We field thousands of questions each year around which materials are best suited for our climate here in North Carolina and South Carolina. The products we specify are used for screen porches, pergola’s, decks, exterior cladding, etc….
One of the products that generates many questions is Cedar. Cedar is a beautiful product with many great qualities that includes a natural grain and beautiful knots that give it a rustic character. To get the best authentic look at Cedar, you would want to stain it rather than paint it as the paint hides some of these characteristics. You can use cedar as a time accent, a structural member, or a decking.
Here in the Carolina’s, we typically see cedar used more for wide decorative columns on a pergola or holding up an open porch than anything else. There are two major pitfalls with cedar. One is that cedar is not pressure-treated and will rot over time. The second is that cedar is quite costly relative to pine. We are a natural grower of pine and so there is no real freight charge where we live and it keeps that price on the low end.
With our moist climate, we do get a lot of wood rot in the Carolina’s. It is important to keep the cedar stained. To see a great variety of wood species and design ideas, go to