People are often surprised to learn Rick’s doesn’t build decks out of the ever-popular Western Red Cedar. Instead, we use something even better: Port Orford cedar.
Why? Because strength tests have proven it’s the strongest material available for wood deck construction.
Don’t take our word for it
To measure the specific properties of Port Orford cedar, Portland timber company C&D Lumber Co. pitted Port Orford against the other leading woods in a series of strength and hardness tests. The verdict was clear: Port Orford cedar came out on top in all categories, handily beating out other tough woods like Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Incense Cedar.
Where it comes from
Port Orford cedar is native to a narrow, 220-mile strip of land from the northern edge of California into the western coast of Oregon. It’s also known as Port Orford White Cedar, Oregon Cedar, and Lawson Cypress. Once Port Orford cedar was discovered, it quickly became a preferred building material due to its superior strength and ease of use in construction.
Port Orford around the world
Despite its natural scarcity, Port Orford cedar has typically been in high demand for boats and yachts, clothing chests, aircraft components, musical instruments, and high-grade arrow shafts. In Japan and other parts of Asia, Port Orford has traditionally been imported as a material for building temples and homes due to its superior properties.
Why we love it
Port Orford’s natural resilience to decay and ability to handle the toughest of external conditions makes it a standout amongst other types of cedars, especially for the Pacific Northwest. Where other woods will warp, rot or twist when exposed to external conditions for extended periods of time, Port Orford cedar can handle the elements like no other wood material can.
Port Orford’s ability to bend under impact means your deck won’t warp over time due to extended pressure, and its superior crushing strength guarantees outstanding resilience in the face of heavy crashes or drops. Combine this with cedar’s high resilience to warping and weathering, natural insect-repelling oils, and high tolerance for accepting stains, and you can clearly see why Rick’s is proud to say all of our custom wood decks are built using Port Orford cedar—the strongest cedar in the world.