Choosing Lumber For Your Deck

You have many options these days when it comes to choosing deck material. There is wood, as well as alternatives to wood, that you can use to build a deck. Wood is still a popular choice, but sometimes it can be hard to pick the right wood for your deck. If you know you want a wood deck but are not sure which wood you should buy here are some tips to make choosing the right wood easier.

Southern pine is the most popular, as well as the cheapest, wood decking material. Southern pine is pressure treated for durability. This type of wood also does not contain any arsenic, which used to be in the wood in order to preserve it. Since there is no more arsenic in the wood you should make sure that things such as screws, bolts, and fasteners are made from stainless steel or are specifically labeled with preservatives that are currently in use. You will also need to stain and seal your southern pine decking in order to keep it looking good and in shape.

Cedar and redwood are also popular wood decking material. These two types of wood are a step up from southern pine. Cedar can, many times, cost twice as much as pine can and redwood is generally four times as much, so you have to take that into consideration. Cedar and redwood are better for standing up to the elements as they are naturally resist both insects and rot. With cedar and redwood you will have less maintenance.

Ipe wood, which is referred to commonly as “ironwood”, is very durable and is less expensive than redwood. This will depend on the area o the country you live in. Ironwood is very dense wood and it can last up to a half century without being treated. However you will have to pre-drill the nail holes in the wood by using special carbide drill tips, since the wood is so hard.

Teak and mahogany are becoming more popular these days, as in years past their popularity dwindled because of the fear of destruction of the rainforests. Now there are timbers available that were grown on plantations that have documentation that will show that these trees were harvested in a sustainable manner. One organization that provided tree certification, and one you should look for if you are buying these types of wood, is the Forest Stewardship Council. Both of these types of wood are tropical and fade to an attractive silvery gray color if they are not finished. These types of wood also require less maintenance, as they do not need to be re-stained or re-sealed.