Five reasons why you should choose versatile, beautiful Humboldt Sawmill redwood for your next home project.

Large Pergola

An outdoor kitchen in Eureka, California bridges the indoors and the outdoors. The impressive redwood construction gives the pergola both structural integrity and a timeless, natural feel that works against the backdrop of the woods beyond the house. Photo courtesy of Humboldt Sawmill Company.

Redwood. There are few terms in home and design that resonate like the word “redwood,” thanks to its reputation as a foundational building material of so much of what we cherish in the West. Whether you live in a ranch house in the country or a modernist townhome in the city, you know iconic redwood as a symbol of strength, growth, and versatility. Particularly redwood sustainably grown and milled like the lumber from Humboldt Sawmill. Based in California, Humboldt Sawmill specializes in redwood that excels in projects big and small where strength and beauty are a priority, from DIY raised garden beds to more elaborate decks, patios, and pergolas. It’s infinitely customizable, naturally termite resistant, and provides both structure and timeless style. With summer building projects ramping up, here are five reasons why Humboldt Sawmill redwood is our top pick.

Humboldt Sawmill Horizontal Redwood Cladding
Horizontal redwood cladding looks fresh and modern on this modernist home in Monument, Colorado.

Kelly Edmondson Photography

It’s Super Sustainable

Homeowners are increasingly prioritizing environmental impact when they embark on home improvement projects. And for those concerned about sustainability, most commercially available redwood, including the redwood from Humboldt Sawmill Company, is certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C031337, C013133). The coast redwood itself is a wonder tree of the West, sequestering and capturing atmospheric carbon as it grows, which helps offset greenhouse gases. Humboldt Sawmill plants on average seven seedlings for every tree it harvests, which means that cycle of sequestration continues and guarantees a steady supply of trees thanks to this mindful management. Additionally, the company owns the mills and distribution, making for a transparent and efficient supply chain that additionally helps minimize the carbon footprint. 

It’s a True Western Material

There’s the adage “what grows there goes there” and it holds true for redwood. Native plants may be trending in gardens and landscaping, but redwood has always been a truly native Western product, with the trees having grown in a narrow band from southern Oregon to the Monterey Peninsula for at least 20 million years. And with Humboldt Sawmill’s local supply chain, that means most of the redwood is sold in California, making it a true best of the West product. 

Redwood Construction Deck
The redwood pergola, railings, and decking give this elevated patio in northern California a cohesive, cozy feel, while offering shade and safety for visiting family and friends. 

Barbara Bourne

It’s an Outdoor Living MVP

Al fresco summers in the West mean maximizing patio time. And with redwood overhead and underfoot, you’ll be optimizing your time outside. Strong, split- and warp-resistant, and standing up to the punishing sun (not to mention rain and snow!), redwood can do double duty as both a structural base and a stylish architectural flourish. Redwood decking can be used to expand the usable footprint of your home and create any number of configurations of outdoor living and dining rooms. It’s a gardener’s favorite material, too. Heartwood redwood is naturally termite-resistant and rot-resistant, which makes it the default wood for raised planting beds for edible gardens. At Sunset we love redwood pergolas for their ability to provide dappled shade and for training vines. And anyone who’s ever sat on a redwood bench in the heat of summer or walked on a redwood deck barefoot in the sun knows that it stays cooler than most other surfaces. Warm, dry weather does come with its downsides in California come wildfire season. Fortunately redwood decking also features Class B flame spread and is approved for use in California Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire hazard severity zones without restriction. 

Humboldt Sawmill Easy Integration
This vine-covered pergola illustrates how redwood can integrate seamlessly into garden rooms and other landscaping applications. 

Jack Hutcheson Photography

It’s Naturally Beautiful 

The best redwood just naturally looks good. It’s rare that we cover a home or landscaping project in Sunset that doesn’t use redwood in some fashion, particularly patios and decking where water and sun work their transformative magic on natural materials. The grayed weathered patina of redwood fencing and patios has a timeless appeal we’ve come to cherish. It’s an organic neutral hue that’s incredibly plant-friendly and makes the greens and sages of plants and vivid blooms pop. Over time it further expresses its inherent beauty with each plank and timber gracefully aging, the grain deepening, variations in color evolving, the wood itself settling into your house in a fashion unique to itself and to your house thereby making it feel even more like home. And if you ever feel like a change, with cleaning, staining, and sealing you can always restore those warm tones that redwood has when it’s fresh. 

Architectural Flourish
Redwood’s flexibility lends itself to infinite architectural flourishes. 

Jack Hutcheson Photography

Where There’s Redwood There’s a Way 

DIYers and builders know that redwood is easy to work with and infinitely configurable in nearly countless applications. Whether it’s framing within a building or project, used as a visible surface, finish, or as an architectural element, redwood is perfect for projects of any size. It can serve as a surface, a step, a deck, a railing, support, joist, fence, and decorative element. We’ve seen handsome and hearty potting tables, benches, and dining tables made of redwood. For projects requiring large scale visual impact, 6-inch wide redwood timbers can provide a dramatic structural and architectural detail: as a rafter in a vaulted living room, in garden arbors, or for instant modern farmhouse barn vibes. And Humboldt Sawmill redwood comes in a range of grades to fit the desired application and appearance, from gorgeous architectural grades to sturdy garden grades. Whatever you’re planning on building or remodeling, redwood from Humboldt Sawmill is an iconic Western material just waiting to fulfill its potential in any construction or renovation project you embark upon at home. 

Read the Current Issue Here!

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95. Subscribe now!