Cedar Decking Pros and Cons

Choosing the right material

Cedar can be a great choice for your next decking project, but whether you choose cedar vs. pressure-treated lumber, or even composite decking, really depends on your goals and priorities.

Pros of Cedar


Cedar has a long history of use in decking and housing. It’s a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, and resists moisture absorption, so it tends to last longer, needs less maintenance, and doesn’t warp or split as easily. A cedar deck can last for 15-20 years or more, depending on maintenance and environment.


Cedar is generally a more attractive wood solution, with strong color tones and consistency that can be sanded, stained, and treated for a beautiful finish.


Western red cedar, used the most, is pitch- and resin-free, making it better for accepting and holding many different stains, bleaches, colors, and translucent finishes. Cedar is also available in many different dimensions, textures, and grades.

Environmentally Friendly

Many people are surprised to find out that cedar (and other natural woods) are actually more environmentally superior to synthetic products. It has a net negative greenhouse gas effect (it removes these gasses from the atmosphere), and is renewable and biodegradable. It’s also produced from sustainably managed forests, so it doesn’t degrade our natural forests.


Although cedar decking isn’t the least expensive material, it is an affordable wood, given its many advantages.

Cons of Cedar


As a softer wood, cedar decking can be more easily scratched or dented by furniture and pet claws.

Requires Maintenance

Cedar needs to remain well stained or sealed. You always have the option of an unstained, rustic look, but you still need to seal it every few years.

Deterioration Concerns

Although cedar lasts a long time under ideal conditions and treatment, it tends to degrade more quickly when it’s used for ground-level decks, and if it’s shaded, it will slowly dry out. Again, simple maintenance and re-sealing solves these problems.

Choices, Choices

Cedar decking has a great weathered look (and smell), it can be less expensive than composite, and requires less work than pressure-treated lumber. We can help you consider all your priorities when choosing the decking material that’s best for you.

Start Your Deck Design

Marvin Truckload Sale

Save 10% Off by ordering now

Order Marvin or Integrity windows or doors before April 3rd, 2017—and take delivery 2-3 weeks later—and you’ll get 10% Off your order! It’s all part of our Marvin Truckload Sale, going on now. Not sure what a Truckload Sale is? Learn more here.


Truckload Sales

Saving money by planning ahead

What is a truckload sale? If you need windows, doors, cabinets, or other supplies for an upcoming home improvement project, it could be your path to big savings. By including your items with other orders we receive, we can take advantage of volume pricing at the manufacturer. We get a discount, and pass that savings on to you!

The only catch? You need to plan ahead. Once you order, you’ll have to wait generally 2-4 weeks for the truck to arrive.

Even for experienced contractors, a project requires planning, measuring, designing, and generating a parts list, all of which our professionals can help you with. Before you can order on a Truckload Sale, know your measurements for quantities, volume, and supplies. Start with the helpful tips and planning videos on our department pages, then call the store and ask for the department you need, and one of our experts can give you a quick checklist and schedule an appointment with a designer. We’ll help you plan out and design your project, create a parts list, place your order right from our computer system, and let you know how much money you’re saving with the Truckload Sale! We offer delivery if you need it, or you can plan to pick up your order at the store.

Have any questions? Just ask! Start planning your project now, and take advantage of Truckload Sale pricing.

80 Years Young


Celebrating 80 Years of Serving Central New York

2017 marks our 80th year in business. 80 Years of serving the Central New York community we call home. 80 years of helping homeowners and contractors build this warm and welcoming community, one building at a time. 80 years of changing economics, changing technology, changing environmental issues, and changing needs. Through it all, we have adapted, changed, grown, and met the changing needs of our customers.

Through eight decades, there are just a few things that haven’t changed: our local ownership, and our focus on providing friendly, experienced, informed service to those who trust us with their needs.

Caption here
Delivery truck circa 1975

The world was a very different place in 1937, when Joseph T. Kelly and Thomas Jones (the “J” and “K” that inspired our name) founded JAY-K Lumber. Since 1938, we’ve maintained the same location for our headquarters on Seneca Turnpike, growing along with the amazing economic development of the area. In 1941, Mr. Jones sold his interest in the business to the Kellys, and ownership has remained in the Kelly family ever since.

Over the years, we’ve made many changes, including one of the first “drive-through” lumber yards, drive-through buildings, a drive-up window, specialized showrooms, and much more. We’ve also earned your respect and appreciation, receiving accolades that included “Business of the Year” and “Retailer of the Year”.

Caption here
Dean Kelly

Our current owners, cousins Dean and Jonas Kelly, became the third generation to oversee JAY-K Lumber. Under their leadership, personal and professional service, along with top quality products, continue to be our mainstays. Contractors and retail customers alike depend on us for great products and exemplary customer service. Dean and Jonas have also continued our tradition of saying “thank you” by giving back to the community that has given so much to us, with regular donations to numerous local charitable organizations.

As we celebrate 80 years of community service, we extend our sincerest appreciation for the tireless dedication of our exceptional employees, and for something we never take for granted: your continued support. Thank you.

5th Annual Shred Day: January 16, 2017

Shredded paperJoin us for our 5th Annual Shred Day, featuring our partners Confidata and Deb Cabral, the DeClutter Coach. We’ll have the Confidata truck in our parking lot to shred up to 5 banker boxes of your confidential paper waste, and on-location advice for organizing your life this year. The event runs from 9:00am to 11:00am on Monday, January 16th, and is free!

Confidata’s mobile shredding truck will be with us to shred your confidential documents while you watch from a monitor outside the truck. You have the security of knowing that it’s shredded, and you help protect the environment by recycling your unwanted paper.

confidatatruckDeb Cabral, the DeClutter Coach, will also be on hand to help with your organization plans for 2017. She’ll help with organizing tools, advice for decluttering your home, and tips for keeping your year stress-free.

We’ll also have great deals on home improvement products in the store, so stop in after your shredding is done.

Put it on your calendar now!

In the meantime, sign up to start receiving email-exclusive offers, for savings all year long.

Black Friday/Small Business Saturday: Discounts, Savings & Sales

Make sure you take advantage of home improvement discounts for Black Friday, and let us thank you for your support of small businesses by giving you even more sales the next day: Small Business Saturday!

Special Deals

Black Friday is a great time to purchase that outdoor furniture or grill you’ve been hoping would go on sale. And we even have a deal on power tools, which you can put to good use year round.

Black Friday (Nov. 25, 2016) deals include:

  • Poly furniture: $100 off, in-store only, while supplies last; includes gliders, rockers, and tables
  • Weber Grills:  $100 off Genesis and Performer, $50 off Spirit, in-store only, while supplies last
  • Power tools: 30% off
    • Stanley Bostitch
    • DeWalt
    • Porter Cable
    • Bosch
    • Milwaukee
    • Black and Decker
    • Makita
    • excludes doorbusters and Festool
  • Buy a $50 gift card and receive a bonus gift card of $10*
  • Buy a $100 gift card and receive a bonus gift card of $20*

Something for Free

For Small Business Saturday, we’re thanking you with phenomenal deals on seasonal favorites like the Eden indoor heater, as well as our birdfeeders and free seed with your purchase. We also make it easier for you decide on the perfect gift, with FREE gift cards (see details below)!

Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26, 2016) deals include:

  • Eden Pure heater: extra $50 off the already low sale price of $149.99
  • Buy a birdfeeder, and receive a 20lb. bag of seed for free
  • Buy a $50 gift card and receive a bonus gift card of $10*
  • Buy a $100 gift card and receive a bonus gift card of $20*

*Maximum bonus gift card is $100

While you’re here, find everything you need for your next project. See you on Friday and Saturday!

Murphy Wins Customer Service Award


Call it Murphy’s Law: Elizabeth Murphy, from our Windows & Doors Department, believes every customer deserves a well-informed, pleasant experience when they come to JAY-K Lumber. Her dedication has paid off, as she was recognized by the Central New York Retail Lumber Dealers Association with a 2016 Outstanding Customer Service Award at its annual meeting in Cicero November 4th.

Elizabeth, who has been with JAY-K Lumber for 8 years, prides herself on customer satisfaction, and spends many hours preparing—reading blue prints, and offering suggestions on designs, colors, grill patterns, and window and door construction—so her customers can make well-informed decisions. After talking with a customer about their needs, she will research many companies to get exactly what they want. Customers have said that Elizabeth is especially good at explaining the features, benefits, and trade-offs of all of the window and door products available.

“We’re so proud of her,” said Karen Gerace, JAY-K Lumber Store Manager. “She exemplifies everything we stand for, and is a great example of our experienced staff. It’s what sets us apart.”

Elizabeth has an extensive background in design, with a degree from Cazenovia College.

Recall Notice: Dehumidifiers

Midea-manufactured dehumidifiers, some of which have been sold at our store, have been recalled by the manufacturer due to a possible smoke/fire hazard. A number of brands are manufactured by this company, so you must check to see if your model is on the recall list (see link below).

The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazards. The company is offering replacement or a partial refund, depending on when your unit was manufactured.

If yours is on the list—confirmed at the link below—you should immediately turn off and unplug the dehumidifier and contact GD Midea for either a replacement unit or a partial refund. Consumers whose dehumidifiers were manufactured before October 1, 2008 will receive a partial refund, not a replacement. The manufacturing dates can be found on the back of units.

Find more information on the Midea Recall page.

Traeger: A Grill Like You’ve Never Seen Before


The perfect deck needs the perfect grill, and we have just the thing: the Traeger.

Traeger is a pioneer in wood-fired grills. Yes, wood-fired. They invented the original wood pellet grill in 1987, and have been perfecting and improving it ever since. Traeger likes to say, “It’s a fact—cooking with wood tastes better.”

They use pure hardwood as the fuel for their signature flavor. Traeger owners and barbecue enthusiasts agree that what they love most about their grill is the wood-fired flavor. Because the fuel is used to cook food (rather than provide heat), the pellets are a special variety made to provide heat and smoke safe for consumption. (You don’t want to use your pellet stove fuel for this one!)

Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite 22
Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite 22

The Traeger is also versatile: you can use it to cook any of six different ways: grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise & barbecue. It allows you to cook hot and fast or low and slow. When you fire up your Traeger, you’re the master of all trades and foods, from baby back ribs to wood-fired pizza, smoky mac & cheese, and even homemade apple pie! Anything you can cook up in your head, you can cook up on your Traeger.

The Traeger grill’s ease of use and simple controls let you focus on what matters: your food, your family, and your friends. Their digitally controlled convection heating system simplifies wood-fired cooking, allowing for easy temperature settings, much like your oven.

Consistent temperature gives you consistent results, meaning you can craft the perfect meal rather than tend to the fire. Traeger manages the temperature for you, cutting out a major variable in achieving consistent results when grilling. You can finally master that brisket recipe or take on a whole roasted chicken, knowing you can replicate perfect results. Hey, someone has to be the backyard hero, right?

Traeger also has an active user community, where they swap food and recipes, tips and tricks, victories, and learning experiences. You’ll also receive a new recipe each day, and VIP customer service. The company likes to call it “Traegering”.

Stop in to see what makes the Traeger special, then enter to win one for free!

Tiny Houses Coming to JAY-K Lumber


You may have seen them on TV, or read about them, but they’re taking the housing world by storm. They’re called “tiny houses”, and many people are interested in them as primary residences.

Tiny houses tend to be very small, built on-site or delivered intact quite inexpensively, are low-cost and low-maintenance, and have a much lower impact on the environment. Some see them as perfect inexpensive first homes, while others see them as great retirement homes for low-cost living, or simply low-footprint living in a world short on resources.

Soon you can get a first hand look—inside and out—at a tiny house right at our store. We’ll also have a talk about tiny houses, followed by a question-and-answer session, with Bill Rockhill, President of Bear Creek Tiny Houses in Woodgate, NY. Bill has been building tiny houses for more than 20 years.

Our event, “Bear Creek Tiny Houses, featuring Integrity Windows”, will be at our New Hartford location at 8448 Seneca Turnpike on Wednesday, August 17th, from 1pm-6pm. The tiny house will be on site and open for viewing starting at 1pm, followed by a one-hour talk (including Q&A), beginning at 5pm. In addition to the day-long activities, a film crew will be capturing the events of the day for the TV docu-series “Bear Creek Tiny Houses: Big Stories”. The day’s events are free and open to the public.

Recently, tiny houses have become a center point of popular culture. Many people are considering buying or building tiny houses, or want to know more about them. You’ll find few people who know more about tiny houses than Bill Rockhill. For more than 20 years, he and his family have been building durable tiny houses for a range of customers across the country and Canada.

Bear Creek, which specializes in tiny houses on wheels (THOW), has been featured on HGTV and the Travel Channel, as well as television programs like Tiny House Hunters and Extreme RV.

Bill has been sharing his knowledge, experience, and stories with audiences across the country on television, and he has agreed to spend time in person with JAY-K Lumber customers! Whether you’re an experienced professional or someone who just wants to find out more about tiny houses and see one up close, you’ll enjoy Bill’s informative personal stories and interactive question and answer session.

About the Docu-Series

“Bear Creek Tiny Houses: Big Stories” is a docu-series that chronicles the world of tiny houses through the eyes of Bill Rockhill. Filming for the past year, the show centers on Bill and his family in their Adirondack community, and focuses on the personal lives of those in the tiny house community. To quote Bill, “The houses may be tiny, but the stories are big!”

To learn more:

Bear Creek Tiny Houses: BearCreekTinyHouses.com
Bear Creek Tiny Houses Big Stories: TinyHousesBigStories.com

Have any questions? Ask one of our experts!


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