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Deck Materials

After you have decided to build a deck, your next major decision should be what kind of material to use. There are a number of aesthetic and practical considerations to take into account when making your decision. Here are a few of our suggestions to help you make an informed choice.

Pressure-Treated Lumber
By far the least expensive material, pressure-treated lumber is the traditional choice. Often made out of fir or pine, this lumber will give your deck a rustic, natural look. One thing to consider about using poressure-treated lumber: you must stain and re-stain your deck several times during its lifetime, so the initial cost-savings will be offset by maintenance.

Rot-Resistant Wood
Cedar and cypress are both natural woods that are resistant to rot and decay. They are often easier to work with than pressure-treated pine and they are just as structurally strong. These woods cost more than regular lumber. One way to offset these costs is to use pressure treated wood for non-structural components and the parts of your the deck that won't be exposed to the elements.

Synthetic Material
When you use synthetic materials to constuct your deck, you can expect a high cost and low maintenance. Polymers such as vinyl will last far longer than wood and they won't splinter or break as easily. They are installed the same way and are available in just about any color. They are a great option for a deck that needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. If you are not impressed by the synthetic look of these materials, you can always get polymers that are blended with organic wood. This ensures that you will have a strong deck that still looks like wood. It is the best of both worlds really.

Here is a rough price guide to help you make your decision about what deck materials to buy. Please note that costs may fluctuate, so check your local home hardware store for updated pricing. Below are deck material costs per foot:

  • Pressure Treated Pine 35 cents
  • Cypress 65 cents
  • Cedar 75 cents
  • Redwood $1.50
  • Wood/Plastic Synthetic $2.50
  • Vinyl Lumber $2.70