cedar Posts

10 Things You Need To Know Before Staining Your Cedar

Cooper Creek 9ft x 12ft

Cedar is by far our favourite siding material for countless reasons. Although we understand the need and convenience of maintenance free options, when it comes to siding, we simply can’t compete with nature. Western Red Cedar has been our first choice for years due to its durability, ascetic appeal, and environmental sustainability.

At Summerwood, we always recommend that our customers stain their cedar-sided building. So, why do we recommend this to our customers?  Although you can let your cedar weather naturally when used for a deck or a fence, when you’re using it as a siding the idea is to keep the elements out. You want your beautiful custom backyard building to stay that way, and for your belongings to remain safe and dry inside. Staining the cedar is the absolute best way to ensure this, especially in areas that have four-season climates. Since Western Red Cedar naturally lacks pitch and resin, it allows for countless staining options and will accept stain very well if applied correctly. To help you properly stain your newly built outdoor structure, we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you stain your cedar and to keep it looking new for years to come.

 

10 Tips for staining your cedar

 

1. Three choices for staining

When it comes to staining your cedar, you have three choices: natural, semi -transparent, and coloured or opaque. Consider whether you want your building to look untouched or add a pop of colour to your yard before choosing.

 

2. Transparent stains have water-repellent features

Cedar is known to age gracefully to a soft, silver-grey patina, but it’s wise to keep the rich tones of your cedar siding lasting longer. Transparent stains contain no pigment but have water-repellent features that will help to retain natural tones and slow down the natural colour change process. It’s a win-win!

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3. Offer up a hint of colour

Semi-transparent stains offer up a hint of colour. They still represent the wood beautifully but give it a little boost. Grains and knots in your wood will be modified, not enough to take away from its natural qualities though!

 

4. Coloured/Opaque finishes add a little charm

Coloured/opaque finishes allow you to have fun with your finished product. If you want to go for a dramatic look, or maybe add a little extra charm, this may be the way to go. This option isn’t for the indecisive though, so make sure you know exactly what you want!

 

5. The sooner you treat your cedar, the better

Once you’ve decided on your finish it’s best to get to work quickly. The sooner you treat your cedar, the better. Although cedar is naturally resistant to rot and decay, staining your siding promptly will help in the preventing of deterioration.

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6. Wash & wait for it to dry

Prepare your cedar siding by washing it with soapy water to remove any dirt or dust (if any has accumulated). After you have washed it, wait for it to dry before applying any stain to the cedar.

 

7. Use a thick brush when staining

One of the most thorough methods when staining is to use a thick, natural bristle brush. The brush bristles will distribute the stain evenly onto the wood, as well as helping to reach the undulations on the surface of the cedar. If you are thinking about using a rolling brush.

 

8. Work in the shade while staining

It is best to apply the stain to the cedar while working the shade. This will allow the stain to sink deeper in the cedar surface. One of the best ways to help them dry properly is to set them on sawhorses, thus keeping them off the grass, soil, and sand, making your task a lot easier.

 

9. Allow the stain to dry slowly & apply a second coat

Two coats are always recommended when you want to maintain the natural look of Western red cedar. After you have put the first coat on, it is recommended that you wait 6 to 8 hours for it to dry before placing a second coat on.

 

10. Enjoy!

Bask in the glory of your newly finished cedar building for years to come.

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For countless styles and options, cedar is consistently the best choice! Please don’t hesitate to contact the design experts at Summerwood with any questions you may have: 1-866-519-4634.

If you’re ready to design your very own spectacular cedar building, or do some brainstorming, our Design Center will get your creative wheels turning!

Custom Design Centre Call to Action

 

Crowning Our Annual Photo Contest Winners: Top 3 Photos of 2015

 

photo contest 2015 summerwood products

One of our favorite annual events takes place in the Summerwood design office every spring – our extremely popular Photo Contest winners are chosen! We’re blown away by our customers’ enthusiasm for our contest and love picking through the latest photos and awarding cash prizes. Our top prize winner takes home $250, second place takes $150, and third place is awarded a cool $100. Not bad for sending in a few photos of your outdoor project! Remember that if you have photos that you haven’t sent in before it’s never too late to do so; send us your photos today and we’ll enter them into the 2016 contest.

The Top 3 Photos of 2015 (Chosen by our design staff!)

2015 was an exciting year featuring many exciting and custom projects, and as usual selecting our winners was extremely challenging. We receive hundreds of photos every year and selecting three finalists is no small feat!  Without further ado here are our top 3 photos for 2015:

1) 10’x10’ Glen Echo Bunkie from Napanee, Ontario

1st-glen-echo-Cabin-Napanee-Ontario

Our 1st Place Photo Contest Winner for 2015

Once again our Ultimate Glen Echo “Permit-Free” Bunkie was a monster hit among customers looking for extra sleeping space at their vacation and cottage properties. This gorgeous Western red cedar bunkie blends in with the trees and serves as a real lakeside retreat in Ontario – a real asset to any cottage vacation rental looking for “permit-free” sleeping and storage space. The double French doors let in tons of natural light and also allow for storing oversized items over the winter months. As always a pull-down ladder for loft access and lots of opening windows are staples of this building design and allow for relaxation and cool breezes to flow in. The customer-built front deck looks like a great spot to kick back in a comfy Adirondack chair and listen to the waves lap up against the shoreline.

Congratulations to our first place winners and recipients of our $250 cash prize!

 

2) 8’x13’ Verana Studio/Shed from Oakville, Ontario

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Our 2nd Place Photo Contest Winner for 2015: “Wow…..this is pretty cool news! We love the garden shed!”

While we love classic garden shed designs we also love when our customers push the envelope and allow style and function to blend together. Our Oakville-based customer was looking for a garden shed that would immediately blend into her yard and feel like it had been there for years. To solve her storage and design dilemma we custom-designed this 104 square foot beauty which was painted to match the existing stucco home. One of the coolest features of this particular shed/studio is that the customer chose to partially insulate the building. Why’s that a good idea? By insulating the floor and wrapping the building with moisture-resistant vapor barrier this customer could easily finish insulating the walls and roof down the road and would have a 4-season studio space. This can be particularly valuable in the event you may need an office or extra guest room, and can also be an enticing feature to potential buyers if you were selling your home.

We adore the transom windows on the sides of the building that let some light into the building but don’t sacrifice the privacy and security of the items stored within. The frosted glass on the front doors will keep the building feeling airy without showcasing the not-so-pretty items stored inside, and a small deck and simple pot lights add to the charm and character of the building. The roof overhang of this building was customized to fit within a tight space and to conform to local bylaws and will keep anyone using the building dry regardless of the weather.

Congrats to our 2nd place finisher!

 

3) 12’x24’ Surfside Cabana in Toronto, Ontario

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Our 3rd Place Photo Contest Winner for 2015

What better place to cool off from a refreshing swim or to relax with a cold drink on a hot day? Our Surfside cabana truly lives up to its name on an everyday basis and is one of the most popular pool cabanas with customers and industry professionals alike. These customers were after a building that would blend indoor and outdoor living and would blur the line between inside and out. Huge sliding French doors were the perfect solution! A simple whitewash of the interior makes the building feel bright at any time of the day and some simple yet beautiful décor make this the place to be when hanging out close to the pool. The cedar shingles will age to a silvery grey and will last a lifetime, adding character and definition to the building throughout the years.

So there you have it, our 2015 photo contest winners! Ready to start the process on designing your own custom structure? Click over to the Summerwood Custom Design Center or contact a design consultant today! Have pictures you’d like to send to us? Email them directly to design@summerwood.com or use our online photo upload tool. Check out our Photo Contest page to see past winners, we’ll also soon profile our 2015 honorable mentions on this page as well.

Best Seller: Permit Free Cottage Bunkie

We won’t make you wonder, our most popular building of the season is definitely the permit-free Glen Echo Bunkie!
 

You can almost smell the cedar!

You can almost smell the cedar!

Ultimate Glen Echo Bunkie

Ultimate Glen Echo Bunkie

Here’s a few reasons why Glen Echo Bunkie has been so popular this spring.
Features

  • It’s a 10 x 10 building, so at 100 sq. ft. it’s permit-free in most areas!
    Can you say woo hoo!? Awesome.
  • 3 foot front-overhang creates a bonus 130 sq.ft. half-storey loft space.
    Perfect for storage or extra sleepers.
  • Efficient: Front and rear dormers max-out the loft space, enough for a queen size mattress!
  • Customizable: You choose your doors and windows, we have over 50 to choose from.
    So you can gaze upon your lovely view!
  • Stylish: This Western Red Cedar Cottage Bunkie is a lovely focal point.
    It may steal the spotlight!
  • Includes an attic ladder which allows access to the loft area, but leaves usable floor space downstairs when folded up.
  • Affordable! We’re a custom builder, allowing you the flexibility of creating a Bunkie that’s as elaborate or simple as you like.
Bunkie view from the front

Bunkie view from the front

Back

Bunkie view from the back

Here’s why

It’s the perfect addition to your cottage property for a lot less than building an addition and living through a renovation. Yes, we did say it’s permit-free, as it’s only 100 square feet! Also, it won’t affect your property taxes, so not only is it lovely to look at, it’s a smart choice. Who says you can’t be both!?

 

Our 10 x 10 Cottage Bunkie doesn't need a permit!

Our 10 x 10 Cottage Bunkie doesn’t need a permit!

What can I use it for?

Well, The Glen Echo Bunkie is perfect for cottage hang-outs, extra sleepers, grandkids and all kids, man-caves, and even as a She-Shed (the ladies need some space too!)

Before and After Backyard Facelift

At Summerwood we see all kinds of backyard transformations. It often takes just one great garden shed or studio to create an outdoor space worth spending time in. This case came from Toronto, when a customer moved into a home and wanted to give the tired backyard a facelift.

There was an existing structure used for storage but it really didn’t lure you into the space. People often overlook their backyards, not realizing a backyard is an extension of the home. That’s where we came in.

6A

We tore down the old and weathered storage shelter and got down to business. We didn’t want to overwhelm the space, as the pool was going to be the focal point of the backyard, so we chose a traditional Palmerston garden shed. The owner wanted a spot to house tools, store outdoor furniture, and maybe even for swimmers to towel off and change. The Palmerston was perfect because it neatly fit into the corner without overwhelming the space.

A new fence went up and the Palmerston was incorporated into it, creating a streamlined and clean look. It was a custom job and the results were definitely worth it. By simply installing the Palmerston and putting up a new fence, the backyard quickly came together. While the pool was to be the focal point, we think the Palmerston stole the spotlight.

6B

6C

3 Reasons Why Western Red Cedar is Your Friend

1. Durable and low maintenance

Red cedar is naturally resistant to rot, decay and pesky insect attacks. You won’t face the worry of mildew development like you would with a composite. Forget staining, sealing or painting, red cedar is hardy and one with nature.

2. Ages gracefully

Unlike other composites or synthetic materials, western red cedar is a designers dream when used for siding or other outdoor projects. While it’s known to be a great base for primer and paint (holding a solid stain for up to eight years), it’s in vogue to let your cedar naturally mature. A silvery-grey patina develops when red cedar is left untreated, offering the perfect option for those who prefer low maintenance beauty; and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?

 

3. Easy to customize and work with

Customization is often key when finding the ideal look or fit for a project. Red cedar comes in various surface textures, lumber dimensions and grades for one-of-a-kind designs. Cedar is easy to saw and glue and takes fasteners without splitting. Western red cedar is strong yet surprisingly lightweight, making it easy to cut and bend (a friendly material for DIYers). While certain materials may not readily come in unconventional sizes needed for outdoor structures like a garden shed, cedar is a no fuss, down-to-earth option that usually does.

Greetings from Grenada!

 

Summerwood was recently approached to work in close contact with Mike Jordan of CocoNet Ltd which specializes in design management and is based in Grenada, a small group of islands in the Caribbean. Mike was tasked with designing and erecting multiple buildings on the island of St. George for various uses as shops, residences, and tour offices.

To fit the bill, Mike purchased several 18′ x 20′ Canmore and Mountain Brook buildings. The final pictures tell a true tale of how beautiful the land is and how our structures and the climate complement each other so well. The various colours the buildings have been painted are a homage to the colour schemes used in the area; while definitely not colorus we see every day, we certainly love them in this setting.

Mike Jordan is now the official retailer of Summerwood Products in the Caribbean region and is continually erecting our structures throughout Grenada. Stay tuned for more great pictures and new stories coming from Grenada as this new partnership continues to develop and flourish.

Photos Courtesy of: Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, Grenada  grenadagenada4 grenada2 grenada3 grenada5