What wood to use for exterior trim replacement?


I need to replace some exterior wood trim on our 150 year old Italianate home.
The wood will be painted.
What is the best good quality (but affordable) wood to replace rotted portions of trim? (The areas are not in direct ground contact so I am not looking for PT lumber).
Thanks
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blueman wrote:

I'd ask some other questions first-- What was used originally? My first inclination is to go back on any structure that old. What part of the country are you in? What is the weather exposure of the pieces and any particular pieces/areas?
In general, while it undoubtedly wasn't what was used before, cypress is excellent, as is fir. Much white pine from years ago lasted a long time w/ proper maintenance. More recently, other pines/"white woods" are probably the most prevalent. For painting, cedar is not a good choice.
Depending on the locations and types, you might even consider the newer non-wood replacements.
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year old wood.

So, is the standard pine 1-by-x that you find at a regular lumber yard any good, or is it worthwhile to seek out (and pay for) cypress or fir? (I know its prevalent... but is it any good)

Would prefer not to given the "historic" nature of the house and my own snobbery for wood :)
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You won't easily find cypress except in a couple of specialty suppliers like Downes & Reader in Stoughton.
Plain old pine boards is good if you keep it painted. Cypress, cedar, and a few others will hold up with no protection. If the paint job is good, the wood will never see any weather.
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wrote:

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blueman wrote:

Take a piece to the lumberyard (not a box store) and ask. Would help to find a relatively solid piece and cut it, of course. Inside the weathered it will still show grain/color, etc., and shouldn't be hard to identify. If it's a pine, it may even still have a slight residual odor.
Is it hard, soft, in-between? Does it have knots, straight closed or open grain, etc., etc. All are indications.

Don't know what would have been the most likely by experience, but from I know of the area, I'd say it mostly likely would have been white pine. Excellent choice, now almost unobtainable here (W KS) except on special order. There, probably still available at a "real" lumberyard, no idea about what the box stores carry there...

Doug fir is excellent for weather and paints well. Is harder than pine, but more "splintery". Here at least, much easier to obtain in decent quality.
"Standard" 1x pine at the run-of-the-mill yards here will be pretty sorry stuff -- full of knots, wane, split ends, etc. It would be #2 at best and not (imo) at all suitable for trim work. #1 pine or clear will be available from a good yard, undoubtedly, but I have no idea what it would cost there -- probably less than here owing to proximity.

I'd go that way too, just thought I'd mention it as an alternative. Given that unless $$ are really constrained, I'd try to go for the white pine, but I'd surely want to either select boards or buy graded, not just common stock unless you have far better yards available to choose from than here -- which you may well, being in (I presume) a fairly high population area.
OBTW, some may try to push finger-jointed clear trim -- stay away from it for exterior use is my recommendation even though some will say it is ok, I've never had any that didn't fail at the joints in fairly short time...
HTH...
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Hmmm... even the "good" lumber yards close in to the city seem to have limited variety. But maybe I am missing something.
I will see about white pine, but if that is not available I'll look at the doug fir.
Thanks (2)
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For more than you ever wanted to know,
The USDA WOOD handbook is available online at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm
(Your government dollars at work)
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blueman wrote:

The best wood is what you can afford.
Here are some options: Azek wood is the PVC material that will last indefinetlhy. Usage - same as wood, MUST be glued between joints.
Redwood (if you can find REAL redwood not sap wood (white)) Soft wood, holds up well, easy to work with.
Cedar Might be easier or difficult to find in some areas. Somewhat knotty. Paints wells Soft wood and easy to work with..
Fur/pine that is pre-primed on all sides. Most likely used on your house. Most command wood used today in new construction.
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Depends on what you mean by "trim". If it's featureless 1x planks, then I'd use douglas fir. If it needs to be machined into a complex profile, maybe something like beech.
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blueman wrote:

em.
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What the heck are you talking about... how can PVC take one water to effect paint adheresion? Please explain.
-Lee
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