There's something about cedar.
Updated: May 28, 2018
The smell, the look, the tradition - cedar may be the most beautiful softwood out there.
There are many cedar purists out there. Individuals who feel that when building a deck or a cabin, the ultimate substrate is cedar and I get it. Firstly, it's beautiful. Few can argue against this and the truth of it is backed by the number of products trying to imitate the appearance of natural cedar. Secondly, the characteristics of cedar make it worth the investment. The natural resins or extractives that cedar produces makes it resistant to rot and decay. This means you'll get a longer life out of your investment. There have been some rumours that second growth trees don't have the same properties as old growth cedar but these rumours have been refuted and there is ample evidence that this is not the case. Finally, it smells good. I know this doesn't last and especially on a deck but there is something about the smell of cedar that is absolutely amazing.
“...the characteristics of cedar make it worth the investment. The natural resins or extractives that cedar produces makes it resistant to rot and decay.”
It's also great to BBQ with - have you ever tried salmon cooked on a cedar fish plank?
So, what are the negatives?
There really aren't a lot of negatives when it comes to cedar. Yes, it is more expensive than some other options but the natural characteristics of the product justify the expense. I think the only real negative is the misconception that cedar will always look as good as it does the day you put it up. For interior use, this is mostly true but when used on the exterior you better be prepared for your cedar siding or deck to go silver. In fact, a lot of people are after this exact look and want the product the weather but for those that want to maintain that reddish appearance be prepared for an annual cleaning and maintenance. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely, because there is nothing quite like cedar.