Pro Advice

Choosing the grade of redwood for your fence

You really can’t go wrong with a redwood fence — regardless of the grade you choose.

Regardless of grade, when it comes to fence material you can’t do better than redwood. Redwood lumber is strong, stable, and resistant to insects and rot. It’s less likely than other woods to swell or shrink after installation, which means fewer splits and cracks over time. And the innate red hue of redwood is simply breathtaking.

For those of us in California, where redwood is locally milled (and thus more affordable), redwood is often the go-to lumber for outdoor construction projects.

But once customers select redwood for their fence, deck, or arbor, they still have a choice to make. Which grade of redwood is right for them?

Con Common: the most popular grade

As its name suggests, Con Common—also known as Construction Common or Con/Com—is used in constructing fences and other structures most frequently. Culled from the outer part of the log (sapwood), its appearance is more white than red (although our mills do sometimes deliver Con Common boards with some red Heart content as well). Con Common lumber contains tight, sound knots where branches once originated.

Con Common is the most affordable grade of redwood. It is the default selection at AMM Fencing, with the majority of our customers going this route.

Con Heart: a higher grade

Con Heart—or Construction Heart or Con/Hrt—comes from the inner part of the redwood log and thus appears red in tone. While not entirely free of knots, Con Heart contains fewer than Con Common. It also offers a slightly greater resistance to rot and insects.

Con Heart carries a higher price tag than Con Common but still offers a great value.

Clear All Heart: the pinnacle of redwood

For customers looking for a truly perfect lumber, Clear All Heart redwood is the way to go. With deep, red tones and no knots whatsoever, Clear All Heart provides a pristine appearance that stands apart from all other lumbers.

With more resistance to rot and insects than the lower grades, Clear All Heart redwood can come into direct contact with the ground, thus eliminating the need for a kickboard.

Clear All Heart is the most expensive redwood.

Stunning in every grade

If you’d like to learn more about the various grades of redwood, or see samples of different boards, give us a call. We’re always happy to welcome you to our showroom or bring options to you directly.

But keep this in mind: When it comes to redwood, you can’t go wrong. Over our 10-year history, AMM Fencing has built enough fencing to extend from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. Every yard along the way—regardless of grade—has a happy homeowner enjoying the view.

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