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The Best Type Of Wood For Decks

outdoor decks in New Orleans - Big Easy Landscaping

Decks are commonplace in New Orleans and it seems like the love for it is only growing. 

Homeowners without decks are buying into the idea of adding a deck to their house for entertainment and as home improvement projects. 

If you are one such homeowner, you will want to read this article. 

Herein we will explore one of the most critical aspects of building a deck – understanding the various types of woods most suitable for deck building. 

Material selection is an essential part of getting your dream deck. 

The type of wood you choose to build your deck with will determine or, at the very least, influence the longevity, aesthetics, design, and budget of your project. 

Moreover, the wood you build your deck with will affect the return on investment you accrue from the addition or refurbishment of your deck. 

It is important to note that wooden decks are known to yield an ROI as high as 80% compared to composite decks, which generate an ROI of up to 60%. 

However, composite materials tend to last longer than natural wood. 

As you can appreciate, you must balance all the considerations when choosing wood for your deck. Better yet, you should consult Big Easy Landscaping as the premier deck builders in New Orleans

#1. Cedar 

Cedar is a popular choice for many NOLA homeowners.

It’s a quintessential deck wood that gives you that classic look on your deck. Moreover, it has properties that make it the perfect material for deck building. 

The material can withstand moisture, insect infestation, and rot, all of which affect the durability of a deck. 

cedar wood deck - Big Easy Landscaping

The material that makes up the cedar tends to change its moisture content to match the moisture content in the air. 

This mechanism allows the wood to withstand cracking induced by variation in moisture. Cedar decks have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. However, with exceptional care, the wood can last just as much as some tropical hardwoods. 

For all its good, the material is relatively soft. As such, cedar decks tend to wear very fast when exposed to high foot traffic. 

#2. Redwood 

Redwood is another popular softwood used in the construction of decks. Unlike cedar that has a yellowish tint, redwood has a distinct reddish hue. Additionally, it is about 23% stronger than cedarwood, which means it can better withstand foot traffic.

However, redwood is similar to cedar in many other aspects. 

For instance, the material features the same insect infestation resistance, rot, and moisture. 

redwood deck - Big Easy Landscaping

As such, the redwood is an appealing deck material should you want a deck material with the same properties such as cedar but with a deeper color tone. The deck can last up to 20 years. With the annual pressure wash and refinishing, the material can last longer than 20 years.

#3. Tropical Hardwoods 

For this class of wood, mahogany and ipe are the most common. 

However, your deck design might call for the use of other types of hardwood including Balau, Tigerwood, Cumaru, and Massaranduba. 

Their most significant benefit is their incredible, luxurious look. 

tropical wood for decks - Big Easy Landscaping

Hardwood is a stand out material that imparts a luxurious feel to your surroundings. Additionally, the material is incredibly robust and lasts long. It can withstand insects, rotting, and moisture for long. 

That said, it does have its downside. 

The most notable concern for many homeowners is the environmental impact of cutting down hardwood trees for the lumber. 

Deforestation is a huge issue that affects everyone around the world. 

With this in mind, ensure your hardwood lumber supplier is FSC compliant. The certification is a testament that the wood has been sourced responsibly and respect to the environment.

Another downside is the expensive price of the wood. 

Typically, hardwood will cost 3X more than softwood lumber. Moreover, their laborious installation process means that your deck builder will need a lot of help to finish the project resulting in high labor costs that further increase the price of a hardwood deck.

Related: Know more about tropical hardwood

#4. Composite Woods

Composite wood decks are growing in popularity owing to their appealing properties. 

For instance, the polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride material that composite decks are made of is recycled material. 

Additionally, the material is flexible enough to suit any deck design you might have in mind, unlike some natural woods. Finally, the material is cheap to buy and needs little to no maintenance.

On the flip side, the material does not ooze the natural charm, feel, and aesthetics. It can also be slippery when rained on, creating a hazardous environment.

#5. Pressure Treated Wood 

Pressure-treated wood entails taking a load of lumber and loading it into a treatment chamber and sealing it. 

Thereafter, manufacturers raise the internal pressure in the treatment chamber, and they inject the waterborne preservation treatment chemicals into the chamber. 

treated wood for decks - Big Easy Landscaping

This process turns softwood into weather and insect resistant woods. Importantly, the lumber is highly cost-effective. Some of the pressure-treated woods commonly used in deck construction include:

Douglas Fir 

Douglas fir is another softwood that you could use to build your deck. 

Not only is the material beautiful, but it is also easy to work with. Your deck designer will find it easy to work with as they can use power and hand tools with ease without damaging the material. 

However, for best results, the materials should be treated. 

With proper treatment, the material will be able to withstand decay, insects such as termites, and mold. As such, for longevity, you need to purchase treated Douglas fir.

Southern Yellow Pine

The Southern Yellow Pine is another pressure-treated wood you can use to construct your deck. 

Pressure-treated Southern Yellow Pine is strong, durable, rot and insect resistant. And just like the Douglas fir, Southern Yellow pine is cheap to use in deck construction.

However, treated wood can be costly to own in the long run. 

The deck material is cheap to purchase but requires considerably more maintenance. You need to restain, repaint, or refinish your deck, which depending on your location, can be quite frequent. 

While choosing the right deck material is critical, the quality of workmanship is equally important. 

Whether you want a hearthstone deck, a hardwood deck, or a cedar deck, we are up to the task. Our deck designers and deck builders will install a new deck or refurbish an existing deck to be as good as new.

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