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Q: Is cypress approved for local building codes?

A: Cypress can be used for a non-structural, decorative, or siding material anywhere. Some areas may require the span tables (available here) we now have before allowing use as structural members.

Q: Where can I find design values for cypress?

A: Design values can be found on the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association's website, by clicking here.

Q: Is cypress a good choice for wood flooring?

A: Because cypress is a softwood, a hard finish should be applied and maintained to ensure against marring and gouging.

Q: What is the difference between medium and light pecky cypress?

A: Pecky cypress refers to timber with holes throughout. Pecky from sinker cypress tends to have large, rough holes, classified as heavy, due to lengthy water submersion. Medium means there are concentrated, yet mixed hole sizes.Light refers to shallow pecky. Regardless, all pecky cypress is beautiful, durable, and shares the same properties of regular cypress.

Q: What is sinker cypress?
How is it different from standard cypress lumber?

A: Sinker cypress, as the name implies, is cypress that sunk 100+ years ago while being harvested and is just now being raised and manufactured into lumber. A large part of it will be heart and very resistant to rot and decay. Regular cypress lumber sawn today is faster growing and has less heart due to smaller timber.

Q: Is cypress a good decking material?

A: When it comes to selecting the right decking for your home, there's no better product on (or for) the planet than wood. While there are myriad plastic and composite deck products, their manufacture consumes four-to-six times as much energy as wood.

What's more, unlike American-grown cypress, which is sustainably grown and harvested, these composite products are typically made from petroleum products, which are an increasingly expensive and limited resource. That makes a cypress deck easier on your pocketbook, too.

To make the most of your investment, make sure the cypress decking materials you purchase are clean and have been dried to the proper moisture content. Installing cypress decking while it is "green" or wet has the potential to lead to cracking, splintering and warping. That means your cypress should be stored in a dry place when you get it home, too.

As for the best lumber grade, any cypress association-graded #2 or better should be sufficient to meet all your deck's structural requirements. Do not use cypress boards wider than six inches for any application that lies flat, such as deck flooring, seating or railing.

For the balusters, handrails and other visible portions of the deck, Select-grade cypress will yield the most attractive appearance.

Finally, the maximum span for cypress radius-edge decking (R.E.D.) and two-inch dimension lumber should not exceed 16" inches on center.
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