Cedar Shake Re-Roof at Mule Peak Fire Lookout

After the Great Fire of 1910 that burned millions of acres of forest land in Washington, Idaho, and Montana, the U.S. Forest Service began to create policies regarding fire suppression, as well explore better ways to detect fires, including the construction of fire lookouts. In 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the Civilian Conservation Corps, the U.S. Forest Service was able to take advantage of the CCC workforce and initiated a massive program of construction projects, including fire lookout towers.

Due to the abundance of material, as well as low maintenance, and natural resistance to rot and insect attack, fire lookouts through out the Pacific Northwest were originally constructed using Western Red Cedar building materials. An especially popular choice for these structures was Western Red Cedar shake roofing.

We recently had the pleasure of providing 24″ #1 Medium Western Red Cedar Shakes for the restoration of the fire look out on Mule Peak, located in Oregon. Accessible only by foot or pack animal, our friends at Kaplan Homes Unlimited, mounted horses and made the 4,000 foot elevation gain up to the lookout to complete the roof restoration. Please enjoy these photos of their trip.

Accessible only by foot or pack animal, Kaplan Homes mounted horses and carried the Western Red Cedar shakes needed to re-roof the fire lookout at Mule Peak
Western Red Cedar shakes are being installed to preserve the fire lookout at Mule Peak
The fire lookout at Mule Peak with a new Western Red Cedar shake roof

What an adventure!

Because of our unique business model, we are often contacted to help with historical restorations, such as this.  We also provide high quality Western Red Cedar, Alaska Yellow Cedar, and other soft and hardwood building materials for residential, commercial, government, and municipal projects throughout the United States. We go the extra mile to make sure our customers get exactly what they need. Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

www.ccLumber.com

Properly Storing Your Western Red Cedar Lumber and Other Building Materials

Congratulations on the next step in your project!  Now that you have selected your materials and they have arrived at your job site, the very first step is to inspect everything to be sure you have received the correct products and they are free from any defects or damage. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Western Red Cedar timbers being assembled for a job site delivery by Cedar Country Lumber

If you will not be installing your building material products right away, it is imperative that they are stored properly, otherwise they can be damaged quite quickly by moisture, humidity, temperature, sunlight, and job site dirt. Any materials that are intended to be installed indoors, need to get out of elements as quickly as possible. Building materials that will be installed outdoors, can remain outside for a short time as long as they are stored properly out of direct sunlight.

Starting from the bottom, your stack of lumber or other building materials should never be stored directly on the ground for any length of time, so be sure to elevate them by placing pieces of scrap lumber or pallets underneath. Should you be storing your lumber over damp ground or freshly poured concrete, you must also put a moisture barrier down. Cedar siding or other “dry” building materials should be kept between 4 to 6” above the ground. Be sure that your pile is laying completely flat.

If large pieces of lumber are strapped together and you will be using them with in a short time period, go ahead and keep them banded together for stability. This is especially helpful when storing pressure treated lumber, as it has a tendency to twist and warp quite quickly when stored outdoors. Items like cedar siding and trim, should be separated and stacked on vertically aligned stickers to allow for airflow and to acclimate before installation.  

Next, cover your building materials with a waterproof tarp or plastic, but not too tightly. You do want to allow some airflow.  To help prevent cupping and to hold down your tarp, you may want to put weights on your lumber pile. Having a peak or covering your pile with a tent in case of rain is also a good idea. Should any of your building materials become wet on the job site, they should be separated and allowed to dry thoroughly before installation.

Following these tips for short-term storage of your Western Red Cedar and other building materials will help your job go a lot smoother, as well as save you time and money!

360.757.6343

www.ccLumber.com

Gypsy Wagon Restoration

Also known as a Gypsy Wagon, or quite simply a living wagon, a vardo was a horse-drawn wagon used by British Romanichal Travels as their home during the mid-1800s. Vardos were highly decorated, intricately carved, and painted and were viewed as woodworking masterpieces.

Starting with a vintage Gypsy Wagon chassis, our customer has been in the process of creating this vardo using our clear Western Red Cedar. Due to its lightweight, ease of workability, and availability, Western Red Cedar is a popular choice for mobile buildings, wagons, and the like.

Please enjoy these in-progress photos and be sure to check back for updates! They will be outfitting the interior of the vardo much like it was done back in the 1800s with heavy fabrics and great attention to detail.

Vintage Covered Wagon Restoration
The interior of the vardo will be outfitted with luxury fabrics and other fine details
A horse drawn Gypsy Wagon made from high quality clear Western Red Cedar

Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship our specialty building materials to homeowner and contractors nationwide!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA 98233

http://www.cedarcountrylumber.com

Best Wood for Your Sauna

You guessed it: Western Red Cedar

Due to the phenols and other natural properties of Western Red Cedar against rot and decay, it is great for use in damp areas, including bathrooms and saunas. It is also very flexible and resists warping under heat and humidity. Because it is a low-density wood, it is a great insulator and heats quickly. And, it smells great!

Clear Western Red Cedar is the ideal wood choice for use in saunas

Pro tips:

Because your sauna will reach high temperatures and cool off when not in use, the Cedar will expand and contract a great deal. To reduce the chance of cupping, we recommend using narrower dimensions of materials, such as a 4” tongue and groove (T&G) product for the walls for optimum stability.  And while knotty grades are easier on the pocketbook, we recommend using clear grades of materials, as the knots tend to heat up faster and get hotter and may become uncomfortable to the touch. 

When shopping for your materials, keep in mind, that because a sauna is generally a small space, shorter lengths of materials can be used and sometimes come with a discounted price.

Narrower dimensions of Western Red Cedar is our recommendation for using in saunas to reduce cupping and warping

Special “Thanks” for Michael S from Arizona for sharing these gorgeous photos of the Western Red Cedar sauna he built using materials he purchased from us.

We ship nationwide!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

Clear Western Red Cedar Bevel Siding

Due to wide availability, combined with natural beauty and ease of installation, clear Western Red Cedar Beveled siding is a popular choice for premium exterior siding. With proper care and maintenance, clear Cedar Bevel siding will provide many years of service.  And, when its life cycle is complete, it is easily disposed of, which makes it a very eco-friendly building product.

4" Clear Western Red Cedar Bevel Premium Siding
photo and craftsmanship by Craig Younquist

Bevel siding is produced by re-sawing lumber at an angle to produce two identical pieces, each with a thinner edge than the other. Traditionally installed horizontally, it provides a shadow line that varies with the thickness of the siding chosen.

Also commonly referred to as Clapboard siding, it is available in knotty as well as clear grades.  To learn more about our popular budget friendly knotty Bevel siding, please visit our blog on that by clicking HERE.

Clear Grades

  • Vertical grain – the highest grade available. It is a reversible product
  • A&Btr – graded and recommended for smooth face use only      

Common Sizes for Clear Bevel Siding

  • 1/2×4”
  • 1/2×6”
  • 1/2×8”
  • 3/4×8”
  • 3/4×10”

Generally speaking, clear Western Red Cedar Bevel siding is sold “random length” from 3’ to 20’ lengths in bundles with specific piece counts.

Clear, vertical grain Western Red Cedar Bevel siding define this luxury home on Fire Island in New York

For those projects that require a painted surface, clear, vertical grain, finger-jointed, primed Bevel siding is a great money-saving option and is readily available in the same common sizes as natural clear Bevel siding. Recommended for smooth face use in 16’ lengths, this siding is already primed with a good quality alkyd oil primer and is ready to install and paint.

Not able to use an “off the shelf” product or want something special made? We specialize in working with customers with unique needs all over the US and can mill custom clear Bevel siding in most any size in random lengths. To save money and time on the job site, we also can provide custom factory pre-staining or pre-priming to your clear Bevel siding. Code conforming fire treatment is also an option.

Prior to delivery, we had the clear, Bevel siding for this job sent out for custom pre-staining.
Upon arrival at the job site, it was ready to install.

Starting at the bottom of the wall, Western Red Cedar Bevel siding should be face nailed to studs with 1-1/4″ good penetration into solid wood. Place nail just above the overlap, using one nail per piece, up to a maximum of 24″ apart. Fasteners should be corrosion resistant and approved for installing Western Red Cedar. Either natural or color-matched stainless steel nails are a popular choice when installing premium clear Bevel siding. No caulking should be used between joints to allow the wood to expand and contract. Please see our blog General Guidelines for Installing Western Red Cedar Siding for more tips.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

www.ccLumber.com

Custom Western Red Cedar Pavilion

This stunning Western Red Cedar Pavilion is the creation of our friends at Minnesota Pergolas. Western Red Cedar is the preferred choice of wood for all the custom outdoor structures created by Minnesota Pergolas in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Due to the hot summers in the mid-west and cold winters, a covered Cedar pavilion will provide outdoor living space for these happy homeowners all year long!

  • Western Red Cedar covered pergola
  • Attention to detail is the mark of great craftsmanship by Minnesota Pergolas

With shipments of cedar lumber, siding, shingles, shakes, timbers, as well as other specialty building materials leaving our warehouse daily to all over the US, our customers value the quality of our products and our honest business practices, combined with excellent customer service and superior product knowledge. Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

www.cedarcountrylumber.com

Create Privacy and Define Your Outdoor Living Space

Arbors, trellises and living fences are organic, beautiful ways to define outdoor living spaces, as well as create visual interest. Combined with natural plants, these defining elements create and support ecological diversity by serving as habitats for insects, birds and other small animals. On sloped properties, these structures and their plants can also help immensely with erosion control. 

While there are many building materials that arbors, trellises, and fence framework can be made from, Western Red Cedar is an especially popular and eco-friendly choice. Naturally resistant to rot and decay, Western Red Cedar requires no additional treatment to preserve the wood, so there is no need to worry about chemicals seeping into the surrounding soil. Sourced from renewable resources, it is lightweight and easy to work with, and completely recyclable at the end of its useful life.

In addition to defining an outdoor space, a living fence can also add privacy, as well as wind block. In these photos, our customer used our clear Western Red Cedar 2×2″s to create a gridwork for ivy to grown on. While it will take a little bit to get this privacy fence covered in ivy, it is an exceptionally pretty structure to look at in the meantime.

Clear Western Red Cedar 2x2" are used as framework for a eco-friendly living fence
Living privacy fence made from naturally rot resistant Western Red Cedar frame work

In this photo, a large backyard is defined into a cozy outdoor living space with a network of Western Red Cedar arbors and tumbling evergreen clematis and wisteria vines, string lighting, and horizontally installed fencing.

Looking for more outdoor living inspiration?

We’ve got lots of ideas on Pinterest!

We ship nationwide

360.757.6343

www.CedarCountryLumber.com

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA 98233

Building a Good Neighbor Fence

Everybody knows that a fence makes a good neighbor, but do you know what makes a GREAT neighbor? A well thought out and properly constructed fence that looks good from the inside, as well as outside. This type of fence is a win-win for the whole neighborhood. 

Made from high-quality clear C&Btr Western Red Cedar lumber we supplied, this stunning fence looks great from any angle. Individual dimensional Cedar boards are attached to thicker Cedar boards both on the bottom and top to form a “panel”, then the panels are installed between top quality clear Western Red Cedar posts. With some fine craftsmanship, custom latticework was created just on the backyard area of the fence to add interest and extra height to keep critters in.

A good neighbor fence created from our Clear C&Btr Western Red Cedar dimensional boards
Clear Western Red Cedar crafted privacy fence makes the whole neighborhood happy

With this modern design, our 5/4×6” knotty grade Western Red Cedar decking is installed horizontally on both sides of the 4×4″ posts that have been firmly anchored in the ground. Not only does it add curb appeal and privacy, this type of “good neighbor” fence is less likely to blow down, since the gaps between boards allow the wind to pass through.

Knotty Western Red Cedar decking is installed horizontally on top of 4x4 posts to create a beautiful good neighbor fence

This lovely fence is constructed out of our 5/4×6” Red Balau “Mahogany” decking. While it is a little more costly initially than Western Red Cedar lumber, it won’t break the bank either, and will last for many, many years to come. Due to the durability and strength of the Mahogany, no additional rails or supports are needed between fence posts to attach the hardwood to. This fence will be sag free, with little to no maintenance ever needed.

5/4x6" Mahogany Decking is used for an extremely durable good neighbor fence that will last for many years with little to no maintenance

Take a look at this example of two homeowner’s unique ideas for making a good neighbor fences out of different types of Western Red Cedar lumber on their property. Both look great and express the individual style of the homeowner, while not competing for attention.

Examples of Western Red Cedar fences

We’ve got lots more good neighbor fence inspiration just waiting for you over on Pinterest!

Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship to homeowners and contractors nationwide, with local delivery available in the north Puget Sound region.

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

http://www.CedarCountryLumber.com

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.

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA 98233

We ship nationwide!

www.CedarCountryLumber.com

Western Red Cedar AbsoluteTrim

Inherently resistant to moisture, decay, and insect damage, AbsoluteTrimTM is manufactured from high-quality knotty Western Red Cedar that is kiln-dried, finger-jointed, and then double coated with latex primer that is designed specifically for use on Western Red Cedar.  With a 30-year limited warranty against rot and manufacturer defects, this a trim product you can feel good about.

AbsoluteTrim is available in 16’ or 20’ lengths in the following dimensions

Thickness x 2” 3” 4” 6” 8” 10” 12”
        1″ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      5/4″ no Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
        2″ Yes no Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Custom Stained Western Red Cedar Shingles and White Cedar Trim

AsoluteTrim is manufactured from natural Western Red Cedar and must be finished with two coats of paint within 60 days of installation. Before installation, ends should be trimmed, and all field cuts resealed with primer to make joints less visible and for the paint to adhere properly. If a blemish-free appearance is desired, fill knots with putty and re-prime before painting.  For complete storage, installation, and painting recommendations, please download the document AbsoluteTrim_Installation

Western Red Cedar Shingles, Trim and Soffit

AbsoluteTrim is a natural wood product. Warranty does not cover natural occurrences such as extractive bleed, variations in grain, color or knots, pitch pockets, or mineral streaks. For more information on AbsoluteTrim’s limited warranty, download the AbsoluteTrim_Warranty

Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide!

360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington WA

www.CedarCountryLumber.com