Why California Redwood Is the Beautiful, Long-Lasting, and Sustainable Building Material You Need
Not just for hot tubs anymore, redwood lumber grown in environmentally conscious ways from Humboldt Sawmill is the perfect home-building solution for the West.
Nothing influences the feel of a home quite like the materials from which it’s made. So, when it came time for Camille Styles to refine the exterior of her Malibu home, she looked to the natural beauty and durability of California redwood, sourced from Humboldt Sawmill, for her coastal property, Sunset’s 2023 Idea House.
“There are certain materials I’ve always been drawn to, and they usually come from the Earth—stone, wood, linen, and clay,” says Styles. Since wood illuminates the natural raw beauty of coastal California, it was the perfect fit for the home’s exterior. “The soul of the house is surf shack vibes, and we knew that a wood-clad exterior would capture the timeless, beachy essence we were after.”
The Right Wood
While researching domestic wood species, Styles was intrigued by the natural beauty and durability of California redwood. She decided it was the right fit after talking to the team at Humboldt Sawmill, one of Sunset’s Idea House partners. “They shared details about redwood’s strength and natural resistance to termites and decay,” which is a consideration for coastal living, adds Styles.
Even more, the purity of the material was compelling. As the team at Humboldt Sawmill confirms, all the redwood and Douglas fir products the company offers are completely natural wood. They’re not derived from plastics or petroleum-based sources, which makes them an ideal fit for the organic environment that Malibu embodies.
When installed, the beauty of the wood is evident, but over time it will patina to a driftwood gray tone fitting with the aesthetic Styles is hoping to obtain. As she adds, she loves the warm tones of redwood even more with age. “So we’re working with our builders to treat the wood so that it develops that beautiful grayed-out color even faster.”
Sustainability at Its Core
Choosing materials and methods that best honor the earth has been paramount for Styles during her renovation. Given that Humboldt Sawmill is dedicated to such makes the company and its redwood and Douglas fir even more compelling. The timberlands, manufacturing, and distribution operations of Humboldt Sawmill are certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C013133). Harvest rates for Humboldt Sawmill redwood and Douglas fir are only about one percent of the total inventory of trees the company owns, meaning that the company grows significantly more trees than it harvests annually.
Additionally, Humboldt Sawmill redwood and Douglas fir products are harvested following California’s Forest Practice Rules. Architects, consumers, contractors, and developers can be assured that Humboldt Sawmill redwood and Douglas fir lumber and timbers are produced to the highest possible environmental standards.
And because all Humboldt Sawmill redwood and Douglas fir products are manufactured in California, their overall carbon footprint of transporting the wood to Styles’s Malibu home location is relatively low compared with materials from further away.
Styles says that the most impactful design decisions are usually the ones you agonize over, “since the final verdict can completely change a home’s appearance.” But the energy spent choosing Humboldt Sawmill redwood will prove worthwhile for decades and beyond.