Choosing materials for custom decks has become a challenge. Long gone are the days when the pros gave you one and only one choice. Nowadays, you get to choose the material and then you have to pick again since each material comes in a variety of options. And then you have to choose finishes and decide whether you want stairways and a deck railing system. Got a headache? Let us make things easy for you.
First things first…
Before you even start thinking about your options, blueprints, designs, and wood choices, take into account the following:
- Each landscape is different. So whether or not you will need stairways depends on deck construction which in turn depends on landscaping.
- You can sketch out all you want but at the end of the day having a deck contractor helping you out can make a difference.
- When it comes to actual deck building, there is no doubt that you will need pros. Elegance is one thing, safety is another.
- When you choose wood, keep your mind to its long-term maintenance requirements and along the local weather conditions. And ask relative questions to the pro. After all, wood can be stained to remain resistant.
The everlasting question: which wood to choose for deck construction?
- Cedar decking is one of the most popular choices. This type of wood blends beautifully in the natural environment, has a warm color, and it’s highly resistant to insects and rot. But then again, there is cedar and cedar. In other words, there are different grades. The resistance of cedar depends on the amount of heartwood contained in the boards. And then it will also depend on its maintenance. To keep it for long, you have to stain it every few years. And you want the deck finished too so that it won’t split.
- Ipe decking is another excellent choice. Ipe is actually one of the hardest and thus durable wood species. And although this is a good thing for your deck, the ipe deck builder must be experienced. It’s not easy to cut and shape ipe. With that said, let us just add that ipe wood is very resistant, has an amazing color, and will last for years. To ensure that, apply a UV-block preservative every few years. Alternatively, you can use an oil-based stain designed for such hard wood.
- Press treated timber is the third and most cost-effective option. Due to its low price, it’s very popular. But as expected from affordable wood options, it can warp, split, and crack much faster than other wood species. As a consequence, it requires maintenance more often. This will include wood preservatives or stains every few years.
- Composite has grown in popularity lately due to its great properties. But just because it looks like a duck, it is not necessarily a duck. Composite timber looks like natural wood, but it’s actually made of recycled plastic and wood fibers. So, it doesn’t look as dazzling as natural timber but it is definitely much stronger and long-lasting since it won’t rot, crack, splinter, or split. In other words, these decks are very low-maintenance.