Understanding lumber grades will help ensure you meet design expectations. Structural framing products are graded for their strength and other physical properties, as opposed to appearance products, which are graded for their aesthetic properties.

Below are resources for species-specific appearance lumber grades.

Douglas Fir

Western Wood Products Association:

Douglas Fir Grading

Products Graded for Appearance: Douglas Fir

Eastern White Pine

Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association:

Standard Grading Guides for Northeastern Lumber

General Definitions and Instructions for Grading Eastern White Pine Boards

Interpreting a Grade Stamp

The 5 Grades of Eastern White Pine Grade – Photo Sheet

Hem Fir

Western Wood Products Association:

Characteristics & Best Uses


Appearance Products

Baseboards and Molding

Ponderosa Pine

Western Wood Products Association:



Paneling and Molding


California Redwood Association:

Redwood Lumber Grades and Uses

Behind the Grade Stamp

Redwood Fences

Special Purpose Structural Grades for Decks

Redwood Deck Construction

Southern Pine

Southern Forest Products Association:

Grade Descriptions

Southern Pine Decks and Porches

Southern Pine Inspection Bureau: Standard Patterns

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association:

Grades, Sizes, Grade Classifications and Specifications

Quick Facts

How to Specify Western Red Cedar

Western Wood Products Association

Grade Categories: Appearance

Interpreting the Grade Stamp

Specifying Finish and Siding Grades