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    Understanding the Differences Between Hardwoods and Softwoods

    Last updated 3 days ago

    There is a common misconception that hardwoods and softwoods can be distinguished from one another based on differences in density and weight. To learn what actually makes hardwood different from softwood and what bearing this should have on your decision to choose one over the other as a homeowner or contractor, continue reading.

    Biological Difference
    The simple scientific explanation for what makes hardwood different from softwood stems from differences in trees’ reproductive habits. Hardwood trees produce seeds in a shelled, or protected form. These seeds may be protected by fruit peels or shells. Softwood trees, on the other hand, produce unprotected seeds such as pine cones. Hardwood comes from trees that are deciduous, losing their eaves in autumn. Softwood comes from trees that are coniferous, or evergreen.

    Aesthetic Difference
    While there is certainly a broad visual difference between deciduous and coniferous trees, there is no clear difference between the way hardwood and softwood look on home flooring, interior and exterior doors, and other design features. Hardwoods and softwoods can both be found in dark and light shades and a variety of textures and patterns.

    Functional Difference
    Even though hardwood is not necessarily denser than softwood, it does tend to be more difficult to chop and cut through than softwood. It is also more expensive, and generally reserved for use in indoor furniture and flooring applications. Softwood, on the other hand, is commonly found on decks and in fences.

    At Southern Lumber in San Jose, our focus is on hardwood flooring but we also carry some softwoods for decks and outdoor living areas. For access to our extensive selection of redwood, teak, cypress, and fir wood, visit our showroom. If you are looking for information about a specific product or service we offer, give us a call at (408) 297-WOOD. 

    Examining the Advantages of Wood Fences

    Last updated 5 days ago

    In an age where homeowners have more choices than ever before when building and renovating, choosing the material in which you build your fence is just one of the many decisions to be made. In spite of this, the classic wood fence remains a viable and preferred option for many residents of the San Jose area. To understand why, we must look to the advantages afforded by wood fences.

    Natural
    While some metal fences are also made from natural resources, wood has the most natural look of any common fencing materials. Unlike vinyl fences and other synthetic fences that are manufactured to look like wood, wood has the makeup to back up that natural appearance. For many homeowners, there is no alternative to the real deal.

    Aesthetically Appealing
    Well-maintained wood fences are almost universally appealing. That classic, traditional look suits almost all home exteriors and natural backdrops, and can also boost the curb appeal of a home.

    Functional
    Capable of being assembled barn-style, in pickets, and as high planks with narrow or no gaps, wood is one of the most versatile fencing materials. From keeping housepets or cattle from escaping your property to giving you the privacy and security you are after, there are many applications for which wood fences are ideal.

    Cost-Effective
    The cost of a wood fence can vary dramatically. Price hinges primarily on the species of wood, style of fence, and dimensions that are chosen. Many wood fences are affordable to begin with, and almost all wood fences are cost-effective to maintain when compared with other fencing materials.

    Among the species of wood from which you can choose to build your fence, redwood is among the most desirable. For access to high-quality, real redwood fencing at affordable prices, call Southern Lumber at (408) 297-WOOD. For more than a century, we have proudly provided San Jose area property owners with fine redwood and other specialty woods for fences, outdoor decks and living areas, and other home construction and design applications.

    Basic Woodworking Tips: Joinery

    Last updated 10 days ago

    Have you ever wondered how different pieces of wood are fused together seamlessly in various furnishings and home design features? If you have, or if you are interested in learning how wood joinery works now that the subject has been brought out, check out this clip. In the video, a woodworking expert discusses how joinery works and gives demonstrations of edge-to-edge and face-to-edge wood joinery.

    If you are looking for a perfectly joined bathroom vanity or hardwood floor or you want to pick up woodworking supplies that will help you with your next wood-intensive DIY project or home renovation, check out the Southern Lumber showroom in San Jose. To speak with one of our experienced woodworking specialists about our products and services, call (408) 297-WOOD.

    Improving Your Home's Style and Value [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 11 days ago

    If you’re like many homeowners in the San Jose area, you’re looking for ways you can make your home more stylish—and reap the rewards of your investment. You can add style and value to your home with a number of upgrades ranging from major projects to minor makeovers. Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, while simple features such as crown moulding give the appearance of height to a room and make your space more visually appealing. By replacing your front door with a hardwood custom door, you could see a significant return on investment. Explore this infographic from the San Jose lumber experts at Southern Lumber to learn more about improving your home’s style and increasing its value at the same time. Please share with your friends and neighbors!

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    Designing an Innovative Wood Deck

    Last updated 25 days ago

    A wood deck can be a great place to sit around by the pool, grill a meal with your family, or simply relax and read a book. It also offers a wide range of options when it comes to designs. Keep reading to take a closer look at designing an innovative and eye-catching wood deck.

    Stencils
    While natural wood decks can look gorgeous themselves, adding a stencil is a fun way to make it more interesting. You can stay with an outdoor theme by painting a floral design, similar to the one pictured below, or you can choose a design that is more unique, such as geometric shapes. If you want you can even add a stencil that shows your love for your favorite sports team. An image created with a stencil, or even painted free hand, can make a beautiful deck even more eye-catching.

    Deck with Stenciling by HGTV

    Slats
    Another way that wood decks allow for some extra creativity and innovation is the way in which you arrange the slats the deck is made with. You can play with the orientation of each individual piece of wood or change the direction of a whole section of the slats. For an interesting way to change things up, try orienting different spaces in different ways; for instance, you might place a section of vertically oriented slats next to a section of horizontally oriented slats, like the deck pictured below. This gives you a way to change up the look of your deck without painting it or damaging any structural integrity.

    Urban Metal Balcony With Modern Orange Chairs by HGTV

    Lighting
    The right lighting can change the look and feel of your deck for any occasion. If you like to use your wood deck for outdoor relaxation at night, appropriately placed lights can truly set the stage. Try outlining the platform of your deck by setting up floor lights around its perimeter to create a softer look. You can also use these lights to highlight certain decorative aspects of your deck, by using them to highlight the railings or furniture. It is typically easier to achieve a relaxing setting by using many low-level lights rather than a few brighter ones. If you are looking for a more festive feel to a covered deck, consider hanging strands of lighting around the outer edges.

    If you are interested in designing an innovative wood deck, call Southern Lumber at (408) 297-9663. We specialize in vanities and cabinetry as well as decks and outdoor living. For more information, please do not hesitate to visit our website. If you live in the San Jose area, stop by and meet with us today.

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