Building a Deck: Choosing the Right Materials
It’s that time of year when your backyard becomes another living space. A lot of people will be building decks this summer, and if you’re one of them, here are some helpful tips we came across to help you pick the right materials for the job
CHOOSING THE WOOD
Cedar resists moisture, rot and insect infestations.
Douglas fir is very strong, and handles to power tools well. It is also decay, mold and insect repellant.
Redwood is easy to work with, naturally decay-resistant and should avoid warping and splitting.
Exotic wood choices are the most durable but also more expensive. Most exotic options are environmentally-friendly as well.
CHOOSING THE FINISH
Clear water sealer is a transparent finish that provides dampness protection for the wood without altering it’s natural colour or grain.
Tinted waterproofer provides dampness protection with the added benefit of colour enhancement. Long-term protection recommends that you recoat every three years or so.
Solid stain offers a rich finish that covers wood completely, but with the benefits of a stain. Solid stains provide long-term protection from natural weathering.
Paint is a consideration for less expensive grades of wood, but just remember paint will likely need to be redone or touched up every couple of years.
CHOOSING THE RAILINGS
Wood Railings present a classier, rustic look but shortened life cycle due to decay and rot
Metal Railings very durable but if you allow rust to eat away at a steel railing, it could comprimise the structural integrity of the railing.
Aluminum Railings will not rust due to its superior powder coating, they’re low maintenance and require no coating and have a large variety of attractive options for the look you want
Composite Deck Railing are durable however there is a limited color spectrum and are susceptible to expansion and contraction with weather changes