Used in and around buildings, as siding, shingles and more, cedar enjoys a long and successful history as one the world’s oldest and most popular construction materials. Western red cedar furniture has entertained particular popularity in the world of patio furniture. In modern times, many materials have been introduced for patio furniture construction, like wrought iron, aluminum, and poly resins. Even with all the advancements in building innovation, nothing has been able to quite replicate all those admirable qualities which have made cedar as popular today as it has always been. Here now are some other reasons why it doesn’t hurt to stick with the tried and true.
Cedar is among the more malleable and flexible of wood, or construction materials in general. It does not easily crack or split when it’s being worked on. Other types of wood can be much more stiff or brittle. On the other hand, western red cedar furniture is also more lightweight than heavy metals, such as iron, or even other hardwoods often used in outdoor furniture, including teak. This makes for furniture that’s much easier to move around but still strong enough to be kept outside.
The nice thing about western red cedar furniture is how adaptable it is to different environments, décor schemes and sealants. With just a few coats of sealant, varnish, oil and/or paint, old and dull furniture pieces can be renewed and reborn like new. That’s because cedar takes well to solid and semi-transparent varnishes, along with paint. At the same time, maybe your furniture is brand new but simply does not match the rest of your home. A fresh coat of paint will fix that. It’s like getting all new furniture every few years for a fraction of the cost.
One of the biggest selling points of western red cedar furniture is its undeniable natural beauty. Owing to a tight-grain pattern, soft texture and coloration that can range from a whitish to rich reddish brown, cedar is a beautiful specimen and one with a mild but distinct pleasant aroma. Many materials, including durable plastics, have been molded to simulate the look of wood and its grain, but in the end there’s no accounting for the real thing. Cedar craftsmanship can even add aesthetic, as well as monetary value to your living space.
Another superior quality exhibited by cedar are the amazing properties of its naturally produced tannins. Very few woods, with the exception of teak for example, exhibit similar abilities. The resinous oils at the heart of western red cedar furniture can actually repel the infestation of insects, notably moths and fleas. That’s why cedar is often found lining closets and cedar chips and shavings are so popular in doghouses and gardens. Also, the tannins help preserve the wood from rot, mold and decay, and it’s less apt to warp or twist as a result. Because of this, you’ll spend less money on toxic treatments.
In the end, the cost factor is most important to a lot of people, and rightfully so. On average, western red cedar furniture costs about 50% less than plastics or composite materials. The common assumption is that plastic is inherently cheaper, but today’s type of durable poly resins can get to be extremely pricey, partly because of its manufacturing and appeal to modern designers, partly from the cost of the raw materials. Wood, on the other hand is a renewable, regenerative and recyclable resource. It is also easy to procure. Cedar in particular is native to the northern United States and southern parts of Canada, so there are no import or extensive transportation costs involved. By that same token, cedar is strong and long-lasting, so you will also save money by not having to buy new furniture every few years.