If you have decided that you want to have a deck of some sort, it is not as simple as grabbing some lumber and nailing it together. Before you head to the lumber or hardware store, make sure you know what material you want to use for it. Consider your weather, where the deck will be located, and how it is going to be used. Here is some information about the different decking materials to help you decide.
Redwood and Cedar
Both redwood and cedar look great. However, their beauty may not last long if you live in an area prone to hail or if the deck will be used a lot by kids with skateboards or other rough toys. This is because they are soft woods that can be easily damaged. If you plan on having the deck off a second-story and using it only as a place to sit and relax, it can be a lovely addition to the house. To help protect it from the weather you should consider having a roof over the deck.
Tigerwood and IPE
These woods are harvested from either the Brazillian or African rain forests. They are strong and very durable. They both require pre-drilling to attach the fasteners well. Tigerwood is lighter in color and may have darker stripes whereas IPE is a solid dark color. Part of the consideration for using either of these woods is the fact that they are not harvested in a manner that allows for easy regrowth. If there is a rush for the woods, they will be depleted and no longer available.
Pressure-treated pine can be both beautiful and durable if you take the time to stain and seal it before making the deck. Remember that it is full of chemicals that may corrode the metal fasteners and nails used in the deck. It will require resealing every year or so to prevent it from becoming waterlogged and warped or getting dried by the sun and cracking.
Composite materials are made of wood and plastic particles that are glued together, much like particle board but with added plastic. There are many different brands on the market. They do not split or crack and are slip resistant. In addition, they can be heated a bit to bend the wood to form curves. You will get a much more consistent color with this material and can even have it painted or stained to appear like natural wood. However, not all brands provide the strength and durability you may need for the deck. Research the different brands to make sure you are getting what you need.
A deck should be a place you go to relax or socialize with friends and family. You do not want to have to spend a lot of time maintaining it to keep it strong and looking good. Make sure you buy the materials that will work best for you.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Decks-Decks-Decks.