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Cedar vs. Pine


My husband Dennis and I had been active attendees at the log home shows in the Western Pennsylvania Area for approximately ten years.

...One cold winter afternoon, I found a parcel of land that appeared to fit the bill. With the first phase in place, we... revisited a Log Home Show in Monroeville, PA, which is where we met David Gordon of Katahdin. He was very knowledgeable about log home building and convinced us in just a short conversation that cedar was the log of choice for homes in heavily forested areas.

I met David when the show was nearing the end, but he promised to send me complete information upon his return to his office in Maine. In a few days he sent enough information to assist us in making a decision that we were pleased with. He was also instrumental in helping us locate a contractor with over 25 years of experience, Randi and Denny Pehrson of Rustic Log Homes, who lived in the area where my property was located. Everything meshed.

In addition to actually constructing our log home, Denny helped us with finishing ideas, since my husband I completed the interior of our home from top to bottom. For us, Katahdin is a company that does what they say they will do!

Annetta Fedor & Dennis Kostelich

A tree is a tree - what's the difference?

In short, the species of tree you choose for your log home can make a huge difference. Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) provides many advantages over pine, a commonly used wood in log homes.

Rot Resistance & Insects

Water Content


Thermal rating (R-value)

The R-value is used to measure how well a material resists the flow of heat through it.

Thermal Mass Factor

Another measure is Thermal Mass, which reflects a material's density (in pounds per cubic foot) and its specific mass. The higher the R-Value/Thermal Mass Factor, the easier your home is to heat.



  1. Haataja, B.A. and P.E. Laks. 1995. Properties of flakeboard made from northern white-cedar. Forest Products Journal 45(1): 68-70
  2. University of Maine-Orono - Forest Products Laboratory and Forest Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
  3. Forest Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
  4. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - Wood Handbook
  5. ASHRAE Handbook, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers