Preferred Woods for Outdoor Construction and Their Sustainability



At FineHouse we have become increasingly fond of Accoya wood; which is a branded name for Radiata Pine that has been modified by pressure treating it with acetic acid, can you say Vinegar! This process makes it way more durable, stable, and resistant to decay.

 In the picture below, we chose Accoya when the customer asked for a black finish. Any other species painted black will seriously distort under the duress of solar radiation. 

Accoya is sourced from certified sustainable forests and is fully biodegradable at the end of its life cycle. Its durability means it has a longer lifespan than many other wood products, reducing waste and minimizing the need for frequent replacements. This unique combination of sustainability, durability, and environmentally friendly properties makes it an attractive option for a range of applications, both residential and commercial.

To learn more about Accoya go to 

An Accoya structure with a painted finish will withstand the test of time, even in black!


Tropical Hardwoods

We love working with Sapele, Mahogany and Ipe. The beauty, range of colors, and grains, are just mind bending.

Another interesting point, is that many of these species hold up exceedingly well outdoors, with only nominal care.

 Tropical hardwoods like Sapele and Ipe are popular for their durability and beauty, but their extraction can have negative environmental and social impacts. Sustainable forestry certification programs like FSC and PEFC promote responsible logging practices, protection of endangered species, and the rights of local communities. To ensure sustainability, it is important to prioritize certified sustainable sources and to consider the environmental and social impacts of their use. By promoting sustainable forestry practices, we can ensure the continued availability of these valuable woods while protecting the environment and local communities.

Driveway & garden gate with trellis, all fabricated with Spanish Cedar (Mahogany Family)


Pressure Treated Lumber & Kiln Dried After Treatment

Pressure treated lumber with it's unfavorable reputation remains one of the most prominent woods used in outdoor construction. 20 years ago treated lumber was made with chromated arsenicals, yes, arsenic. Since then the EPA and the industry have reduced the risk to workers (there is virtually no risk to homeowners) using Copper azole to make it resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage.

 On almost all outdoor deck projects, pressure treated lumber is used for the structural elements, ie the framing. While sometimes used for the decking and railing because of it's lower cost, increasingly man made material that require less maintenance, ie Trex, are being used.

When building structures like arbors, trellises, and pergolas, pressure treated lumber is often used. Here is where an important option exists in many areas. There is a variation in treated lumber that is Kiln Dried After Treatment "KDAT". All treated lumber is kiln dried and then treated under pressure with the chemicals that give it the rot resistant qualities. KDAT is kiln dried a second time after treatment and is a good choice for these kinds of structures, as it is much less prone to cracking, twisting, and checking. Importantly, KDAT can also be painted or stained immediately, a big benefit. 

The sustainability of pressure treated lumber depends on the source of the wood, the chemicals used in the treatment process, and how it is disposed of at the end of its life. Ideally, the wood should come from sustainably managed forests, and the chemicals should be handled, transported, and disposed of properly. At the end of its life, pressure treated lumber can be recycled or disposed of in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment. In summary, pressure treated lumber can be a sustainable choice for outdoor construction projects when sourced responsibly, treated with safe chemicals, and disposed of properly.

Kiln Dried After Treatment - Pressure Treated Pine Fence

A horizontal designed fence, using Kiln Dried After Treatment - Pressure Treated Pine


Sign Up Here
& We will keep you abreast of any new posts in the Blog!