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They will survive: perfect building materials for the Pacific Northwest

SPONSORED — Rain and mountains might make the Pacific Northwest a lush, beautiful paradise, but they also present some challenges when you’re trying to find the right building materials. Whether you’re building a home, a shed or any other structure in the Seattle area, you’ll want to know which materials can withstand the worst weather this dreary (albeit beautiful) climate can throw at you.


Without question, cedar is the best building material for outdoor use. According to Issaquah Cedar & Lumber, a supplier of cedar and other building materials, the softwood is particularly effective in resisting rot, decay and even insects. While cedar is often used for outdoor furniture and fencing, it’s also the perfect material for your home — from decking to siding. In addition to “weathering” the storm better than any other material, cedar is just beautiful. Issaquah Cedar & Lumber offers western red cedar, known for its beautiful red hue and striking grain.

Exotic hardwoods

If run-of-the-mill isn’t your cup of tea, try an exotic hardwood. Not only will it get noticed — any of these woods is beautiful both stained and unfinished — but, depending on what you choose, it will also withstand the Pacific Northwest climate. If you’ve never ventured into exotic territory, check out Ipe, Massarunduba, Tigerwood and Batu. Each wood is unique and strong, making it a fantastic fit for a deck, siding or even your indoor flooring. These four woods are also resistant to rot and naturally repel pests, making them as low-maintenance as they are beautiful.


If you’re thinking outside the hardwood box, you might want to try Resysta, an alternative to traditional wood made primarily from rice husks. According to, the man-made material is resistant to snow, ice and rain. In fact, Resysta has a 25-year residential warranty against cracking, splintering, shrinking or swelling. Since the material contains no wood, your outdoor projects won’t gray or fade in the sun as wood does.


It might seem like a mouthful, but an outdoor project built from ZomeTek is beautiful and virtually maintenance-free. Created from exotic bamboo, ZomeTek comes in various colors that require no staining, painting or sealing. The color you see is the color you get — for years to come. ZomeTek planks are best used for decking and patio tiles.


Also created from bamboo, Moso is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial projects in the Pacific Northwest. Because of its strength and resistance to rain, snow, ice and sun, Moso is well suited for decks, siding and outdoor furniture. While Moso planks come oiled from the manufacturer, they do require finishing after installation, along with a maintenance schedule similar to that of hardwood.


Accoya treated wood offers stability and durability in even the wettest climates (hello, Pacific Northwest). Accoya has been tested to last more than 50 years above ground and 25 years below ground or in water. The material, created from pine, is resistant to shrinking and swelling, so it’s a smart option for a home’s exterior, where it will not cause doors and windows to stick.


If you love natural wood but hate the maintenance, Thermory is a superb solution. This material, created from ash, pine or spruce, is modified using only heat and steam, which preserves the beauty and integrity of the wood. Perfect for a porch floor or deck, Thermory will remain beautiful after countless Pacific Northwest rainstorms.

If you have questions about building in the Pacific Northwest, Issaquah Cedar & Lumber has you covered with the answers — along with products for all your Pacific Northwest building needs.

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