Building a patio deck is a smart move for almost any homeowner. Not only will it potentially increase the value of your home, but it will undoubtedly increase your ability to entertain others, spend time with family, or simply relax on your own. When building a patio deck, researching which type of lumber to use is of key importance. Know your options, and make an informed decision in order to increase the life and durability of your deck.
Pine and Douglas fir
Most commonly, a patio deck is constructed out of these two materials. Although affordable (approximately $9-$16 per square foot) they will most likely require replacing around the ten year mark. An affordable and relatively durable option, Pine and Douglas fir are widely known as a great option for building an outdoor deck.
Cedar, Cypress, Redwood, Mahogany
A slightly more expensive option, these materials will run you around $17-$23 per square foot. The durability is incredible, and these materials age beautifully. Another reason to choose Cedar, Cypress, Redwood, or Mahogany when building a patio deck is their natural ability to resist water remarkably well.
When contemplating durability, Redwood is unparalleled, lasting on average, over thirty years. Cedar is a prime choice for decks that will be built above your living space, as it is naturally a great insulator. Cypress might be the choice for homeowners who live in insect prone areas, as it is the most likely to repel little critters, such as termites.
Choosing Mahogany can be both exciting and confusing, as there are many different species of this wood. Mahogany can vary in color, insect and decay resistance, and durability. Regardless of the species, Mahogany will always require diligent sealing and protection, but its beauty is considered to be worth the effort.
Perhaps the “new generation” in deck building material, composite deck building materials are durable and revolutionary. This plastic/wood composite is resistant to water, aging, and is 100% rot-resistant. Composite will age over time, but does so evenly, and your deck will maintain an even tone. No need to be concerned with splintering, or knot-holes as it has neither.
Another interesting note about composite deck materials is that it NEVER needs sealant. Thats right! No more hours spent sealing your deck each year! The only notable disadvantage to composite is that while it is durable, it is does not possess the strength of natural wood.
At approximately $18-$20 per square foot, it is typically cheaper than high end materials, but homeowners must weigh the benefits and disadvantages of composite for their home.
Adding a deck to your home is costly and time consuming, and no homeowner wants to have regrets about the materials they selected. Weigh your options, do your homework, and choose the proper material for your project.