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Wood is the most efficient and cost effective material for constructing a deck. It looks great, weathers well, spans wide joist distances and is readily available. Whether you’re sketching a blueprint, shopping for materials or ready to break ground, it’s important to know what your options are when building a wooden deck. The wood you choose will have an effect on the maintenance needed, longevity of the structure and overall look of your deck. There is no perfect material, but careful consideration of the pros and cons of each type of wood will help you choose the one that’s right for you.
Cedar has a rich colour, is naturally insect and rot resistant, smells great, is free of chemicals and preservatives, and maintains its structural integrity resisting twisting, splitting and warping. Cedar holds up well in rain, sun, heat and cold giving your deck a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. However, it has a tendency to splinter, requires annual cleaning and sealing, is expensive and old growth cedars are in danger of being destroyed.
Red Wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and voracious insects. It resists warping, contains few resins (which allows it to retain a finish), is free of chemicals and preservatives, has a natural reddish tint and is 23% stronger than cedar. However, it’s expensive, requires an annual washing, needs a coat of finish every 3 to 4 years, can get splintery making it uncomfortable for bare feet and supplies are dwindling as it’s sourced from old-growth trees.
Pressure Treated Wood (PT) is a classic low-cost deck board made of soft wood (a category of fast growing species). PT is processed to resist rot, fungus and wood boring bugs. It’s readily available, easy to cut, can be fastened with nails or screws, is easily stained, hard enough to resist abuse and is less expensive than cedar or red wood. However, it requires an annual washing and application of stain or wood preservative every 2 to 3 years. To reduce the possibility of shrinking, warping and twisting, buy a premium grade lumber that is treated with water repellents.
Mahogany is a tight-grained, tropical hardwood that naturally resists pests and rot. It’s prized for its fine texture, beautiful color and durability (lasts up to 40 years). Strong and stable, mahogany will resist twisting and warping. However, it’s very pricey and you’ll need to check with your lumber dealer to make sure that it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council ensuring that it’s logged in a legal, sustainable manner.
Teak is a beautiful, golden wood grown in South America and Mexico and valued for its elegance and durability. Its natural weather-resistant properties are greater than any other wood. Teak contains oils that reduce the chances of dry rot and make it impervious to light, heat, fungi and parasites. Annual waterproofing is unnecessary. You’ll need to check with your lumber dealer to make sure that it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council ensuring that it is logged in a legal, sustainable manner.
Ipe (pronounced ee-pay) is a hard, exotic, dark brown wood from South America. It’s naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, weather and insects. Twice as dense and five times as hard as most woods, Ipe is long lasting and durable but hard to work with. It’s difficult to cut and drill, clips are necessary to fasten the boards to the joists and labour costs are high. Local lumber yards may not carry Ipe so shipping prices may add to the product cost. Ipe is smooth finished and tight grained, which means no splinters. Consult the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure that it’s logged in a legal, sustainable manner.
A classic wood deck is a perfect spot for entertaining, adds value to your home and increases your living space. Take the time to determine which wood is the best choice for your deck.
When you have decided on the wood to use for constructing your deck, call the Calgary based deck experts, Econo Decks. From simple upgrades to complete renovation to new builds, Econo Decks is committed to providing the best quality work for our customers. Call Econo Decks at 403-768-0151 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com