Outdoor wood selection | Parr Lumber

How to Select the Right Lumber for Your Outdoor Project

Spring is the time for building. People are getting to work on new decks, fences and raised beds. But before you start you should make sure you are getting the right wood for the job. In today’s blog post, Amber (Parr Lumber Albany manager) will briefly cover the different types of wood for garden construction.

Some of the outdoor wood to consider for your project are:

  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Cedar
  • Redwood

Pressure Treated Lumber

Treated wood is essentially Douglas fir that has been treated with a copper based chemical to prevent rotting, mold and mildew. Two types of treated wood are incised and non-incised. Incised wood have puncture marks and are ideal for projects that come in contact with the soil. Non-incised lumber don’t have punctures and is good for decking and fencing projects.


Cedar is naturally resistant to termites and rot. Two grades of cedar available at Parr Lumber are tight knot (also known as #2 grade) and clear cedar. Tight knot cedar have knots in the wood, but they are intact and there are no holes. Clear cedar do not have any knots or holes, have a nice grain to it, and could be used to give your project a nice, finished look. Cedar makes great raised garden beds, but if you were to use them for a deck, fence or patio you should use treated lumber at the base to give your projects a longer life.


Redwood, like cedar, is naturally resistant to termites and rot. The #3 grade shown in the photo is great for raised garden beds. Grade three lumber is similar to grade two. But in addition to knots, #3 grade lumber can also have holes.

Here’s a video explaining how to select the right lumber for your outdoor projects:

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