How to Compare Redwood and Cedar

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One of the first decisions you make when starting a new building project concerns the type of wood you plan to use. When it comes to choosing between redwood and cedar, the decision isn't an easy one to make. Since the two types of wood come from the same genus, their appearance doesn't differ much and both have the ability to withstand the environment. While cedar and redwood do share many of the same characteristics, each type of wood has its own benefits, so it often comes down to one small detail that determines your choice.

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  • Building plans
  • Consider the distance you will need to ship the wood. If you have the wood shipped to you from another state, choose cedar. Not only does cedar hold up better than redwood in shipping, but its lower weight makes your shipping costs cheaper.

  • Eliminate heat by using redwood. Storage buildings and sheds get hot inside, but redwood helps keep a building cool. Cedar soaks up the heat from the sun and holds it in, making the interior of a building much hotter.

  • Keep out noise with cedar. Cedar reduces noise between rooms, making it ideal for constructing interior walls and hardwood floors.

  • Choose redwood for a more rustic look. If you're building furniture that you want to naturally age and develop a weathered look, redwood works better. Cedar's resistance to movement and retaining its original shape makes it more likely to look the same 20 years from now as it does today.

  • Build a cedar closet or storage chest. The natural preservatives in cedar not only give the wood a resistance to decay and moisture, but cedar repels insects--like moths--that destroy clothing and fabrics.

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