Western Red Cedar timbers, dimensional products and boards are typically available in a wide selection of sizes: thicknesses vary from 1” to 12” and widths from 2” to 12”. Standard lengths are in multiples of two feet, typically up to 16’.

Longer lengths and larger sizes are available on select items – check in advance to see if those are in stock or need to be custom cut. Remember; custom orders  require lead time!

Resources: Engineering & Design Guides


Experience the timeless beauty of real cedar siding & trim. Cedar is the perfect partner for stone, slate, brick, and other natural building materials. No other building material reflects such a true embodiment of the natural environment.

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First impressions are everything and a great way to make an impact is by using Western Red Cedar on the key features of your home. Cedar’s natural properties and timeless beauty will outperform most woods by decades! It consistently provides long-term durability and excellent overall performance, as such, it is one of the most reliable products for prominent components in exterior features.

With this in mind, the choice of how to finish your Western Red Cedar siding is an important consideration. You can safely leave it in its natural state. In time the wood will turn a natural patina requiring minimal upkeep.

Inversely, you may want to preserve the beautiful variegated tones of your new wood. For this, either a semi-transparent or a full transparent finish is your best choice.  The pigments in these products help protect the appearance of the cedar from UV damage, thus preserving the natural variegated tones of the wood. Solid finishes are also fully acceptable. This of course will cover the natural colour of the wood; however, cedar takes paint well and the finish will last many years when applied right.

For best results, ensure the installer finishes all 6 sides of the wood.  This will help prevent moisture from migrating into the wood from the back side or ends, effectively neutralizing the stresses of trapped moisture (swelling, freezing, drying unevenly) which in turn enhances the life and performance of your finish and keep the wood from splitting or cupping.

Download this chart to obtain coverage of Western Red Cedar Siding.

In exterior applications, box joints do better in time and often look better too. Mitres or scarf joints tend to open up. Pre-drilling ends will help minimize splitting. While nails are acceptable fasteners, screws tend to be much more reliable. Outdoor adhesives perform well on cedar and can be used when other options aren’t practical.

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Cedar is a great product to use for feature walls, accentuating structural elements, and for natural wood ceilings. It has beautiful grain an its inherent stability will provide a long-term solution for your home.

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Cedar, whether clear or knotty creates a very natural, comfortable atmosphere and tends to have a relaxing influence. Most cedar products are available in Clear or Knotty grades. Clear cedar features warm tones and variegated colours. Knotty cedar offers a more rustic look and feel.

Due to its natural properties, cedar performs exceptionally well in high humidity environments (pools, hot tubs, steam rooms). It will absorb or discharge moisture to attain equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere without compromising its structural values.

Contrast is a highly effective way of enhancing the natural effect of real wood.  Too much of a good thing can diminish the result while contrasting tones and mediums will enhance it. Cedar complements beautifully with natural stone, black iron, whites and offsetting paint colours.

Finishing options:

  • Use a commercial bleaching agent for a sun-bleached driftwood effect.
  • Clear lacquer can be used to enhance cedars natural beauty on smooth surfaces.
  • Clear finishes help define the grain and enhance cedar’s variegated colour.
  • Natural untinted sealers can help prevent the annoying effect of water staining without changing the colour of the wood.
  • Collated fasteners work well indoors. Be sure to use stainless steel fasteners if you anticipate higher than average humidity (showers, steam rooms, pools, hot tub rooms).
  • When choosing your trim for doors and windows, simple box joints tend to complement the cedar. Mitre joints can appear over done.
  • A story pole is a great technique for transferring consistent height across each course from one part of the structure to another, i.e. across doors, windows or onto corresponding walls or other obstructions. Also useful in anticipating the need for compromise in event of uneven ceiling heights or out of square walls and key in preventing the conundrum of finishing on a tapered board against the ceiling.

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Fencing & Privacy Screens

A fence establishes boundaries, creates first impressions, and provides security for children, pets and property. Because of its natural properties, cedar fencing is super durable. Cedar is a beautiful product to look at. It doesn’t easily warp or twist. After the first couple of year the difference will become obvious. After 10 or 12 years, the difference will be pronounced. In terms of value per dollar spent, it is hard to beat the enduring performance of real cedar. With a little planning and design it can be a major attribute to your home.

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  • Standard fence designs are geared to reliably span 8 feet. Whenever possible, avoid oversized or tiny end sections. For best performance and overall appearance, it is better to add a section / slightly reduce your average post spacing.
  • Existing lot shape and direction of surface runoff affect design plans. Landscape designs follow the existing flow of the land and look best on larger properties. Terrace designs work well when you have to deal with large changes in elevation over short distances. They are often used in conjunction with a curb or retaining wall to mitigate the gaps created underneath.
  • Spacing fence boards is great for a wind diffusion; however, too large a gap will reduce both security and privacy.
  • Curbs make it easy to mow the grass up to your fence and contain flower beds, mulch, landscape materials or back-fill.
  • Screws are the ideal fastener. Brown Ceramic coated screws look good and won’t stain the wood.
  • Picket screws must be long enough to penetrate 1” into supports. For dimensional components (2×4), 1 ¼” depth is required.
  • If you’re choosing to cast posts in concrete, use metal posts to extend service life of the fence. Place posts at a depth of 3 feet (or more) to reduce risk of frost heave, and keep the concrete a few inches below grade. Wood posts perform best if set in post grit at a minimum depth of 3′.
  • 4×4 posts can be a weak link in your fence as they have a tendency to break during severe wind storms. 4×6 not only looks better, but will overcome this problem.
  • Capping your fence boards and posts tops will minimize water migration into the end grain thus extending the appearance and service life of your fence.
  • After you start construction, keep you primary wood pile covered with a lumber tarp at all times, especially on hot days. This, more than anything else will help your building materials stay straight!

Requirements for an accurate take-off

  • # of posts
  • # of sections (panels)
  • opening size of each panel
  • # of gates & size
  • total lineal feet of fence
  • change in elevation from start to end (if significant)
  • post style preferences (defined or integrated)
  • overall style preference (concept picture).
  • Oversized gates tend to sag. Ideal width ranges between 3-4 feet.
  • Using a good weatherproof construction adhesive between the boards and rails will help prevent sagging down the road.
  • For custom gates, a 3 ply approach using 1″ frame boards front and back to sandwich the body of the gate, will help reduce weight and increase structural values. Use screws and a good weatherproof construction adhesive between all overlapping joints to eliminate the risk of a sagging frame.
  • Custom arbours can substantially increase post support and enhance the appearance.
  • For large RV gates, split them in two to avoid overloading the hinges. By adding a removable centre post, you can provide great support for both gates when not in use.

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Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) decking is one of the most comfortable decking materials you can imagine. It is truly people friendly. Natural cedar’s low density makes it an excellent thermal insulator which means it’s comfortable to walk on, even super hot days. Natural cedar isn’t slippery and its innate properties allow cedar decking to perform for decades.

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  • Take a look at the space you have available. Consider features you might want to include (BBQ, sitting area, dining area, sun bathe, shade); and constraints (views, elevations, privacy, door locations, windows, sidewalks, stairs, etc.). Multiple tiers can effectively accommodate changes in elevation and primary function.
  • Picture yourself using the space. If you wish to provide shelter from wind or the hot sun, incorporate screening or a pergola into your design. Map out your seating areas, place the BBQ, and other daily needs. Than take a serious look at how the traffic would flow, make sure it won’t be disruptive. Place commonly used stairs away from your leisure space.
  • 12×12 is an effective living circle, striking a good balance between personal space and intimacy in a small group setting. Large groups tend to fragment based on shared interests. Hence, multiple spaces are an effective way to engage a larger group of people.
  • 8’ – 10’ is suitable for personal use, 10’ – 12’ is a good size for couples or a small family, 12’ and beyond is better suited to larger families and groups.
  • Maximum joist spacing for decking support is 16” on 5/4 board and 24” on 2×6 decking.
  • Blind fastening systems are available and can be an aesthetically pleasing option.
  • Joist and beam sizing is dependant on spans and the size of your deck. (See Maximum Span Calculator for Wood Joist & Rafters)
  • Plan to offset the stairs from your main living area so through traffic flows off to the side. Accurately anticipating logistical needs will greatly enhance overall functionality. Whenever possible, make the stairs at least 4 feet wide to avoid overcrowding.
  • Standard deck stairs have 7” rise and 11” runs. Odd size steps can be a tripping hazard.
  • After you start construction, keep you primary wood pile covered with a lumber tarp at all times, especially on hot days. This, more than anything else will help your building materials stay straight!
  • Standard post spacing for deck railings is 6’ per section.
  • Common railing heights are 36” for decks up to 6′ high and 42” for anything higher. Always check local building code for detailed guidelines and specific requirements.
  • Typically, decks less than 24” off the ground do not require a railing; however, stair railings tend to be useful regardless of deck height.
  • Palings come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Cedar: 3×3, 2×2, 5/4×4, 1×6, square, sculptured, turned, fluted. Aluminum: round, flat, square. Glass panels or glass palings. Custom.
  • For privacy or wind protection, horizontal slat walls look great. Lattice is another good option. 7′ is an effective height in most applications. In consideration of increased wind load, post intervals of 4′ increments will provide good support.

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Pergolas are fantastic to look at, help define outdoor sitting space and can be most effective in tempering the extremes of our diverse and ever changing weather. Because of their unique curb appeal, pergolas really allow you to personalize your outdoor living space. Given some basic guidelines, they are relatively easy to build and are highly adaptable to reflect personal preference.

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  • A 12×12 provides excellent usable space for a regular family.
  • Common heights vary between 8’ and 10’. If nearby a house, scale accordingly. 8′ for a bungalow 10′ high near a 2 story.
  • While a 4×4 post may be sufficient to support the structural load, 6×6 posts have much better curb appeal and will add significant structural stability.
  • Increase or decrease rafter spacing, depending on how much shade you’d like (typical range is 12” to 18” on centre).
  • Doubling up the rafters, and increasing the interval between each set (approx 30″ o.c.) can significantly enhance spring and fall use. For optimal shade year around, use intermittent sets of boards, perpendicular to the doubled up rafters (3′-4′ o.c). The combined effect creates intermittent shade, effectively allowing you to respond to present conditions based on weather, time of day and current season.
  • Strategically screening in a wall can provide increased privacy and will add to stability, particularly on a free standing pergola.
  • Screening of the south/west wall will significantly reduce wind issues and provide welcome shade from late afternoon/evening sun.
  • Using rough sawn lumber, or even a combination of rough sawn & planed lumber will add substance and visual interest to your structure.

Pre-planned pergola packages are available. Contact us for details.

  • Layout the first post, first beam and first rafter on the ground. Use them as a story pole to mark all corresponding parts, i.e. use a tri-square to transfer the marks to all the other members of each set. This  can practically eliminate the need to use a tape measure in elevated position, frees up your hands, makes the whole process easier.
  • Use post grit over concrete to set your posts. It’s easy to work with and more durable. Minimum post depth is three feet. Alternatively, use metal post anchors for surface mounting posts on a concrete slab.

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Arbours & Bridges

Western Red Cedar is an ideal choice for any project where durability and appearance matters. Whether landscaping a yard, building a garden structure or enhancing the functionality of a community garden; cedar’s natural durability, low upkeep and outstanding structural stability make it a natural choice.

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Arbours are used to enhance gateways, entrances and functional transitions. The opening serves as a window to what is to come, framing the view, even building suspense. Arbours are often sided with shrubbery, ornamental trees or covered in flowering vines. Some arbours appear like a tunnel or walkway leading to or connecting two separate areas.

In some instances, arbours are used near the front of a house to dress up and divert an unsafe or unsightly downspout away from the house.

Most arbours are free standing; have either 2 or 4 posts, with a rectangular or round slatted top. Many have trellises attached for vines to grow and some have side benches to sit and visit. A good opening height is about 7′ and above. Widths vary widely.

For stability, posts should be anchored with a metal base or sunk into the ground a minimal of 3′. Post grit is an excellent medium for anchoring the posts into the ground. Avoid the use of concrete if possible.
Like an arbour, a bridge signifies a way to cross over or transition, drawing attention to a particular portion of your garden. Garden bridges come in a wide array of shapes, sizes and forms; arched or flat, floating or suspended on invisible piles, with or without railings. Bridges can be used as walkways into structures, cross a creek or dry bed, cross over low growing vegetation, ease the approach onto a steep bank; the options are endless.

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Gazebos can be placed anywhere, either as a distant outdoor getaway or a nearby extension of the home. A gazebo provides the perfect place for dinner parties and weddings. It can function as a protected outdoor playroom for children or an area for adult socializing; even function as a retreat for quiet outdoor meditation.

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A good size for couples is a 10′ diameter (hexagon) while 12′ and up (octagon) are better suited to whole families. For an all season effect, doors and windows can be added; however, most gazebos remain open or screened for bugs.

If you choose to build a gazebo from the ground up, it is best to start by getting your hands on a good plan of a design you like. Most good plans will include lumber sizes and a cut list, along with other helpful information for angles and compound cuts. This would be a great place to start.

As most gazebos are placed in freestanding positions, a concrete base is not essential. Many gazebos have integrated wooden floors for comfort. A 3-4″ crushed gravel base is often sufficient as foundation.

Two tier roofs are simple to add and have a great deal of curb appeal. Aim for a maximum of 2/3 coverage on the second tear roof while 3/12 is a good pitch. Cupolas, while intricate, can add an other level of detail.

Inversely, you can choose a precut or panelized gazebo package. Everything will be planned out. All you have to do is assemble the components..

Contact us for details.

Using a good all weather construction adhesive in addition to screws will enhance lateral stability.

For flooring and roofing on hexagon or octagon structures, work from the outside in, one complete course at a time. Double check cross over measurements before you start. Misalignment at the start will affect the entire build.

Starting with a hexagon or octagon core block can greatly simply your starting positions for both floor joists and hip rafter assembly.

Cutting a birds-mouth on each rafter where it mounts onto the plate will enhance accuracy in positioning and help anchor rafters more securely.

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Building your own shed can be the project to learn a new skill set.

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When designing your shed, first consider its primary purpose;, workshop, studio, etc. Also consider key features like fixed or opening windows; single double, dutch and/or garage door; eaves troughs lights and/or electricity.

Adding a porch or cabana can transform a basic shed into a dual purpose work/leisure space. Install some siding and trim and you’ll have a highly attractive storage solution with a quality covered outdoor living space.

Pre-built garden shed packages are strong, durable, and attractive. All shed packages come as complete units including the floor, cedar shingles, and hardware.

Contact us for details.

The first step to any shed project, whether building your own or opting for a pre-built option, is to properly prepare a level foundation. This will greatly enhance ease of construction and/or assembly of your new cedar shed.

Building the shed on top of equally spaced wooden sleepers will help keep the floor dry. Avoid poorly drained or low areas for your construction site. Add an eaves through to divert water away from the foundation.

  • 8×10 works well in a medium yard and easily accommodates basic gardening tools, supplies, bikes and some small storage.
  • 12×12 is suitable for a large yard and can accommodate medium size equipment like a lawn tractor, etc and will have room for additional seasonal storage.
  • 12×20 can accomodate larger equipment like ATV’s, motorbikes, provide a small workspace and some extra shelving.

check local building codes for set back requirements, height restrictions, other legal requirements.

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A greenhouse is great for everyone who loves plants whether you have hours and hours to devote to gardening or just a few minutes a week. Here are just a few ideas to help you succeed with your own greenhouse.

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With it’s inherent properties, Western Red Cedar is a natural fit for your greenhouse. It does well in a moist environment as cedar’s natural oils will resist rot and bug infestation and its low density makes it an excellent thermal insulator (keeping your greenhouse cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This unique quality provides a natural thermostat that your plants will love!

Once you establish a location with good sun exposure (i.e. south facing) and preferably somewhat sheltered from extreme winds, you can decide on a suitable size. 6×12 is a great place to start.

The next consideration is venting & heating. Poly-carbonate windows are light weight, durable and UV resistant. The use of solar activated window openers will eliminate a lot of running back and forth while ensuring a nice even temperature in the greenhouse. The consequential reduction in overheating or excessive cooling will greatly improve the overall performance of the greenhouse while reducing plant dehydration and minimizing rot, mould or fungus growth.

As for the floor, concrete tile works great and offers the additional benefit of some degree of natural drainage.

Pre-built greenhouse packages are available. Contact us for details.

Insulating the walls where there is no glazing with a mould resistant rigid foam product (i.e. north and west wall) will help preserve heat on cold days.

A sloped roof 4/12-6/12 will help keep heavy snow off in the winter.

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Saunas have been used for thousands of years and are popular to this day. A sauna can help people to unwind and relax, and has other health benefits.

Sweating has long been used as a therapy. In Finland, saunas have been used for thousands of years, 1 in 3 Finns use them. In the United States (U.S.), there are thought to be over a million saunas.

Main benefits of saunas are for relaxation and cardiovascular health.

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  • Whether your sauna is indoor or outdoor, cedar will provide many years of service. Cedar’s low density makes it an ideal thermal barrier, meaning that even at the highest temperature setting clear cedar will remain comfortable to touch even on bare skin.
  • The location of your sauna will influence whether a change room is needed. Outdoors, an attached change room will function as an airlock, effectively mitigating drastic temperature drops each time the sauna door is opened.
  • The ideal size of a basic fully functioning sauna is 5x7x7. This will accommodate all the key features, including a full length 2 tier bench system while providing adequate space for the heater, door and walk in room.
  • The lower bench will be your “cool” zone while the upper bench is your “hot” zone. A full length top bench will allow you to stretch out fully on your back.
  • Heaters are sized according to the cubic footage of the room.
  • Windows, a shower or drain can be nice but often aren’t essential.
  • Proper venting and a fresh air intake are essential as they directly impact performance and enjoyment of your sauna.
  • The shell is built using standard stick frame construction.
  • Walls are insulated for heat retention and the inside covered with heat reflective aluminum foil.
  • Knot free (clear) cedar is used in construction for it’s low thermal conductivity.
  • Ceilings are often restricted to a 7 foot height to optimize the sauna’s heat zone relative to the seating positions.
  • A manually adjustable air outlet is used to regulate air flow and inside temperature.
  • A ground level fresh air inlet is required; alternatively, a 1-2″ air gap below the door can be used in lieu of.
  • Doors should open outward and .
  • Controls should be installed on the outside of the room.
  • Doors normally don’t lock, have a roller-type safety latch and should open outward.
  • Proper placement of the inside temperature sensing bulb is important to the proper function of the sauna heater.

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