Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, this Rancho-style home first built in 1925 received an outdoor living upgrade using Redwood timbers.
Jack Hutcheson Photography Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, this Rancho-style home first built in 1925 received an outdoor living upgrade using Redwood timbers.

While technology seems to be changing ever more quickly, there are some products that have stood the test of time. Natural wood is one such product. To provide more insight into how long-term trends favor natural wood, we discussed the issues with Jessica Hewitt, marketing director for Humboldt Redwood.

The labor shortage has forced builders to get creative. Does natural wood offer any benefits over alternative materials in terms of ease of building?

Yes, if you think about decks, for example, many of the composite materials require special tools or clip systems, never mind the weight of some of those materials potentially requiring more than one person to help move around and install them. With natural wood decking, particularly a durable softwood such as Humboldt Redwood, there are no special tools or clip systems needed, general carpentry and woodworking skills are all that is required. Ease of installation is particularly important to builders operating in the affordable housing space, where productivity makes a big difference in margins.

Metamorphosis Landscaping creates intimate spaces utilizing luscious plantings and beautiful Humboldt Redwood timber–constructed pergolas and shade structures.
Jessica Hewitt Metamorphosis Landscaping creates intimate spaces utilizing luscious plantings and beautiful Humboldt Redwood timber–constructed pergolas and shade structures.
Natural wood decking, such as Humboldt Redwood, features unparalleled ease of building whereby general carpentry and woodworking skills are all that is required.
Pine Photo Natural wood decking, such as Humboldt Redwood, features unparalleled ease of building whereby general carpentry and woodworking skills are all that is required.

We have recently witnessed tariffs and worldwide illness spread, which have caused manufacturers across many industries to experience supply chain concerns and disruptions. Any long-term trends there that favor natural wood?

We rarely think about where all our stuff comes from, and more rarely still about the component materials inside all that stuff and where those components come from. Recent overseas disruptions have exposed how long supply chains have gotten and how far flung component and raw materials may be. The beauty of natural wood is … it’s wood! There are no component materials. For U.S. based operations, there is much less chance of disruption as the supply chain is much shorter. This offers a lot of tangible benefits to architects as they think about which products to specify, but also builders and contractors as they go about sourcing those products.

Do any specific design trends continue to favor natural wood?

The need for shade and comfort in outdoor spaces greatly favors wood, particularly a naturally durable and beautiful species. Landscape designers like Metamorphosis Landscaping in the San Francisco Bay Area design and build pergolas and shade structures with redwood timbers to not only provide shade and comfort, but also to define and create intimate spaces. That could be a cozy book nook, or shaded seating area next to a swimming pool. The versatility of natural wood means that there are few limits to what designers can dream up.

Influencer and HGTV host Orlando Soria helped his parents realize a new kitchen with an attached, elevated deck space. Large Humboldt Redwood timbers were crucial to the project’s success.
Bourne Photo Influencer and HGTV host Orlando Soria helped his parents realize a new kitchen with an attached, elevated deck space. Large Humboldt Redwood timbers were crucial to the project’s success.

Any final thoughts or suggestions for resources for readers to learn more about Humboldt Redwood?

Sure. Our research shows that segments of the population, often those that have attained higher education levels, prefer sustainable materials. We have a strong sustainability story to tell. With certification to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC C013133), Humboldt Redwood has additional environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration. Readers can visit our Resource Library for current Humboldt Redwood product information, including details about our FSC certified products.