Sometimes it can be confusing as to the types of wood to use for a deck, or any other landscape structure for that matter. In addition, there is definitely a cost factor. Since decks usually take up a fair amount of square footage, the price per square foot can make a big difference in the price.
So which wood should you choose?
Here are some common woods and features:
Cedar Wood Products
Cedar wood resists moisture, decay and insects. It has a beautiful grain and a very nice fragrance. Sealers protect the wood; you should use a natural one that allows the beautiful grain to show through.
Cedar has good stability with low density and shrinkage.
There are quite a few types of cedar lumber. If you are ordering a cedar landscape structure online, various grades of wood are available. For local landscape projects, you are more dependent on the cedar types of wood available in your area.
Some of the more common types are northern white cedar, eastern white cedar and western red cedar. Some less common varieties are Atlantic cedar, incense cedar and southern red cedar.
Some of the landscape structures that cedar can be used for are cedar decking, hot tubs, outdoor pergolas, outdoor gazebos, arbors, outdoor garden benches, cedar sheds, cedar garden furniture, and fencing.
Redwood is beautiful and long lasting. It resists shrinkage, warping, decay and insects. Due to the fact that it has little or no resin in the wood, it will retain many finishes extremely well.
Teak is one of the most durable of all woods. Not only is it highly resistant to decay but also to the hot sun and other severe weather factors. It requires no maintenance and will weather to a silvery patina.
However, it can be restored to its beautiful golden-brown original color if you prefer with stains. Teak can last over 100 years! See my page on teak wood outdoor furniture
Ipe wood comes from Central and South America. Like many of the other woods, Ipe resists decay. The sun will eventually fade the color to a very nice silver patina. If you want to retain the reddish brown color, there are various sealants you can use. The sealer you choose determines the extent of maintenance. Some must be re-done each year, while others last a few years.
Ipe wood itself will last extremely long. As an example, it has been used on theAtlantic City boardwalk, along with boardwalks in New York, Baltimore and other major cities.
Pressure Treated Pine
To produce this type of wood, pine is chemically treated so that it will resist insects and decay. This type of wood is known for splitting. In addition, due to the chemicals, it is not the safest wood.
In addition, there are certain recommended safety precautions, some of them from the EPA. One in particular is the use of a penetrating oil finish, particularly to older decks.
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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