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When you choose a material for an outdoor space, you have to choose carefully. The principle cause of deterioration is related to moisture, whether due to fluctuations in water vapor within the air, or one of the various forms of precipitation that are experienced throughout the country.. For thousands of years, western red cedar has been the go-to wood for a range of different building types. Quite simply, it’s the best natural wood for outdoor spaces, and it’s also preferred to synthetic building materials for reasons of environmental sustainability. Here’s why we prefer Canadian western red cedar for all of our signature garden rooms and custom outdoor living spaces.

Stability

Western red cedar has twice the stability of most commonly available timbers. The stability is a result of its low density and shrinkage factors. It lies flat, stays straight, and holds fastenings tightly.

Natural Preservative

Western red cedar is one of the world’s most durable woods. Natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage has made it the premier choice for either interior or exterior home use. Cedar fibers in the heartwood contain natural preservatives that are toxic to decay-causing fungi. The two principal extractives that are responsible for the decay resistance are thujaplicins and water-soluble phenolics. The tree’s ability to produce these extractives increases with age, making the outer regions of heartwood the most durable.

Superior Flame Spread Rating

Western red cedar has flame spread and smoke development classifications that are superior to the minimums set by most building codes, which permit the use of cedar heartwood without preservative treatments. Fire is always a risk when it comes to building projects, but using appropriate materials ensures that such risks are minimized.

Year-Round Weather Proofing

Western red cedar excels in a variety of different weather conditions.It lasts for decades, even in harsh environments. Its natural resistance to moisture, decay, and insect damage make it the ideal choice for a surface exposed to sun, rain, heat, and cold year-round.

Decay Resistance

Most timbers will rot in the fullness of time, and particularly when in contact with the ground. For that reason, many of the cheaper materials need to be tanalised or protected with copper chrome arsenate or similar preservatives applied by vacuum pressure or the like. Not so with cedar. Cedar has its own built-in preservative, technically known as thujaplicins, which offers natural resistance to fungal attacks. Some cedar tree trunks have been found in swamps and carbon-aged dated to be more than 2,000 years old. And so we are able to provide you with a material that has not suffered or needs to be treated with any form of toxic preservative. This is a huge advantage, both economically and environmentally.

Roofing Materials

You have two choices when it comes to roofing: thatch and western red cedar shingles. Both offer exceptional protection for your garden room, and deciding between them comes down to several factors, including the look of the garden room as well as your concerns about weatherization and durability.

Thatch

Suitable for all climates, African cape thatching reed is an environmentally friendly product that is sourced in a responsible and sustainable way. In fact, harvesting the thatch actually promotes growth, making it an ideal choice for the eco-friendly among us. With a lifespan of approximately 20 years, it will offer years of natural beauty.

This type of roof also offers outstanding ventilation because of its capacity to dissipate trapped heat and moisture, which is a key consideration for any garden room. Thatch tiles do not suffer from shedding, mildew, bird or rot damage. After installation they require no further maintenance or cleaning. Cape reed will provide 100% UV protection, and it can withstand harsh weather including extremely high winds, rain, and snow.

Western Red Cedar Shingles

As you might have guessed, we also use Canadian western red cedar as a roofing material. Cedar shingles are popular for all of the same reasons that cedar is popular as a building material. It insulates and ventilates, it’s strong yet light, and it looks fantastic on top of one of our garden rooms or custom outdoor living spaces.

Like thatch reed, western red cedar is a highly sustainable resource, which means that it has a low environmental impact. As you may know already, air is one of the best insulators, and the more air that your insulating medium has in it, the greater the ability to control the flow of thermal energy. Because of its relatively low density, western red cedar has an exceptional insulation value and a low energy cost.

And it is definitely built to withstand our weather patterns here in Northern California. Cedar shingles are capable of withstanding wind speeds up to 245 MPH, as well as hailstorms. They also manage to be highly resilient in the event of an earthquake. Used throughout the world for strong and aesthetically pleasing roofing and cladding, western red cedar shingles may be exactly right for your needs.

If you have any questions about the materials that we use, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team today.