Eco-Friendly Home Decor Tips

It can be confusing to know what products and materials to use when you’re trying to update your home’s look while being eco-friendly. So, we’ve put together this list of tips to help you redesign sustainably and make your home healthier.

1. Use natural materials

There’s a wide variety of home decor products made from natural materials. Some are obvious, while others are a bit surprising. For example, linoleum is made from wood flour, rosins, ground limestone, powdered cork, pigments, jute, and linseed oil (all natural materials). Bamboo is used for flooring and other products. It can even be used as a structural element. For fabrics, choose cotton and linen. Wood is an obvious choice, although how it’s harvested plays a role in its sustainability (see number 6 below).

2. Save energy

Saving energy reduces the amount of carbon emissions released into the air from power generation. You can save energy by changing existing incandescent and fluorescent lightbulbs for ones with LEDs in them. LEDs last much longer and use only a fraction of the energy used by traditional bulbs. If you’re looking to make a real difference in your energy use, it may be time to update your windows and doors. Today’s windows offer double and triple panes of glass with gases in the middle to improve their insulation value. And well-insulated exterior doors help keep the elements outside, saving on energy and money.

3. Add plants

Plants and other greenery help keep the air fresh, as well as absorb airborne toxins. Humans have a natural desire to be connected to the outside world. In addition, plants have been shown to provide a variety of positive outcomes: improved mood and well-being, cleaner air, increased productivity and reduced stress. Adding a bit of nature to your indoor environment can make you both happier and healthier.

4. Reduce toxins

Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are found in a wide variety of household products and materials. These compounds can cause respiratory health problems, as well as cause bad odors when they let off gas. In fact, the familiar smell of paint and that “new car smell” are the effects of these compounds off-gassing from the materials they’re in. Luckily, today there are a wide variety of low-VOC and no-VOC products available. Use these products, like paints and adhesives, instead of their more toxic cousins.

5. Reuse and recycle

Instead of buying new furniture or other materials to update your look, change or modify what you already have. For example, recover a dingy-looking couch for a whole new look. Or paint a wooden chair to match the decor in a room. Another option is to buy items from a local thrift store or auction website. Reusing and recycling materials is generally less expensive, and it keeps trash out of landfills.

6. Look for labels

There are a variety of product labels designed to help you select more sustainable materials and products. For example, lumber and other wood products can be certified as SFI or FSC. Both labels are proof that the products have been raised and harvested sustainably. When looking for appliances, windows, doors, and other energy-saving products look for the Energy Star label. This label means these products have been shown to save energy over similar products.

7. Buy local

Buying materials sourced from local manufacturers can help save carbon emissions and reduces energy use. Whether products are transported by train, truck, or plane, they all produce greenhouse gases and carbon. In addition, buying local will ensure that the products are designed for the local climate. This can be especially important when sourcing exterior components like windows and doors. You can also help support local craftsmen and artists by choosing their works instead of buying from big-box suppliers.

8. Avoid plastic

If at all possible, avoid purchasing plastic materials. They can be toxic and often aren’t as durable, break easily, and end up in the landfill when they are no longer useful. Watch for hidden plastic materials like polyester fibers and epoxy. Choose products made from durable materials like wood, metal, stone, cement, etc. Using these materials will save you money in the long run and be better for the environment.

Parr offers a variety of building materials that can help you update your home’s look or build something new. We offer quality lumber, windows, doors, cabinets, and paints. Look for your closest store to get the help you need to make your vision a reality.


decking ideas

Best Decking Materials for the Pacific Northwest

Whether it’s a venue for intimate family gatherings or large social events, decks are a great way to enjoy nature while sharing food and drink or just hanging out. Your deck must be sturdy, durable, and safe, as well as complement your home’s decor. In the Pacific Northwest, decks are traditionally built with either lumber or composite materials. The best decking material for you will depend on the expected life of the deck, color selection, and maintenance requirements.

Parr carries a selection of decking materials, all built and engineered to withstand the Pacific Northwest climate.


Natural wood lumber is affordable, renewable, and natural. It provides a beautiful aesthetic for any deck design. Lumber is a natural resource that renews itself, ensuring that it will be available for generations to come. It is also a durable material, providing over 20 years of service in outdoor applications when properly installed and maintained.

In the Pacific Northwest, we recommend Western Red Cedar or pressure-treated Douglas Fir.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar makes a good decking material because of its natural resistance to decay and rot. Natural preservatives within the wood protect it without the need for chemicals. It also resists splintering, ensuring a long-lasting deck that is safe for children and bare feet.

Other benefits include its rich, earthy color, which weathers to a soft gray, and its ability to remain cool to the touch even in the heat. With regular maintenance, your deck will look and feel good, well into the future.

Cedar trees are a sustainable resource that help remove carbon and other pollutants from the air, providing us with fresh, clean air to breathe. Cedar heartwood is cut from the center of the tree and is more resistant to environmental decay.

Pressure treated (Elite decking)

In the Northwest we use pressure-treated Douglas Fir, or Elite decking, for its structural integrity and durability. The lumber is stained and treated with wolmanized CAC, which helps it last 10 times longer than nontreated lumber. The treatment protects the wood from rotting and termites and is safe for the environment and wildlife.

Our Elite decking provides a lifetime guarantee against fungal decay and termites. This ensures that you never have to worry about your deck’s structural integrity. The product is easy to cut and work with and can be stained to more closely match your decor. Regular maintenance, including power washing, sanding, and re-staining, will help maintain the look of your deck.

Composite lumber

Composite lumber is made up of wood pulp and recycled plastic that is mixed and molded to create a material that looks and feels like real lumber. Capped decking includes an additional polymer shell that provides additional protection.

Composite is available in a wide variety of colors and multiple sizes to fit your design needs. It requires little to no maintenance and is a durable material, offering protection for up to 50 years.


TimberTech composite wood mimics the look of real lumber with the durability of plastic. However, unlike lumber, it resists fading, scratches, or stains. It provides a consistent look and feels, ensuring that your deck will last for years to come. Its 25-to-50-year warranties ensure that you have the protection you need.

The composite lumber manufacturing process helps save trees by using waste wood. It diverts waste from landfills and helps keep our world green.

Azek PVC composite lumber is a capped cellular product. It has an additional layer of protection that helps protect it from weather, UV light, scratching, and color fading. This additional protection allows us to provide a 50-year limited warranty against fading and staining. It is available in a variety of color options to help match your décor.


Trex is the original and leading brand for composite lumber. It’s made up of 95% post-consumer plastic film and reclaimed sawdust. The product is made without harvesting any additional trees. Plastic from plastic bags and other sources is used to protect the wood product. A 500-square-foot deck built from Trex recycles approximately 140,000 plastic bags.

The plastic protects the product from damage and moisture, ensuring that you don’t have to paint, stain, or seal your deck again.

Here to help

With our mild weather pattern, decks provide a great way to enjoy nature for most of the year. Materials like wood and composite lumber provide durable products that resist wear and tear and will keep your deck looking nice for years to come.

If you need expert advice on the best material for your deck, find your local Parr store and we’ll help you make a selection. You can also use our deck design planner to help you create a plan for your build.


Home Improvements in 2022 That Increase Your Home’s Value

Houses are investment pieces regardless of whether or not you purchased one with that thought in mind. Unlike other expensive purchases that can also be considered investments, houses actually appreciate in value when they experience proper maintenance and upkeep. Of course, you can also make changes and modifications to the home that affect its value, and today we’ll go over a number of home improvement projects that are sure to boost your property value. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t expect a 100% financial return on your investment since part of the return comes as peace of mind and enjoyment.


A kitchen is likely to be one of, if not the most, used and occupied rooms in the house which means there are ample opportunities to make changes that’ll positively affect your property value. As tempting as it may be, it might not be a good idea, or financially possible, to make changes to the entire kitchen at once. Although it would be quicker and it might be more convenient, it can also be very expensive if you go with high-quality replacements, which is the recommendation when considering the effect the changes will have on your property value.

Refacing vs. Remodeling

A kitchen’s appearance can speak volumes, so it’s a great idea to make sure that first impressions are positive. Remodeling and refacing your kitchen is a great way to add value to your home.


Refacing your kitchen is exactly how it sounds; you’re giving a new surface to the already existing furniture structures. Refacing is the most cost-effective way to give your kitchen an updated look, but it won’t be able to add more storage space or modify the existing space as it stands, you’ll just be changing the exterior appearances. Since this is much simpler than a full renovation of your kitchen, it won’t have as large of an impact on your property value, but it’s also not going to require as much time and money.

Remodeling your kitchen is essentially a total overhaul of the layout and designs. Of course, you’re able to decide how much of your kitchen will get a makeover but you should expect to spend much more money and time if you go this route. However, the payoff is that your property value will also be affected to a much greater degree. Since remodeling your kitchen is a much bigger task and investment, it’s a good idea to enlist kitchen design professionals to ensure things are done properly the first time.

Styles change quickly, and this is perhaps more true today than ever, as the internet and social media have enabled people to share ideas and styles, allowing for a rapid change in desired design elements. Refacing your kitchen will only give you so many options to work with; it may not even be an option if your kitchen has lower quality cabinets and hardware, as features made of particle board don’t hold up to multiple rounds of stripping and refacing. If your kitchen has features made from particle board, it’s definitely recommended to remodel your kitchen so you can upgrade to higher quality materials.

Updated Appliances

Some people say that a kitchen is only as good as its appliances are, and to some extent they’re right. The appliances are your kitchen’s bread and butter, meaning you can’t have a complete kitchen without functional appliances. Even if your appliances are functional, making sure they’re updated is a good idea because new appliances are much more energy efficient, and they have the added benefit of simply looking sleek and modern.

Newer appliances also often have a range of new features. Aside from energy efficiency, they’re also often quieter and have diagnostic features to alert you when an appliance is experiencing issues that could damage it or shorten its longevity. Since appliances are more complex and much harder to do without, it’s a good idea to consider springing the extra money for extended warranties. You could even consider enrolling in a home warranty plan which can cover a whole range of appliances and features at once and eliminate the need to keep track of what appliances were purchased where, when, and what the timespan is for each extended warranty.

An Updated and Upgraded Garage

Renovating a garage is one of the more simple and affordable projects, and as such, it can often be the first step in the home renovation journey. The most valuable facets to update in a garage are the main door, the garage door opener, and the floor. The floor only really needs to meet the criteria of being flat, clean, and undamaged, so cracks and stains will have to go. Thankfully, resurfacing a garage floor will cover up any stains that aren’t actual contaminants, and it’ll fill in all the cracks to leave you with a fresh and flat floor. It also might be worth your while to throw down an epoxy coat to give the floor a fun appearance while also making it easier to clean and help to protect your investment.

Replacing a garage door would be the next step to take. Garage doors are a keystone piece to curb appeal as a home rarely feels nice and inviting if the main means of entry is weathered and down-trodden. Upgrading your garage door is even beneficial for energy saving because many modern doors include a layer of insulation that can give the same effects as a typical insulated wall. This perk alone might be enough reason to replace your garage door, especially if your garage is below the living area of your home. It’s also a good idea to choose a material that’ll hold up well against the climate that your home is in, such as vinyl or composite material.


Lastly, and perhaps the most valued part of the garage, is the garage door opener itself. Most openers have a lifespan between 10 and 15 years. So as the machine nears and surpasses being a decade old, the parts inside will have already begun deteriorating and losing efficiency, meaning the door will likely become louder and slower whenever it’s used. Even if you don’t think your garage door opener needs to be replaced, but it’s nearing the end of its anticipated lifespan, it’s recommended that you get it replaced anyway. As the door ages, it becomes more susceptible to failure, and the spring inside garage door openers are very dangerous if they break.

Tend to Your Roof

A home’s roof is arguably the most important structural component as it’s the barrier between the outside elements and yourself. In many cases, the roof is perfectly fine and doesn’t need to be replaced if it’s functioning as intended and keeping the interior protected. However, if you’re looking into the near future at possibly selling your home, then replacing your roof before trying to sell the house might be something you should consider.


A home’s roof is one of the first things that home buyers look for when scouting out potential purchases, and that’s because replacing a roof can be a hassle on its own without having to add in the stress of needing work done on it while moving into a new home. Additionally, a home that needs a new roof is one that’ll often get lowball offers since potential buyers will use the age of the roof as a bargaining chip as to why you should accept a lower offer than you’re looking for. Oftentimes, the difference in offers will be much greater than the actual cost to have your roof refinished before hitting the market.


If you know that your roof is in need of some work, or that it could need work in the near future, then it’s a great time to consider upgrading the materials of your roof to ensure it lasts longer and provides the most benefit possible. Metal roofs are the perfect replacement for shingles because they require much less upkeep, are 100% recyclable, aren’t flammable, have a much longer lifespan, and can even help to cut down your home’s energy costs. Metal roofs will add value from the moment they’re added simply by saving you money, with the ease of recouping their cost at the sale being an added bonus.


The bathroom is another room that shouldn’t be overlooked when considering where to upgrade your home while also looking to add value to your home. There’s a reason one of the nicknames for a toilet is “The Porcelain Throne,” and it’s not just because you sit on it. “The Porcelain Throne” evokes ideas of royalty, lavishness, and comfort; and no throne is complete without a comparable throne room, and if your bathroom has seen better days, then it’s probably overdue for some attention. Since a bathroom is used for personal care, its cleanliness and appeal are a must, as guests often judge a place’s cleanliness by the standard that is shown in the bathroom, and according to one survey, 42% of respondents said they look down on a person with a dirty bathroom.

Renovating a bathroom to make it feel more inviting and clean is not only going to help cut down on possible judgment, but it can also help you start your day. For many people, mornings are stressful, and one of the first things they do after waking up is to enter the bathroom. Having a bathroom that you’re comfortable in, and that feels warm and inviting is a great way to start your day off with positive feelings and thoughts. Especially considering that the bathroom is the typical place for people to clean themselves up in, it’s hard to feel clean in a room that feels dingy. Home appraisers and home buyers alike are going to take notice of bathrooms, and it may even be a deal-breaker for some.


Sometimes basements are unfinished and end up serving as a storage room, and while the storage space might be nice to have, it will certainly not add to your home’s value and might even detract from it. Finished basements are a great way to add value to your home and are something that many home buyers look for because it adds extra living space in the house and can be a place for personal rooms that are out of the way and don’t disturb the rest of the home; rooms like a home office, a playroom, home theater, and even guest bedrooms.

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, it’ll appeal to a greater range of potential buyers if the basement is finished; while a finished basement is essentially a blank canvas for people to dream up their ideal room, an unfinished basement can end up feeling like a project that needs to be completed. However, if you’re not looking to sell your home anytime soon, then surely having an updated and finished basement can lend plenty of emotional value by allowing you yourself to chase your dream room; with the benefit of adding to your property value of course.


Homes are an investment and modifications to them should be treated the same. While certain improvement projects are going to add more financial value to your home than others, that doesn’t mean less value-adding projects aren’t worth doing, because a lot of the value that you might personally get out of the projects comes in the form of the enjoyment that you get out of the new space. Whatever your project might be, a visit to Parr Cabinet and Design Center can be the first exciting step towards realizing your dream home makeover.

Blog posts are not provided by Parr, and Parr is not responsible or liable for the content or accuracy of blog posts. You rely on the content of blog posts at your own risk. Further, Parr is not responsible or liable for links to other websites, products, or services provided in blog posts; you use and purchase third-party websites, products, and services at your own risk. For more information, see Sections 6(b), 16, and other provisions of our Terms of Use.

Free Makita Impact Driver Kit or Pit Boss Tabletop Pellet Grill – Offer valid until 08/31

Spend $3000 on a Parr deck package and get a free Makita impact driver kit (XDT131). Spend $5000 on a Parr deck package and choose between a free Makita impact driver kit or a Pit Boss mahogany 150pps tabletop wood pellet grill (PB150PPSl). Offer good April 1, 2022 – August 31, 2022.

Cannot be combined with other offers, limit one offer per purchase, one purchase per household. Other restrictions may apply, contact us for more details.

Build a deck with more impact at Parr Lumber

Make your own DIY Checkerboard with Shannon Quimby

Are you planning a camping trip, backyard party, or games night? Learn how to create your own DIY checkerboard with Shannon Quimby!


Parr Lumber is giving away 3 of the DIY Checkerboard for FREE!

Thank you to our DIY queen @shannonquimby for easy how-to videos.

Super easy 3 steps to get a FREE DIY Checkerboard!

1) Follow @parrlumberco on Instagram or Facebook

2) Tag someone to challenge them to a game

3) Send us a private message with your first and last name and your email address.

That’s it! You are In! Three lucky winners will be announced on July 25th

Watch the full video on Youtube:



Consumer Disclosure: You have not yet won. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win. Three prizes will be awarded, and the winners will be randomly selected. Prize: Each winner will receive one (1) DIY Checkerboard (worth approximately $45.00-65.00). The approximate retail value of three prizes combined is $135-$195, but each prize winner will only receive one DIY Checkerboard worth approximately $45.00-65.00. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. One entry per person, per household, and per Facebook or Instagram account (if entering via Facebook or Instagram). Must be 18+ and Oregon or Washington resident. Entry requires that you follow our Facebook or Instagram and like our post unless you choose alternative means of entry. Other restrictions apply. Promotion Period: 07/18/22 at 5:00 PM to 07/25/22 at 5 PM. Sponsor: Parr Lumber Company, at 5630 NE Century Blvd., Hillsboro, OR 97124. For complete rules visit

Millennial Homebuying Trends

Learn How to Tap into Millennial Homebuying Trends

If you’re planning to sell your home in the next two years, there’s a good chance it will be purchased by a millennial. This generation, born between 1981 and 1996, is taking the housing market by storm. They made up 43% of homebuyers in 2021, the most of any generation.

Millennials have been slow to enter the housing market, preferring to rent their living spaces, mostly in cities. But according to, two-thirds of millennials desire to own a home.

In order to tap into this generation of buyers, you may want to make some changes to your home. Here are some things you can do to help make your home more attractive.

1. Add technology

Millennials have grown up with technology from a very early age, so they are more comfortable with it than previous generations. Surveys showed that up to 30 million households will be adding smart home devices. These hubs, like Alexa and Google Nest, can control a host of electronics remotely. There are smart thermostats, light fixtures, light bulbs, and appliances. All are controlled through Wi-Fi, either remotely from a phone app or based on programmed settings.

Millennials will be looking for HVAC systems, light fixtures, and appliances that can be connected to these smart systems. You can get ahead of the game by choosing smart products when it’s time to upgrade or replace them.

2. Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is important to millennials not only because they are concerned about the environment, but because they also are budget-conscious and want to save money on energy. Recent reports show that 57% of millennials will pay more for a home that is energy efficient.

One clear way to show that you value energy efficiency is to purchase appliances and fixtures with the Energy Star label. This label, signifying energy efficiency, can be found on appliances, windows, light fixtures, and even whole houses. New Energy Star homes save, on average, 20% in energy use.

Existing, non-Energy Star-rated homes can benefit from the Energy Star Home Upgrade program, which targets six high-impact improvements to make existing homes more efficient. The upgrades include heating and cooling, water heater, smart thermostat, attic insulation and sealing, windows, and making your home electric vehicle ready.

You can make upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of your home. These include adding additional insulation to your home, updating your HVAC equipment and water heater, changing windows and doors, and purchasing more efficient light fixtures and bulbs.

3. Add workspace

As pandemic restrictions continue to ease and life returns to normal, up to 75% of workers are currently working from home or a hybrid of home and office. According to a survey by Pew Research, up to 64% indicated that they would prefer to work from home, even after the pandemic. With more people looking to work and go to school from home, there is a need for in-home workspaces. These areas need to look professional and organized, but also be comfortable, as people spend a lot of time there.

Millennials don’t necessarily want larger homes to accommodate working from home. They are having smaller families, so may not need all the extra space. Instead, they are looking for built-in spaces to accommodate their work or school life. You can appeal to this desire by redesigning or furnishing your home to add workspaces. Not everyone needs a full office, so even small spaces, like an office nook, can work.

4. Location, location, location

We know it isn’t much you can do about the location of your existing house, but when you are ready to sell you can highlight certain aspects that millennials are looking for to make it more appealing. Now that many jobs can be performed from anywhere, millennials are looking at more suburban locations. They are also looking for places with a lower cost of living. Next on their list are good career opportunities and schools.

Parr is here to help

If you’re looking to improve your home to make it more attractive to millennial homebuyers, Parr is here to help. We offer a variety of building materials that can be used to make your home more attractive.

Windows and skylights

We offer a variety of options for improving the efficiency of your windows and skylights: vinyl, wood, fiberglass/composite, or glass and acrylic block. Our window specialists work with you, offering advice on the best products and styles to fit your home.


Exterior doors are available in wood, steel, and fiberglass. They can be customized to meet any decor style and will accent your entry.

Kitchen appliances

We offer kitchen appliance packages (this page redirects to so it could work as is) that include a refrigerator, range, microwave, and dishwasher. This ensures that all of your appliances will work together and match your desired decor.

For help from our design team or questions about our products, contact us today.

Opti-frame at PARR LUMBER

Opti-Frame: Benefits of Precut Framing Packages

Change is hard. Many construction contractors resist new products or techniques because there are too many unknowns. Prefabrication and modular construction have been around for many years, but many contractors have resisted implementing them in their standard practices. Innovations like precut framing packages allow contractors to improve their efficiency, saving time and money, without having to change their procedures substantially.

Parr Lumber is proud to offer framing contractors a more efficient option when it comes to ordering lumber. Opti-Frame allows contractors to save on labor and material costs, increase efficiency, and improve safety for their workers.

What is Opti-Frame?

Opti-Frame is a precut framing lumber package that can help contractors save time and money on wood-framed buildings.

It starts when the structural design is loaded into BIM (building information modeling) software and a digital model is created. Using the information provided by the model, the studs, plates, headers, etc. are precut and labeled. They are bundled by wall assembly into precut packages. The pieces are labeled to match the construction drawings, making wall assembly quick and easy. Stud locations are pre-marked, and there is no cutting required. Workers simply follow the drawings, placing the labeled pieces where shown, to assemble the components of the building.

Similar systems have been compared to traditional stick building to confirm their efficiencies and lower cost. Buildings of similar size and complexity were built using precut framing lumber packages and traditional framing packages. The savings cited in this article are the result of the scientific analysis of the two framing systems.

Benefits of Opti-Frame

Saves labor

With precut packages, there is little to no cutting required on-site. Pieces are premeasured and cut to match the drawings. This allows framing crews to focus on installation, instead of measuring and cutting. Also, since the layout is completed at the factory, lead carpenters aren’t needed on-site. Framing contractors can use less experienced, and less expensive, labor to install the framing for a building. Because of its increased efficiency, framing installation time can be decreased up to 20% over traditional stick framing.

Less waste

According to estimates from the NAHB, unused wood makes up to 40% of Jobsite waste. Framers often order 8 to 12% more materials as a waste factor. The precut system eliminates the need to order additional lumber, and there’s no cutting, so there are no scraps. Projects using the system use only one dumpster, as opposed to three with traditional stick framing projects.

Opti-saw ​​​​​​​PARR locations:

Roof Truss Supply Woodinville Lumberyard
Parr Lumber Bend
Parr Lumber Hillsboro
Parr Lumber Salem
Parr Lumber Marysville
Parr Lumber Spokane
Parr Lumber Tacoma

Learn more:

Double Good News! PARR ranks in the top 10 biggest LBM dealers in the US

LBM JOURNAL 100 — Ranks the Nation’s Top Pro Dealers and Lumberyards by 2021 Sales

PARR ranks in the top 10 biggest LBM (lumber and building materials) dealers in the US

Launched in 2020, this is LBM’s second annual Journal 100 list reporting record sales and company growth both in raw survey data and commentary from partners in the building industry.

Parr Lumber Co. ranked number 10 with a 61% growth year-over-year

Read here:

We Made It – Private 100 fastest-growing companies of 2022

The clock is ticking down to the Business Journal’s big reveal of the Private 100 list, the locally headquartered, privately held companies that grew revenue the most between 2019 and 2022.

And that was a tough stretch in which to show growth: Starting at the end of a decade-long economic expansion and enduring the first global pandemic in a century.

Portland Business Journal – Fastest Growing Private 100 Companies in Oregon and Southwest Washington