Specialty Building Material Pricing & Availability Update

In addition to the housing shortage, with people staying home more, the desire for outdoor living spaces, home offices, and general home improvement projects is on many people’s minds. Throughout the U.S. and Canada, lumber mills and building material manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for home construction products. As usual, when supply becomes low, pricing goes up.  This is especially true on DIY products such as fencing, decking, and pressure-treated lumber. We are also hearing from consumers outside the Pacific Northwest that Western Red Cedar products are very scarce, with no clear projections on when they will be available.  We understand that this has created an unusual situation, and it can be frustrating when consumers are not able to secure the products they need and/or at the prices they may have budgeted for. At this time, we expect prices to remain high through the end of 2020 but expect supply and trucking issues to improve.

Over the years, we have developed deep relationships with lumber mills specializing in Western Red Cedar, Alaska Yellow Cedar and Douglas Fir building material production, so we have many sources we can pull from to help you get the products you want and need, as timely as possible, at absolutely the best prices we can offer. Rest assured, our team of professionals are doing their very best to support you and provide quotes, fill orders and get them out to the job site to help keep your project on schedule, to the absolute best of our ability. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work though this together.


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA 98233

We ship nationwide!


**Pricing Update** Cedar Shingles and Shakes imported from Canada

Things are still being sorted out regarding the softwood agreement and imposed tariffs by the US on Canadian softwood imports.  The last softwood agreement between our two countries was signed in 2006, and as of date, a new agreement has not been put in place.

Initially, it appeared that coniferous shingles and shakes were not part of the expired agreement, and pricing has stayed somewhat stable.  However, just days ago, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have determined that coniferous shingles and shakes were part of this agreement and are now subject to the increased tariffs.

Today we received notice that all of the Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles and Shakes we import from Canada have increased in price 20 – 25%.  Due to this, we are unable to honor any previous quotes on Cedar Shingles or Shakes.

For current pricing, please contact our sales staff

We can be reached at 360.757.6343 or by emailing sales@cedarcountrylumber.com

Western Red Cedar Shingles subject to new duties and tariffs

Canada has submitted a request for a meeting with the World Trade Organization to assist in the dispute with the US and Canada lumber softwood exports.  However, due to the strong demand from the rise in new housing in the US and tight supply, Canadian softwood lumber producers don’t appear to be concerned too much, and prices are expected to be high on all Canadian grown coastal Cedar and other imported softwoods throughout 2018.

For more information, please see the latest developments by clicking HERE


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA  98233

US and Canada Softwood Lumber Tariff Still in Dispute

After months of guessing when the US and Canada would come to an agreement on a the duties and tariffs associated with softwood lumber, it is believed that the final duty rates will range from 10 percent to 24 percent.  This is a bit lower than what our industry expected.  Most mills and importers were expecting as much as 30% increase.

Read more about the history of the Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute, which has been going on since the 80’s, HERE

“This tariff only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “It is nothing more than a thinly-disguised tax on American home buyers, home builders and consumers.”

Canada says they will appeal this decision.  Please read more HERE

Truck of Western Red Cedar

Because of this on going dispute, we do our very best to honor any price quotes to the best of our ability, however, all material is subject to prior sale and pricing is subject to change on all our softwood lumber.


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233



UPDATE – 12/05

After the US announced its final decision on the Canadian softwood tariff in early November, our friends to the North aren’t very happy are launching litigation via the World Trade Organization over anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

Read more HERE


Cedar and Other Softwood Pricing Climbing Again due to BC Wildfires

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the 26 wildfires raging in British Columbia.   To date, six SPF (Spruce – Pine – Fir) mills are shut down, and major suppliers such as West Fraser, Tolko, and Norbord Inc., have suspended operations, and there are an estimated 37,000 Canadians displaced by these fires.   With no rainfall in sight, it is believed that this will only get worse, and the fire proximity to timber stands is very dangerous.

With recent increased tariffs on Canadian softwoods, we will likely see prices rise again, and some say 6-10% due to the mill shutdowns.  Again, economists say this will drive the cost up on construction budgets that will likely be absorbed by builders, rather than home buyers.

For information on donating to help those affected by the BC wildfires, Donate to the British Columbia Fires Appeal 



950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA

We Ship Nationwide!

Why Are Cedar Prices Going Up?

You may have been surprised by the recent and/or impending price increases on Western Red Cedar lately.   This has been caused by a large trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. that has been going on since the 80’s on all softwoods imported from Canada.  Not only is this affecting Western Red Cedar, but it also affects Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Douglas Fir, Pine, and a host of other softwoods.

“Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute” Wikipedia

The Canada–U.S.A softwood lumber dispute is one of the largest and most enduring trade disputes between both nations.[1] This conflict was given rise in the early 1980s, and its effects are still seen today. British Columbia, the major Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the United States, was most affected, reporting losses of 9,494 direct and indirect jobs between 2004 and 2009.[2]

The heart of the dispute is the claim that the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments, as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments. The prices charged to harvest the timber are set administratively, rather than through the competitive marketplace, the norm in the United States. In the United States, softwood lumber lots are privately owned, and the owners form an effective political lobby. The United States claims that the Canadian arrangement constitutes an unfair subsidy and is thus subject to U.S. trade remedy laws, where foreign trade benefiting from subsidies can be subject to a countervailing duty tariff to offset the subsidy and bring the price of the commodity back up to market rates.

The Canadian government and lumber industry dispute this assertion based on a number of factors, including that Canadian timber is provided to such a wide range of industries and that lack of specificity makes it ineligible to be considered a subsidy under U.S. law. Under U.S. trade remedy law, a countervailable subsidy must be specific to a particular industry. This requirement precludes the imposition of countervailing duties on government programs, such as roads, that are meant to benefit a broad array of interests. Since 1982, there have been four major iterations of the dispute.

For more information on why there has not been a resolution on this, and pricing is going up, we invite you to read this story from Global News published last Fall.

There is, unfortunately, little information regarding what is being done to come to an agreement on the importing of softwoods from Canada; the current deal has expired, and the marketplace is bracing for significant price increases.  Most companies implemented some price increases on February 1, 2017.

Because of this, we are doing our very best to honor any price quotes to the best of our ability. However, all material is subject to prior sale, and pricing is subject to change on a daily basis as this shakes out.


We Ship Nationwide!


UPDATE – May 2, 2017

Here is a great article on who the 20% imposed tariff would affect the most and the approximate cost of a new home published by The Hill

UPDATE – August 1, 2017

Canadians are “Hopeful” for a softwood deal with the US this month.  Read more HERE

UPDATE – November 7, 2017

Canada to dispute decision on the softwood agreement with the US.  The U.S.          International Trade Commission will make a final rule on the issue by Dec. 18.  Read more HERE

Grades of Western Red Cedar

Throughout the wood industry, specific standards have been set so that there is consistency in grading when Western Red Cedar, as well as other lumber, is manufactured, as well as bought and sold. For the general consumer, this can be somewhat confusing.  Generally speaking, the higher the grade, the higher the price. So, when selecting and pricing lumber, it is vital to know the grade of material being purchased and how it is best used. Alaska Yellow Cedar is also graded similarly.

Clear, Western Red Cedar Timbers are used for an entry support

Here is an overview of the characteristics that determine the grades of Western Red Cedar:

Clear Western Red Cedar

  • Clear, Vertical Grain – This is the highest grade of Western Red Cedar and is commonly just referred to as “VG”. Vertical grain means that the growth rings are parallel to each other on the face of the board, and the wood is sawn specifically to achieve that look. Pieces have a smooth face of decay-resistant heartwood and are free from growth characteristics that affect appearance. Pieces have excellent dimensional stability and the ability to hold finishes very well. Generally used in siding and paneling products, but also found in trim and other dimensional boards; this product is generally supplied Kiln Dried and is ready to accept paint or stain either before installation or after.

Clear, Vertical Grain Western Red Cedar Siding

Clear, Vertical Grain Western Red Cedar Siding

  • Clear Heart – Includes only pieces with heartwood on the exposed face. Many of the pieces of Western Red Cedar are completely clear; others have minor imperfections that do not detract from their fine appearance. This product is also generally supplied Kiln Dried and would be ready to accept paint or stain.
  • A Clear – This is a fine appearance grade that allows only slightly more growth
    characteristics than Clear Heart. It is commonly referred to as A&Btr. Pieces are of mixed grain. These mixed grain (vertical and flat) pieces are graded from the surfaced face and typically sold with a percentage of B grade. A few small, sound tight knots or pin knots are allowed.

Clear, Mixed Grain Western Red Cedar

Clear, Mixed Grain Western Red Cedar

  • C&Btr Clear – High quality lumber for use where appearance is important, but permits more numerous characteristics than Clear Heart or “A” Grades. In addition to interior and exterior trim, as well as exterior cladding, Western Red Cedar of this grade is also used for cabinetry, doors, windows and similar applications. 4 knots per 12’ of each board is allowable.
  • No 2 & Better – The grade generally assigned for Western Red Cedar timbers and beams when the finest quality rough lumber is desired. The Cedar lumber is sound, well manufactured, and its characteristics do not detract from the wood’s fine appearance.

Clear No 2 Export Grade Western Red Cedar Timbers

  • D & Better Clear – This grade permits more natural characteristics and is used where general utility is more important than appearance. More pin knots and tight knots are allowed than within the other Clear Grades of Western Red Cedar. This grade is widely accepted in the construction of landscape structures and exposed timber framing, and is commonly used for arbors, pergolas, large trellises and porticos. Some pieces may require trimming to yield lengths for intended uses, and cutouts to remove less desirable portions can be common.
  • Rustic – Generally a grade of Clear Western Red Cedar Bevel Siding or cladding, it is recommended for use as sidewall covering where the distinctive charm of a rustic saw textured appearance is desired. This grade allows limited characteristics that do not detract from serviceability and may include pieces too thin to manufacture to standard sizes. Pieces may contain up to 4 sound, tight knots per 12’ of board and pin holes may be present.

Knotty Western Red Cedar

  • Select Knotty – Knots and other natural features define the visual characteristics of the Western Red Cedar. All knots are sound and tight. Red Cedar Lumber products are available rough surfaced, kiln-dried or unseasoned and smooth or with a re-sawn texture. Some companies may supply this grade of Western Red Cedar with knots glued on the reverse face and there is typically a percentage of Quality Knotty included in an order.

Knotty Western Red Cedar Siding

Select Knotty Western Red Cedar

  • Quality Knotty – Similar to Select Knotty, but a few small scattered holes are allowed, the grain may be heavily raised, and checks are not limited. Pieces must be serviceable, but 10% waste per board is allowed and is considered with the price of the material is set.  Because of this, a product in this grade is sold “as is” and returns or exchanges are generally not allowed.
  • Proprietary, Appearance or “Custom” Knotty – These products are graded to the manufacturer’s specifications to meet the intended end use. This is something that is commonly seen in the Cedar decking market as well as in large timbers for outdoor structures.  Boards often represent good value for appearances and uses with no holes. Allowances do vary based on manufacturer set standards and pricing is set accordingly. Less expensive materials would allow more waste, knots, and checking; while higher priced material would generally be of better quality. Depending on product, returns and exchanges may not be allowed.

Knotty Western Red Cedar Decking and Appearance Grade Cedar Timber

  • No. 2 and Better Structural – This grade is evaluated on structural characteristics, rather than appearance.
  •  Standard & Better Beams, Posts and Timbers – These items are intended for general construction use where serviceability is more important than appearance. No structural values are assigned. Most of the material will be box heart, meaning the timber is taken from the center of the Cedar tree and is less stable.  There may be oversized or missing knots, rot pockets, wane on edges and corners, and loose or course grain.  Items may be supplied surfaced (S4S) or with a re-sawn texture.

Please note, these grading standards do not apply to Western Red Cedar Fencing.  For information on grades of Fence materials, please click HERE

Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir Lumber for Sales. We ship nationwide!

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!  Our team will be happy to discuss your individual project and make recommendations for the grade of Western Red Cedar to use, assist you with the correct amount of material to order, as well as provide you with installation tips.

We ship top quality Western Red Cedar lumber and building materials nationwide at competitive prices!


Ph 360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA  98233