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We created the Buffalo Lumber Community with the mission to educate and, in turn, eradicate future failures in the field. 

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Architects and design professionals, custom home builders, construction superintendents, and homeowners looking to become experts in the installation of cedar or wood siding.

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Install videos are geared towards educating homeowners so they can make sure their builder is installing properly!

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Check Out Our Videos

We examine wood failures, figure out why they happen and create webinars and YouTube videos that target challenges and provide strategies for long term success.

ARCHITECTS & BUILDERS

We analyze our interviews and field study results to create classes that provide guiding principles to navigate the challenging and changing terrain of wood use, care, and cost.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

We examine failure to facilitate success. We go right at uncomfortable challenges with hard truths because wood lovers will embrace the knowledge and those who should not do wood will know for sure!

It's Like Night & Day!

Painted Tongue & Groove "Ship Lap" Style Wood Paneling.

You can go with ugly drywall but if you go with level 5 (nice) drywall that stuff is expensive. Obviously it is more for the wood (materials and labor) but it’s not out of reach for a lot of people. It makes a HUGE difference and there is a HUGE impact with it. It’s like night and day!

Kelly S., Fayetteville, TN

Prep and Installation

Western Red Cedar Siding - Clear Grade

All siding ends cut at 45 degree angles. After allowing the wood to darken for several days, a roller was used to apply the clear seal. Marine grade stainless steel split-less maze nails were hand nailed to draw the seams together.

Dennis B., Ellwood City, PA

The Crown Jewel

1x6 Bevel Thick Rabbeted Red Cedar Mill Prime & Paint

The siding is now the crown jewel on what we hope is a historically accurate restoration with a few concessions to modern living.

Bill M., Fayetteville, TN

Matched Existing!

2x8 Quarter Log Pine Siding Prime & Paint

Matched existing stain. You have to look extremely close to tell where the new siding was installed.

Pamela L., New Milford, PA

It's Like Night & Day!

2x8 Hewn Log Siding with Dovetail corners

A real "pain in the butt" to install but the project turned out fantastic. Used two coats of Cabot's acrylic stain and it looks beautiful.

Chad & Krystal, New York Countryside

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Top 7 FAQ's

Cedar siding will last as long as you take care of it.  It can last fifty to seventy years.  It’s all about the maintenance.  And the maintenance question typically has to do with whether or not you are going to paint it or keep the natural wood look.  The more of the natural wood look you want to maintain, the more maintenance you are going to do.  If you want the natural wood colors, the brown tones and the ambers, that’s going to require more frequent maintenance than allowing it to weather to a silver-gray.  The more opacity you add to your finish the more longevity between refinishing.   Semi-transparent stains are a see-thru stain with some color and allow the wood grain to show through.  Semi-solid stains are semi-opaque, masking the wood grain but allowing the wood texture to be seen.  A solid stain gives you a rich, vibrant opaque finish, but hides the wood grain and allows very little of the texture to show through.  By the time you get to a solid stain you are essentially talking about a paint.  You can get eight to ten years before you need to refinish it using a solid stain.  If you prime and paint then add a final coat of paint in the field you can get up to twenty-five years before you need to do it again.  And you’ll add another twenty-five years to the life of your cedar siding.  Many years beyond that is not unheard of.

The finishes don’t really have that much of a performance difference when you’re talking about semi-solid stains, solid stains and paints.  They all pretty much perform the same.  You can put an opaque water-based finish on your wood for a primer then you can top coat any color you want.  The type of finish and brand of finish become more important when you’re talking about the natural wood look.   For this look, you use semi-transparent stains…the see-thru stains with a little color.  We like Timber Ox.  It’s a small company that has created a true oil-based, oil-born stain.  This stain penetrates.  It conditions the cells of the wood as it passes through and it operates more like the stains we all grew up with.  Some of the new formulations since 2012 don’t really provide a good finish.  However, the technology is evolving and we’re interested to see where this technology takes us.  Right now, our favorite finish for cedar siding in a semi-transparent application is Timber Ox Green.

This, again, depends upon the look you are going for.  If you’re considering prime and paint, you will want an oil-based, extractive bleed-blocking primer on the wood before you put a latex top-coat of paint on it.  If you are talking about a semi-transparent stain, you are going to want to find a penetrating oil or a penetrating resin that does not require caustic strippers when it comes time for maintenance.   And when you’re wanting the weathered silver-gray patina …you don’t mind your siding graying naturally over time, you’ll want a wood sealer.   There are some on the market that will last ten years.  They protect your wood from moisture but do not protect the color of the wood.   Sunlight will gradually change your wood’s color to a silver-gray.   There are quite a few finishes on the market.   Seal Once Wood Sealer comes to mind.  Or you can opt for no finish at all. Watch the on-demand Wood Stain Considerations

Yes, if you want your cedar siding to last.  Building construction has changed over time.  Today’s building envelope has tightened, restricting air flow, not allowing for air to escape.  If cedar has no room to breathe, it collects moisture from the backside.  Even cedar can rot under these conditions.  We seal the backside to protect the cedar from moisture ingress when you cannot build for an air space.  We suggest staining both sides regardless of building conditions because it is a very good measure to protect your cedar siding.  

That will depend on the look you want.  Maintaining the natural amber and brown tones of cedar will be the highest maintenance scenario.   You factor in how much pigment is in the stain and whether you have rough textured or smooth textured cedar siding.  You will be refinishing every three to five years, best case.  The worst case would be refinishing every other year.  If prime and paint is in the cards for you, there’s very little maintenance involved once you apply a coat of oil-based extractive bleed-blocking primer and a topcoat of latex, possibly two topcoats of latex.   You can get twenty-five years before your cedar siding needs refinished.  And there is very little to no maintenance if you’re going for cedar’s weathered, silver-gray patina.   You can use a wood sealer to protect against moisture.  Some of these sealers could last about ten years.  Under a few different protection conditions that we set up initially, you can actually let it go without maintenance.  In coastal towns and Cape Code style homes the weathered, silver-gray patina of cedar siding is very popular. 

We could say that cost is a disadvantage, especially if you’re comparing it to an inexpensive wood like pine, which lacks natural rot and insect resistance or vinyl that lacks character and warmth.  Compared to many wood species on the market the cost is comparable.  Maintenance will be a disadvantage if your comparing it to a vinyl or composite material.  But any wood siding will require maintenance because wood is a live product.  It requires more handling.   It’s a little more labor intensive than your standard composite plank products or your vinyl siding products.  Cedar can be temperamental.  The tallies are a little different.  You can’t always get 16 footers.  You have to deal with 6, 8, 10 and 12’s most of the time.  It requires a bit of skill on the craftsman side and can be a little more labor intensive.  In our opinion, you don’t want to consider cedar siding unless you absolutely love it.

Absolutely!  We’ve had quite a few cases where cedar siding sets the home apart and increases the value in excess of $30,000; far exceeding the actual cost of the siding.  The majority of our customers insist on cedar siding, not just for its beauty, but for the value it brings to their homes.

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