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TOH 2018 Idea House: Custom Cedar Touches

The richness, the versatility, the strength, the scent—all of these things make cedar a much-beloved building material. Read on for the many ways the expert craftsmen at Sweenor Builders incorporated cedar elements both inside and outside the 2018 Idea House.

Friendly Front Porch

Photo by Nat Rea

As you approach the house, cedar railings, steps, and brackets are a warm contrast to the cooler gray-blue clapboard siding, black muntins, and stone veneer-faced column piers.

Overhead and Underfoot

Photo by Nat rea

A full-width front porch tucked under an overhanging roof features rustic, knotty cedar flooring and ceiling, with clear vertical grain Western Red cedar railings.

Did you know? The even grain and relatively consistent density make Western Red Cedar less likely to swell, warp, cup, and twist than other soft and hard woods, making it ideal for porch flooring and decking.

Perfect for Pergolas

Photo by Talia Sweenor

Cedar naturally resists warping, cracking, insects, and rot, making it a favorite outdoor building material. Here, Sweenor Builders used cedar to construct a striking, custom lattice driveway pergola.

Cedar Circle

Photo courtesy of Sweenor Builders

The very talented carpentry duo, Kevin Scott and Doug Barlow of Sweenor Builders, created this unique porthole in the center of the pergola.

Post-Beach Bathing Station

Photo by nat rea

Cedar seating and shower kit housing within the outdoor shower are built to withstand the elements.

Did you know? Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and decay, making it a perfect choice for outdoor applications.

A Spot to Swing

Photo by Talia Sweenor

A focal point in the backyard, this angled cedar pergola with Adirondack-style bench swing is the perfect place for an afternoon read.

Petite Porch

Photo by Nat Rea

The back porch mimics the front, with knotty cedar steps, floor, and ceiling, with clear vertical grain Western Red Cedar railings. Casual, all-weather furnishings offer a place to sit and kick off your shoes before entering the house.

Four-Season Spot

Photo by Nat Rea

In the sunroom, the clear vertical grain Western Red Cedar ceiling features a quad of skylights, creating a dramatic look that welcomes natural light and creates a feeling of warmth. Here, you’ll also detect cedar’s subtle, natural aroma—another hallmark of its universal appeal.

Overhead Appeal

Photo by Cynthia Brown Studio

Massive, decorative cedar trusses were built and wrapped on site before being hoisted into place. Luckily, Western Red Cedar’s large, open cell structure makes it less dense than most other softwoods, making it lighter and easier to move about.

For more about the benefits and uses of cedar inside and outside the home, visit