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Cedar (quality at big box stores?)

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 24th, 2020 8:16 am
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts

Cedar (quality at big box stores?)

Brand new to this, so anyone know the quality of cedar lumber over at HD, Lowes, Rona, vs. lumber mills?

It just seems the opposite, where you can get dressed, rough, and framing lumber all cheaper (and better quality) in the lumber mills. But for example, I can get a 10ft cedar 4x4 for $33 at HD or Rona vs. ~$50 at lumber mills around me.
I dont have a moisture meter (though not sure it's that much of an issue for Cedar since it doesnt warp as much?), but the quality of cedar at HD or Rona looks pretty good (pretty straight to the naked eye, and not many to very little knots).

And yes, I know I can go much cheaper with PT, but not only is it harder to find right now, but I'd rather go with cedar.

Am I missing something? or would you trust the big box stores for cedar?
2 replies
Jr. Member
Mar 23, 2015
142 posts
Toronto, ON
First of all good luck finding Cedar now days
HD and Lowes don't have any stock most of the time and when they get a stock its gone in a few days
I got some cedar decking boards a few weeks ago from HD at Markham (had to drive almost an hour because they were the only one's with some stock)
They actually opened a new 120 boards package for me. Quality is very far from good. I needed 40 boards and I went over all these 120 to find 40 decent one's. I wasn't too picky, still a lot of physical damage on the board, cracked boards and what not
Also the boards were very wet. Ok not as wet as PT, but still very wet
Forget about straightness you see in the store, the boards are very wet and as long as they are in a close package they will be straight, but as soon as they dry it will be another story
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2017
789 posts
I HIGHLY recommend avoiding lumber that is stored inside (ie. home depot, some Lowes stores). Wood NEEDS to be outside to allow it to continue to dry, or it will be twisted to the point you cant use it, by the time you get it installed. Do you have any Home Hardware Building centers nearby?