It has been a pretty exciting January around here! We have had the pleasure of being featured in two publications; the 2021 Community Report for Peoples Bank and the Winter Issue of Premier Builder Magazine – Seattle/Puget Sound Edition.
We are extremely grateful for the support of these two organizations, as well as all our customers, vendors, colleagues, family and friends. When running a small business, every bit of help along the way helps!
Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!
Western Red Cedar channel siding is a popular type of lap siding that provides excellent weather protection, especially in areas where the moisture levels change with the season. The profile of each piece of channel siding overlaps the next piece partially, thus creating a deep, recessed channel effect.
Channel siding is readily available in knotty grades of Western Red Cedar with a rough sawn, textured face in the following dimensions
1×6” unseasoned or kiln-dried
1×8” unseasoned or kiln-dried
*Please note-the dimension described is not the finished or “dressed” size after the channel is milled, but refers to the size of board that the piece of channel is used to create the pattern*
This diagram provided courtesy of the WRCLA
Other dimensions of Channel Cladding, as well as clear cedar grades or other species of wood, are available by special order. In these next two photos, we worked with a specialty mill to have a true 1″ thick channel siding pattern created out of knotty Western Red Cedar for a customer in North Carolina.
Here is a beautiful example of custom milled, clear-grade Alaska Yellow Cedar Channel Siding we recently supplied a customer in the Seattle area.
Channel siding can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Be sure to allow a 1/8” expansion gap between the pieces and do not nail through the overlaps. One nail through the face is sufficient for channel siding that is 6” or less. For profiles over 6”, two nails should be installed through the face, keeping nails 2-1/2” to 3” apart to allow for movement without splitting.
This diagram is provided courtesy of the WRCLA.
When installing channel siding horizontally, start at the bottom and work up. For vertical or diagonal applications, the siding should be nailed to blocking or furring strips as needed to ensure that the nail penetrates solid wood. Stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant ring shank nails are recommended to hold the siding in place.
To learn more about other popular wood siding profiles, please visit our blog on that subject by clicking HERE, and before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!
Grown only in the Pacific Northwest from Alaska south to Oregon, and west of the Coast Mountains, where cooler temperatures and abundant year-round precipitation is found, Alaska Yellow Cedar is a highly prized and sought-after building material choice. Yellow Cedar lumber can be difficult to find outside the growing region, as supply is limited.
Because we are located in the heart of cedar country, where both Alaska Yellow Cedar and Western Red Cedar are natively grown, we can source top-quality Cedar lumber for indoor and outdoor construction projects. If we don’t stock what you are looking for, chances are we have a relationship with a mill that can make it for you. With shipments of specialty building materials leaving our warehouse daily to all over the US, our customers value the quality of our products and honest business practices, combined with excellent customer service and superior product knowledge.
We recently shipped a custom milled package of surfaced, knotty Alaska Yellow Cedar lumber to New Jersey for this stunning deck and railing crafted by Paradise Knoll Builders of Oakland, NJ.
“Thanks for the awesome lumber you sent us Michele. The job turned out great. People love it.”
Grown only in the Pacific Northwest coastal areas of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington State, Alaska Yellow Cedar is not a true “cedar” and belongs in the cypress family. This species goes by many common names, including: Nootka cypress, yellow cypress, Alaska cypress, Nootka cedar, yellow cedar, Alaska cedar, and Alaska yellow cedar.
Due to the short growing season along the Pacific coast, the growth rings of Yellow Cedar trees are tight, making them heavier, denser, and stronger than either Western Red Cedar or White Cedar. Naturally resistant to rot and decay, Alaska Yellow Cedar shrinks very little over time, making it an ideal choice for roofing.
We are pleased to offer top-grade 18” Alaska Yellow Cedar shingles that are 100% clear heartwood and 100% edge grain. These are perfect for either sidewall or roofing applications. 100% edge grain shingles and shakes outperform grades that allow flat grain. This is because of the way the cedar cants are split (or sawn) to achieve a more dimensionally stable product. Edge grain shingles and shakes will have vertical lines on the exposed face. When looking at the butt end of an edge grain shingle, you will see the tight annual growth rings perpendicular to the surface. Edge grain shingles will lay flatter and are less likely to curl or cup.
Whether our Alaska Yellow Cedar shingles are installed as siding or roofing, they are best left to weather naturally and turn into a uniform silver-gray. The wood’s integrity and unique properties are intact and will perform admirably for years with little maintenance. These many unique characteristics of Alaska Yellow Cedar make it a precious and sought-after specialty building material by contractors, architects, and designers, for both residential and commercial use.
Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!
Nothing beats the look and feel of real wood products. They bring warmth, beauty, and charm that just can’t be duplicated with synthetic building materials. As natural wood lovers, when larger timbers and beams crack and “check” (as they always do), we believe it only adds to the special character and appeal that only natural wood can provide.
When a tree is harvested, about half of its weight is water. Soon after, it begins to dry and shrink about twice as fast along the growth rings than across them.
After it is milled, smaller lumber pieces will dry faster than wood manufactured into larger timbers, beams, or heavier boards. As the outer layers of the bigger pieces dry and shrink, the center of the timbers will stay moist longer. All these changes cause the lumber to move, check and crack. The larger the timber or beam, the larger the cracks, as well.
This is NOT a bad thing!
Checking normally begins on the exterior surface of a timber and is not a structural concern. In fact, because it releases the tension that has built up, it actually makes the wood stronger.
All wood species will check differently. Denser exotic woods check more readily than softer woods, such as Douglas Fir and Cedar. However, checks in harder woods are generally smaller.
Ways to help minimize checking:
Generally speaking, higher grades of materials will have more stability. Especially when choosing “free of heart center” instead of “boxed heart” grade (as applicable)
When building with Douglas Fir, and some other hardwood species, some larger timbers and beams can be kiln-dried.
Use proper acclimation techniques. Store your wood off the ground, out of direct sunlight, and allow the ends to breathe prior to installation
Seal cut ends of hardwood timbers immediately after cutting.
Please note all wood timbers and beams will continue to move; take on moisture, and shrink, especially those installed in exterior applications. Checking on large timbers and beams, in many cases, does not occur until well after it is installed. On a loose rule of thumb, softwood timbers (such as Cedar and Doug Fir) dry about 1” per year. This means it can take 6 years for a 12×12” beam to reach equilibrium to its surroundings, and there will be movement and change throughout the whole process.
Prized for both interior and exterior use due to its pale yellow color, workability, and longevity, Alaska Yellow Cedarwas the chosen wood for this unique, modern home on Fidalgo Island in Washington state.
Designed by local architect Brooks Middleton, whom we have had the pleasure to work with on several local projects, designed this project to have it built using clear, vertical grain Yellow Cedar for accent walls inside the home and for some of the exterior cladding. Since what he was looking for was not an “off the shelf” product, we worked with our mill to manufacture the custom spec’d 6″ clear vertical grain (also referred to as VG) Yellow Cedar for the exterior siding, as well as the 8″ clear VG Yellow Cedar for the interior of the home.
Clear, vertical grain is the highest grade of Cedar, and as you might guess, the most expensive. The wood is sawn specifically so that all the growth rings are parallel to each other on the face of the board. All pieces milled will have a smooth face of decay-resistant heartwood and will be free from most growth characteristics that affect appearance. Please note that even in all the clear grades, including VG, some knots may be present, as well as other less-than-perfect characteristics. Every tree, as well as every piece of lumber, will have natural individual characteristics, including variance in color.
When installing any natural wood product, regardless of grade, the trick is to install the best pieces in the areas with the highest visibility and always allow for some waste, especially in lower grades of clear and knotty Cedar products.
And before your next project, be sure to visit us! We specialize in working with customers with unique needs!
If you can dream it up or need to match up a wood pattern that is no longer made, we work with a team of skilled mills that can help you achieve the custom pattern you desire or need in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Douglas Fir and just about any other hard or softwood. From exterior siding and cladding patterns to interior or exterior paneling, to airfoils and louvers, truly dimensional lumber…and everything else in between!
Custom Douglas Fir T&G Paneling adds warmth to this waiting room
Historical Wood Patterns
As the decades have passed, trends, as well as manufacturing practices, have come and gone in building materials. When the time comes for restoring or repairing wood in vintage or historical buildings, it can often be difficult to find truly dimensional lumber and/or match old wood patterns.
Whether it be exterior siding patterns, interior wall, or decking patterns that need to be matched up, we can help! The best place to start is to get us a sample of the pattern that needs to be matched, such as this double tongue and groove that measures 3-1/2” x 5-1/2” that was manufactured from clear Western Red Cedar well over 100 years ago. By carefully inspecting and measuring this sample, we were able to have this double tongue and groove timber created to the exact specifications of the piece that was provided for the historical restoration after a recent fire.
New Wood Patterns
With the current trend in custom building and remodeling, including so much exterior and interior paneling for accent walls and ceilings and lining closets and bathrooms, if there is a specific wood pattern your architect has dreamed up that hasn’t been done before, we can help! Since it hasn’t been produced before, a line drawing is created before production with the exact measurements noted, and a recommendation of what grade and species of wood would work best for the application will be discussed.
Note in this pattern that a special bevel is added to the profile to drain water away since this T&G will be used outdoors as cladding. We recommended that this pattern be manufactured out of clear Western Red Cedar for optimum performance.
Another new trend we are seeing quite a lot of in commercial building, as well as residential, is the use of wood louvers. Naturally beautiful with the look that only real wood can provide. Whether it be boards cut to specific dimensions or shaped into airfoils, such as this one, we work with mills that specialize in creating the perfectly sized and shaped louvers for your project in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Douglas Fir, or most any other soft or hardwood desired.
To save money and time on the job, we can arrange to have your specialty wood pattern pre-primed or stained in almost any color imaginable!
Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!
Whether it is to keep critters in or out, define property lines or outdoor spaces, create visual interest or add privacy, a well-thought-out and properly constructed fence adds immediate “curb appeal” to any address. From rustic to fancy, using real wood in your fence design adds the warmth and beauty that man-made products just can’t duplicate.
Western Red Cedar Fencing
Prized for its natural durability and workability, Western Red Cedar has always been a top choice wood for outdoor fences. For those wishing to create a traditional privacy fence at an economical price, standard 5′ or 6′ fence grade boards are a great choice. The fence boards are installed vertically by securing them to 2×4’s that have been screwed or nailed into fence posts.
Another option for a privacy fence that adds a bit more character and interest is to install Western Red Cedar fence boards, deck boards, or fascia grade boards vertically between posts. Here is a great example
Another nice, economical, and extremely durable type of fence made from Western Red Cedar and galvanized “hog wire” panels has gained a lot of popularity recently. It is perfect for defining garden spaces.
Unique and beautiful, this fence is constructed out of varying widths of Cedar boards and stained a beachy-white to compliment the landscape.
This amazing fence was built by our customer in California using Clear Western Red Cedar dimensional lumber.
Alaska Yellow Cedar Fence
Also extremely durable due it is natural properties, a fence constructed of Alaskan Yellow Cedar will provide many years of carefree service. In these photos, Yellow Cedar boards are installed vertically to define this landscape.
In this backyard, a combination of 1×3″ and 1×6″Alaskan Yellow Cedar boards are installed vertically to create this outdoor living space.
As a specialty building materials distributor, one of our areas of expertise is in assisting our customers in creating unique siding patterns out of Cedar or Douglas Fir, as well as matching historical wood siding patterns that are no longer commonly used. Our staff is well trained and versed in helping customers throughout the United States in matching wood siding patterns to maintain a building’s historical architectural details. From custom shiplap patterns to log cabin sidings, tongue and groove patterns to channel sidings, we work closely with our customers to ensure the old world charm and exact specifications needed are met.
Just recently, we were contacted to help match this clear, vertical grain Western Red Cedar 10” drop siding (also referred to as Dutch Lap Siding) for a repair that needs to be done on a very old cabin. Since drop siding is no longer commonly produced in a 10” profile in Western Red Cedar, we are working with the contractor to make just enough of the cedar siding to make the repair in the most cost-effective manner possible to maintain the look of the cabin. In this case, since the siding is painted, it can be easier to create something that will look exactly the same as the existing siding when the new pieces are installed and coated.
Other projects we have had the pleasure of working with include providing this fully dimensional 5/4×12” clear, vertical grain Western Red Cedar planks for a historical restoration of a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Michigan. The Clear Cedar planks are installed directly over mahogany strips, just exactly as Frank designed the look many years ago.
Need help matching a siding pattern? Our process begins by carefully examining a piece of the existing siding. It is carefully measured, and a “line drawing” is created and submitted to our customer for review.
Next, we discuss the options of what material will be used to create the wood siding. As mentioned previously, if the siding is to be painted, we have more options of grade and how the material will be manufactured. If the siding will be left natural or stained, it will be of utmost importance to match the species and grade of wood exactly to what is on the building. We specialize in providing custom siding patterns in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Douglas Fir, and other exotic and domestic hard and softwoods.