Wood decks have long been a popular choice for homeowners seeking to enhance their outdoor living spaces. Wood’s natural appeal, versatility, and timeless aesthetic make it a go-to material for creating decks that blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment. However, like any construction material, wood decks have advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of wood decks, weighing the benefits and potential downsides to assist you in making an informed decision when considering this classic addition to your home.
Types of Wood Decking
Pressure-treated wood is soaked in chemical preservatives and placed in a pressurized compartment where air is removed, and those preservatives are infused into the wood, which helps protect it from damage and rot.
Cedar wood is a naturally straight, stable, and dense wood that makes for ideal decking because it doesn’t warp or twist.
Tropical hardwoods are richly-grained, exotic wood from the world’s tropical regions. They are hard and durable, and since the wood is so dense, they all resist insects, mold, and rot.
The following factors must be considered when selecting the best wood decking for your home.
If budget is a concern, opting for pressure-treated lumber is the most cost-effective decision for your deck. The price of pressure-treated wood will fluctuate based on its grade. Cedar decking is slightly pricier than pressure-treated wood and tropical hardwoods are the highest-cost option.
Pressure-treated wood decking has been the most popular choice for a long time. Despite its somewhat rustic and raw appearance, it’s familiar to us. However, the emergence of composite decking has shifted homeowner preferences towards more visually appealing decking materials. When freshly cut, cedar displays an attractive peach hue that matures into a silvery gray over time. On the other hand, the prevalent tropical wood, Ipe, resembles mahogany with its dark wood tone.
The different types of wood require various levels of maintenance. For all kinds of wood, you must sporadically clean your deck with a deck cleaner or mild soap to eliminate stains. For a pressure-treated deck, the only other thing you will need to do is check for loose nails or screws. Cedar tends to fade and needs to be resealed annually. Finally, tropical hardwoods do not easily take a stain due to their hardness, but they need a coat of clear, UV-blocking preservative applied every few years.
The lifespan and durability of each of the woods varies and should be considered when choosing the best option for your deck. A cedar deck will last between 13 and 20 years with proper maintenance. Pressure-treated decks are harder and tougher than cedar, so that they will last 20 to 40 years. Finally, the tropical hardwoods, kept in good condition and carefully maintained, can last up to 75 years.
Before determining the ideal wood decking material for your needs, consider your budget, local climate, and the time you’re willing to invest in maintenance. Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an outdoor space perfect for relaxation and entertainment.
For expert advice and installation for all your deck and porch needs, count on Coy Construction. We are a family-owned and -operated Michigan deck-building company with a 40-year tradition in Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan. From design to installation, Coy Construction is proud to offer a wide range of products for your deck and outdoor needs, such as Trex, cedar, treated pine, and more! Call us today at (248) 363-1050 for a consultation!