Our Go-To Decking Recommendations
Since the pandemic started, we have been receiving more and more inquiries for outdoor projects. Many of our clients feel that they now have the time to tackle their outdoor projects and are making it a priority since we will be spending a lot more time at home this summer. Upgrading your outdoor living area will only help you see a return on your investment. For example: installing a deck recoups about 80% of the cost when you sell the home. If you are dreaming of an outdoor living upgrade, a deck is usually the first place our clients start and picking the right material is the most important part of this process. Our preferred vendor is, Lakeside Lumber, for many of our decking and framing needs. We've outlined our 4 favorite decking options and what makes them so great!
4 Preferred Decking Materials
#1 Pressure-Treated Wood for Decks
This deck material option is going to be the cheapest option. Made of fir permeated with anti-rot and insecticide agents, pressure-treated decking is a builder favorite because it is so inexpensive. The anti-rot treatment includes agents like copper, which is only a health concern if burned. In our opinion, this is the least attractive material out of all these options, which is why we recommend a "paint" stain to help elevate the appeal. However, pressure-treated lumber has its advantages as it can last for decades. It does require continual upkeep, by refinishing with a clear sealer or stain every other year.
#2 Cedar Decking
Cedar decking is hands down one of our favorite materials to use. The natural beauty of real wood is unmatched. Why do we like it? It's cost-effective (great for almost any budget), does well in the Great Northwest elements, and has a natural elegance that compliments almost any style of home. The cedar decking we use is a tight knot. We always offer our clients the option to order pre-stained or unstained cedar material. Most of our client's opt for the pre-stained option, as this will save them on labor costs and the project will be done a lot quicker. Client's should expect annual refinishing and a life of 15 to 20 years.
#3 Composite Decking
If you are looking for a low-maintenance and innovative product, composite decking might be the option for you. Made of wood fiber combined with recycled polyethylene, composite decking is a good-looking material. Trex decking and TimberTech are the two most common brands we use. They offer a broad range of colors and textures that replicate the look of real wood. We've found that this material should be installed in temperate weather because of the way the material can expand and contract in cold/ hot weather conditions. Another reason we love this material is the long-term warranties offered. Yearly cleanings are recommended to keep pollen and mold at bay.
#4 South American Hardwoods
We have yet to convince any of our clients to use this material as this is the most expensive decking option on this list. We love it because it's a beautiful material, it holds up better than any other natural wood, scratch-resistant, and innately resistant to rot. To give you an idea of how durable this material is: Commercial-grade refrigeration trucks use it as decking because it can withstand that type of continual use. Because of its density, labor tends to be more expensive due to the prep work needed before the install. This material does require yearly sealing to help sustain its original luster. Expect this material to last up to 25 years with proper maintenance. Lastly, we ensure that the suppliers we are ordering from provide proof of sustainable practices that meet the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines.
Image: KAYU International Inc.
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