Kevin Parker is the general manager of the Courtenay Windsor Plywood location.

Which wood where? How to choose the right wood for your outdoor project

The Comox Valley’s wood experts help you choose the right materials for your summer build

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Summer means outdoor project season for Comox Valley homeowners, and for those eyeing a new fence or deck, success starts by selecting the right wood.

Here on the West Coast, the natural beauty of cedar is a go-to choice for many residents while others prefer treated materials to stand up to the elements.

“Our in-store experts will help you choose the products and materials to get the look you want from your fence or deck, and the longevity you expect,” says Kevin Parker, manager of Windsor Plywood in the Comox Valley.

Celebrating cedar

Cedar is the go-to choice for many wooden fences on the coast. But what about the design?

From pre-made panels to custom designs, consider the style of your home, what you’re fencing and your personal taste. Options include traditional lattice-top, valley-top and solid panels, plus a brand new design Parker invites homeowners to check out in-store.

Alternatively, create a distinctive fence design all your own with cedar fence boards and different lattice options.

While cedar’s natural properties offer some protection from the elements, regular maintenance will keep it strong and looking great for many years.

Even if you like the weathered gray tone cedar naturally acquires, an annual protective clear coat is a good idea. Apply stain on a clear day once the fence is installed.

Windsor pro tip: Rather than sinking posts then attaching the fence panel, assemble posts and panel first, and then put it up. Homeowners often sink all the posts first, then install the panels, but because wood isn’t always true to size, they may have to add shims; by the end of the fence, they’re dealing with a significant gap.

Deck out your home

Decks will look beautiful in either cedar or pressure-treated wood and while installation is similar, the up-front work begins earlier with cedar, Parker says.

While pressure-treated wood can be installed as-is for the first year, protective staining should start the following year. When using cedar, speak to the Windsor experts to choose the right stain for your needs, but be sure to treat the boards before installation – including top, bottom, sides and ends.

Because nails can pop out of decking or stair treads, opt for ceramic screws to keep everything in place without rusting.

Homeowners should also consider a professional contractor for installation to ensure the deck is safe and structurally sound, Parker advises.

Windsor pro tip: When buying wood for your deck project, bring your design and measurements so the Windsor experts can ensure you get the right materials the first time.


Locally owned in the Comox Valley, Windsor Plywood specializes providing homeowners and contractors with quality and hard-to-source interior/exterior home finishing products including flooring, doors, mouldings and especially wood products. Learn more online or visit on Facebook.