08:00AM | 07/07/03
Member Since: 07/06/03
2 lifetime posts
We're considering a ground-level deck (it's either that or a paver patio). If we go the deck route, we'll use cedar or redwood (unless a deck means that we need to stain or treat or seal it frequently, in which case we'll reconsider because we need more home maintenance like a hole in the head ). Do cedar or redwood NEED to be maintained, or is simply an option for a less-weathered-looking deck? thanks.


10:53AM | 07/07/03
Member Since: 07/06/03
6 lifetime posts
Cedar and Redwood are considered to have a degree of natural resistance to decay and insect infestation in comparison to other wood species, but maintaining the wood with a quality treatment product is essential to prolonging the life of the deck. Also, depending on the source and grade of the particular lumber you choose, how long the untreated wood will stand up to the elements can vary greatly. Since you mention that you're planning a ground-level design, your exposure to moisture and insects would make treatment even more important. Bottom line is, it's a matter of how long you want your deck to last - you'll replace a well-maintained deck much later.

A couple of alternatives with which you can ignore the maintenance with less penalty:

- Use a wood species called Ipe (ee-pay), also known as Ironwood. It's an exotic Brazilian hardwood that is extremely durable. It's quite attractive and you can forget about the maintenance for a long time, but it's more expensive and, it is so hard and dense, you must use screws - too hard to nail - and you'll wear out sawblades a little faster.

- Use pressure-treated pine for your substructure, and a synthetic decking material for the deck surface. The synthetic decking is also somewhat pricey, but requires no maintenance, and the pressure-treated lumber also has a rather long lifespan without maintenance, especially if you use concrete footers to keep substructure posts away from ground contact.

Good luck.


06:50PM | 07/09/03
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
Go with a ground treat pressure treated structural for the frame (that is not included in new cca law) & a composite decking for the best results.


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