Choosing the Correct Log Species

When it comes to your log home, trying to find the right wood species can be an overwhelming task. Maurer Log Homes has years of experience to help you choose the correct log species for your project. Selecting the species of log to use is important for your new log home because it determines the price and longevity of your home as well as its aesthetics. For example, western cedar is one of the most expensive materials, but it’s one of the most beautiful and has natural oils that are sealed when the wood is finished. This type of wood is considered a luxury, but the wood you need for your log home depends on your style, budget, and needs.


There are more than 80 commercial wood species in Canada and the United States. Our most commonly used woods include:

East and Northeast


  • White pine
  • Red pine
  • Eastern white cedar

Southeast


  • White pine
  • Yellow pine
  • Cypress

Central


  • White pine
  • Yellow pine
  • Eastern white cedar
  • Hardwoods (oak, poplar, walnut, etc.)

West and Northwest


  • Western red cedar
  • Spruce
  • Fir
  • Hemlock
  • Ponderosa
  • Lodgepole pine

Wood Species’ Properties

Western Red Cedar

Western red cedar is resistant to rot and used chiefly for roofing materials. The bark comes in a cinnamon-red colour on young stems while it is gray on old trucks. This type of wood can be found on the western edge of coastal mountains from southern Alaska to northern California.

For your log home: Western red cedar is a beautiful wood with warm and natural colours. By producing long-length timber with a straight grain, this type of wood is more stable than softwood species. Cedar logs tend to be more expensive because of the limited supplies and the added labour for handcrafting.

Douglas-fir

Douglas-fir is one of the strongest softwoods available. It grows in British Columbia and the western part of the United States. This wood is moderately resistant to decay and comes in a day-gray-brown colour. When mature, it has a corky, deeply furrowed look. Inside the furrows is a rust-red colour.

For your log home: Douglas-fir provides exceptional strength for any home. It’s a favourite for timber-frame on log homes. The log of a Douglas-fir is long and straight with very little taper and comes with a fine grain. If you’re looking for strength and durability as well as beauty, look no further than the Douglas-fir.

Engelmann Spruce

The Engelmann spruce is a popular wood for log homes. It is a gray or purplish-brown wood with very thin and loosely attached scales. This type of wood can be found growing in the western United States, eastern parts of British Columbia, and the western part of Alberta.

For your log home: Engelmann spruce is one of the brightest woods available for log homes. Its heartwood is white with a slight red tint. The bright, clean appearance, fine grain, and smooth texture make it popular among log homeowners. This spruce makes a great affordable insulator.

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole pine is a common tree found in British Columbia and Alberta as well as the northwest part of the United States. This pine occurs in areas where forest fires are common and is prized for its beautiful wood which comes in black and reddish-brown.

For your log home: Lodgepole pine has a beautiful luster and each log is highly unique. This log can come in a “blue stain” look which is derived from harvesting dead-standing Lodgepole pines. When cut live in the winter, this type of wood can absorb a transparent protective stain very well.

For more information on different wood species and their properties, call Maurer Log Homes in Penticton.

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