-Decks add beauty and value to homes and commercial buildings. “Choosing the right material that creates a beautiful deck and meets building code standards is key to really enjoying your new deck,” said Frank Cueva, owner of Central Pacific Construction in Paso Robles.
Deciding which materials to use to build a new deck is just as important as all of the planning that has gone into where to place the deck. The deck is going to last for years, probably as long as the house lasts. It’s important to take the time and choose the right materials.
Beautiful redwood might not be the most economical choice for someone who wants to paint the deck to match the house. Composite “wood” made from recycled wood fibers and plastics might be the best choice for someone wanting the lowest maintenance deck possible.
Wood remains the top choice for decks and wood with the most resistance to weather, rot and insects are at the top of the list. Cueva has prepared the following list of the most popular materials for building a deck to help new deck owners make the best decision for their senses of beauty and their budgets.
Pressure treated wood
Pressure treated (PT) wood remains the top choice for decks. “Pressure treated” means the wood is chemically treated, under pressure, to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs, such as termites. Southern yellow pine is the most commonly used wood. Generally, PT is the least expensive decking material but it does need some maintenance once installed.
Applying a wood preservative is the first step to maintaining a newly finished deck that has been built with PT wood then stain or paint as desired. An annual power washing is going to keep the deck looking new for many years. Touch up with wood preservative, paint or stain as needed, usually every two to three years, depending on the type of finish.
Redwood, cedar and some varieties of pine
Both redwood and cedar naturally resistant to rot, decay and bugs and their rich colors add richness and beauty to any deck. The resistance to rot and bugs is stronger when these lumbers are from heartwood. The sapwood, or outer part of the tree, is softer and not as resistant.
The appropriate stain helps keep the wood’s rich color; otherwise, both redwood and cedar weather to a silver-gray color. Both redwood and cedar decks need an annual power washing and a touch up of wood preservative and finish every three to four years.
Southern yellow pine is known for its strength and durability but needs to be protected against rain, sun, rot and insects. Southern pine is the most common wood used to make pressure treated lumber, but if you want to enjoy the rich yellow and gold tones of the natural wood, the new deck is going to need to be maintained on a regular basis. If southern yellow pine is your choice, the Central Pacific Construction’s Paso Robles best contractor staff can advise about the best treatments.
Introduced in the late 1990s, composite decking material is made from recycled wood fiber, rice hulls or other fillers, mixed with polyethylene (HDPE or LDPE) plastic or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and a blend of chemical additives. Some brands are made from 100-percent plastic.
No-to-low maintenance, combined with recycling materials that would otherwise wind up a landfill, is making composite materials more and more popular. A number of companies are making composite decking material. It comes in a range of colors and is highly resistant to the weather, won’t splinter, warp, or rot and bugs don’t like chewing on it.
Tropical wood and bamboo
There are a variety of rich-grained, durable woods that are resistant to rot and insects, including mahogany, tigerwood, ipe, cumaru to name a few of the more popular. Bamboo, technically a grass, has been gaining popularity in the last couple of decades because it is grown on sustainable farms around the world and different varieties have been found to be suitable for flooring and decks around swimming pools or patios.
Working with these dense tropical wood (including bamboo) requires the best experience and Central Pacific Construction’s Paso Robles best contractors have that needed skill.
No one wants old, rich looking wood to go to waste and as long as the wood is strong enough and the right thickness, it may create a beautiful and unique deck. Other recycled materials, such as rusted parts of machinery and farm equipment can often be worked into a deck design, creating a one-of-a-kind personal statement. The secrets to using recycled materials are:
- Some new material is going to be necessary for the deck to meet building code and safety standards
- The recycled material must be strong enough to safely serve the purpose of the deck
Central Pacific Construction
3200 Riverside Ave Suite 120
Paso Robles, CA 93446