Is This Cedar?

Old_Home_LoverSeptember 9, 2012

We just put in an offer on an 1875 kind-of-Italianate-kind-of-not. It needs a lot of work but the plaster was in terrific shape on the walls and the wood inside was solid as a rock. There had been serious water damage and leaking to the roof, but the floors beneath are unaffected and the exterior appears to be about 12 inch thick brick. I am told the man who built this house used all cedar in a time before a blight destroyed all of the cedar in Western PA. When I mentioned this possibility to my mother she asked about bugs and I told her that surprisingly enough, in an old house standing empty for four years I couldn't recall seeing even a spiderweb though I ran my hands all over the sills and such. She says it probably is cedar because cedar doesn't rot and bugs don't like it.

1) Is this true? Because seriously I would pay the purchase price JUST to have a house that naturally repelled bugs. Living in East Texas and waking up to spiders and scorpions is not my cup of tea.

2) Can you tell from the pics if it is cedar or definitively say it is not? I am just interested to know, it wouldn't affect our decision but it's a question I have and the seller's don't know.

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Old_Home_Lover

Here is a pic of the ceiling where they knocked out the plaster and lathing *cringe*

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:06AM
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Old_Home_Lover

And finally the attic window. Mostly because I love the attention they paid even in the attic!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:07AM
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schoolhouse_gw

I'm no wood expert so can't help with your question but would love to see more photos of this house including exterior. How exciting.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:31AM
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millworkman

Looks to me like it is Douglas Fir which is also fairly naturally rot resistant in it's own right

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:03PM
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renovator8

I can't think of any reason it would be cedar and it doesn't look like cedar but it does look very much like fir, a common lower grade flooring material often used under floor coverings.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:11PM
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civ_IV_fan

it looks kind of like cedar to me, that hue. hard to tell though, as aged wood takes on a deep hue on its own. i'd be tempted to scrape some from underneath and smell it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:52PM
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millworkman

I still say it is Douglas Fir. I have not seen cedar used interior for a flooring especially T&G as it is quite soft and was never really manufactured as a flooring product.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Old_Home_Lover

Thanks so much for all the replies! Whatever it is it is definitely rot resistant. The place has been rife with leaks for years but no apparent damage to the floors like I would expect and have seen in several other old homes.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:06PM
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