinct levels of products: Azek, Pro, and Edge. So, let’s…

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Comparing Trex Collections

Comparing Trex Collections

Trex has become synonymous with composite decking – and with good reason – they produce a quality product and continually innovate. Trex has been supplying decking material for almost three decades and has become the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking products. 3 Trex Collections  Over the years, Trex has added to its product line…

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Ever Heard of a Thermally Modified Wood Deck?

Thermally modified wood

Pressure-treated, cedar, composite, and PVC are common decking materials – but what do you know about thermally modified wood decking? If you’re like most people, probably not much.  Pyrolysis is the process of heating wood to over 400°F (180 °C) in the absence of oxygen. This process completely removes moisture and changes the chemical structure…

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