Cedar vs. Pressure Treated Lumber

January 10, 2017

Western redcedar (not a typo, I swear) is one of my favorite materials to work with when it comes to exterior work on homes. In my opinion it’s far superior to its counterpart,  pressure-treated pine. There are many reasons for this, such as its friendliness to the environment, it's wonderfully fragrant odor and it’s natural resistance to rot and decay.


Pressure-treated pine is processed chemically and is not only harmful to the environment but harmful to the carpenter as well. As a carpenter I consider these factors because I take my personal health seriously and the effects my work might have on the earth down the road for my children.


Cedar scraps can be tossed into a fire,  mulched for use in a flower bed or even repurposed in another way. Whereas pressure-treated scraps must be put into the garbage. With all these wonderful attributes cedar does come with a higher price tag . In most cases cedar can cost between two and three times more than pressure-treated pine and that can add up very quickly on larger projects. But in most cases with building materials as well as tools and many other things in life the old cliche rings true, "You get what you pay for".


All these factors and many more should be considered this spring when you are thinking about what to build in your own yard. I hope this helps out and as always I will be happy to answer any questions in the comments below.

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