Building Materials: Douglas Fir vs Western Red Cedar

Building Materials: Douglas Fir vs Western Red Cedar

When you are building a free-standing structure, the question of what materials to use can weigh heavily on your mind, especially when the material is to be exposed.  The two most commonly used materials for such an application are Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.  Both are typically viable options, but they both have qualities that favor one versus the other.

Douglas Fir has the edge when it comes to structural stability.  It has a consistent density that allows for measurable span tables. If you need to span a long distance or hold up a substantial amount of weight, Douglas Fir may be the lumber to suit your needs.  Its monochromatic blonde coloring and knot struct.


Where Cedar has the advantage is with exterior durability.  Tannins within the grain of Western Red Cedar ensure that your lumber is both rot and insect resistant.  Cedar also has a larger spectrum of color tones, allowing for much more character with each piece.  A coat of stain applied every 3-5 years will ensure that you keep its rich color. These characteristics give WRC the edge on statement accents, like trim and shutters, and exterior fully exposed structures, such as pergolas and pavilions.

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If you’re still unsure about what you need for your project, come by and see us! Duke or Scott would be happy to delve into the benefits of each species with you.  Give us a call at 254 772 5243 and we’ll get you started on your next project!

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