Category Archives: Hardwood News

What is the Lifespan of Ipe Wood?

You will see on our site that we say up to 75-Years. Some people say how can a wood last this long? This brings up some good points that often people don’t think about. Ipe material can absolutely last up to 75 years and indoor flooring may be longer. But I am going to list 5 major considerations that you have to take into account.

1. Application and Exposure – If you are comparing a pier that’s in the sun all day to a covered porch, this will be drastically different. However, up to 75 years is reasonable as even the Coney Island Ipe Boardwalk that was made in the 1940s and has been in high traffic commercial use for over 7 decades used Ipe decking. They have replaced some boards from time to time, but remember this is a high-traffic commercial site, next to the seawater and with full sun exposure

2. Size of Boards – if you buy the smallest boards like a 1×6 instead of a 5/4×6 you will not get the same lifespan, thicker boards weather better over time. Thicker boards also enable you to sand it if needed, bringing back a beautiful face to the project many more times and also giving you more options for remediation if needed in the future.

3. Board Modification I.E. Grooving – If you groove or pre-groove  the boards it can further reduce the lifespan, as it is creating a weaker side where the groove is in the board.

4. Treatment – Annual maintenance on Ipe is not required if you are okay with the boards turning grey. We currently recommend and sell only Messmer’s and Ipe Oil. The chemicals have been changing due to regulations and some brands we are finding are requiring more frequent treatments to keep the boards with a finish looking good. The treatments can further extend the life, but again, it is not necessary with Ipe.

5. Lumber Quality – When buying often times customers will try to make a lower-grade board work to save money. This can affect the longevity due to the defects that make boards lower grade. This occurs due to the weather such as rain or snow, getting into things like knots. When water snow or temperature change occurs it can cause the defects to expand and contract and lose stability and even expand. The longest-lasting boards for Ipe are FAS grade which has very little or even no visible defects in the boards.

A Complete Guide to Natural Wood Flooring Trends

Hardwood floors are a feature that nearly all homeowners want in their homes. They’re loved not only for their look but for the ease of cleaning they provide. Wooden flooring is a classic that has staying power within home trends. With a variety of flooring options, there is hardwood flooring for every homeowner’s style. Whether you’re doing a full remodel or only updating your floors, wood flooring is a great choice. Looking to keep your home’s style up to date? Here are some natural wood flooring trends you should keep an eye on for your home.

Matte Floors

Satin finishes have dominated floor trends for the last few years. Who doesn’t love clean floors that sparkle in the sunlight? But current trends are reflecting more natural influences.

Matte finishes have been on the rise and may overtake satin finishes in the next few years. Many homeowners may worry that a matte finish will look dull and lackluster, but with the right installation, this won’t be true.

This contemporary look creates a cozy homestyle environment. Matte floors can be an eye-catching base to a design when done correctly.

Cool-Toned Finishes

Interior design overall is heading in a light and airy direction. Recently, homeowners and designers have used bright neutrals and natural light to create a timeless look.

Cool-toned finishes are a direct result of this trend. Many people are opting for lighter woods throughout their homes. Whitewash and blonde woods are becoming popular options for people looking for new floors.

The light, airy color scheme makes even the smallest room feel large and open. With whites, grays, and blues still trending in interior design, cool-toned finishes aren’t going away any time soon.

Warm Finishes

The rise of cool-toned floors, however, is having little effect on much-loved warm finishes. Many people are taking one step darker than cool-toned blondes for warm honey-brown and copper-brown floor shades.

These finishes are the best of both worlds. They’re still light enough that they can make smaller spaces feel larger and rooms feel more open, but you also get a warmer, more homey feeling with these slightly darker shades.

Warm finishes are great for anyone who prefers natural-looking wood floors. These shades are also available in many different wood species.

Rustic Unfinished Look

One interior style that continues to be popular is the modern farmhouse. Many homeowners can’t get enough of the mix of cozy and rustic decor. And one element that always a feature of this design is the floors.

The name is a little misleading because the floors are finished. The finish, however, is specifically designed to look unfinished. This is often achieved with a subtle “invisible” oil finish.

An unfinished look has become a popular way to add authenticity to any rustically designed home.

Patterned Layouts

Not only are homeowners getting creative with the color of the floor finishes, but they’re getting creative with the flooring layouts too. Patterned layouts are on the rise because they add an extra dimension and decoration to the floor.

There are many flooring layouts besides the traditional straight pattern. But the three trendiest patterned layouts are chevron, herringbone, and diagonal.

Chevron

A chevron pattern has the floorboards coming together at a point. This creates a stacked arrow look across the floor. You can achieve this look with single-toned and multi-toned planks.

Chevron is a great way to add visual interest to your design and make your home look more custom.

Herringbone

Herringbone is often confused with chevron, but there is a distinction. Similar to chevron, herringbone creates an arrow-like pattern. However, with a herringbone pattern, the planks connect at a 90-degree angle, not at a point.

This is a contemporary design that’s on the rise for many young and first-time homeowners. It’s unique, fits into every room, and can make a space feel larger.

Diagonal

This pattern is often overlooked when homeowners consider new floors, but a diagonal design offers a unique, custom-looking design in your home.

Diagonal floors can highlight design features or create a focal point in the room. Since the lines will run from corner to corner, it can make the room appear larger.

Though your wood floor installation may take longer, the finished design is worth it.

Multi-Toned Boards

If you’re looking for a way to add dimension and vibrancy to your home, then consider multi-toned boards. This can create a unique look that becomes the centerpiece of your design. There are a few ways to try this trend.

You can use as few or as many colors as you’d like in your design. Two and three-toned patterns are most common, but you can have more variation, especially if it’s a natural variation of the wood type.

You should also consider how much contrast the board colors have from each other. There can be a lot of variation with a combination that uses tan, brown, and gray boards – or you can use shades of brown for a more natural look.

Site-Finished Floors

Many homeowners are now opting for site-finished floors rather than pre-finished ones. Pre-finished floors are manufactured and finished in the factory before arriving at your home.

With site-finished floors, you get a smoother and cleaner look. They’re especially good wood floors in the kitchen and bathroom because they don’t have micro-beveled edges that are hard to clean.

Site-finished floors are installed unfinished and stained once the flooring is complete. Homeowners tend to prefer site-finished floors because they look more professional and have consistent color across all the boards.

Natural Wood Flooring Trends For Your Homes

Few features look good in every home. No matter what the interior style is or what architectural features there, hardwood floors look great inside that home.

Hardwood floors are a lasting home trend. No matter how much time has passed, hardwood floors will still be in style and still contribute to a higher home value.

These natural wood flooring trends are a great place to start if you’re looking to add hardwood floors to your home. Quick renovation or a full remodel, these wood floors should be on your list.

Ready to transform your home with new floors? Contact our experts to get a quote on our 5-star service.

6 Amazing Reasons to Get Brazilian Teak Decking

If you’re among the 82% of Americans whose home has an outdoor living area, you likely are always looking for ways to make your space more relaxing. Choosing the right wood for your deck is critical to its longevity, but it also is a great way to help yourself relax in the knowledge that your outdoor space will remain undamaged no matter what the weather is like.

Brazilian Teak decking, also known as Cumaru wood, is the perfect material to use if you want this peace of mind. Read on to learn the main advantages of this wood variety!

1. It’s Gorgeous

One of the main reasons that Cumaru decking is an excellent choice is that it is incredibly beautiful. The visual appeal partly stems from its medium red-brown hue, which is unlike the heartwood of any other tree. This color is appealing and unlikely to fade over time, making it the perfect option for those who want sophisticated decking.

Because it has such a warm hue, it’s the perfect choice to pair with warm lighting. It stands out when paired with yellow, orange, and red deck furniture, and adding a fireplace to your outdoor space will really make Brazilian Teak decking shine. Plus, its color is smooth and the grain is deep, which is the perfect throwback for those who want elegant antique-inspired spaces.

2. It’s Consistent

Many decking materials have inconsistent color and graining, which isn’t the case for Brazilian Teak.

While multiple boards may be slightly different shades than others, this looks amazing when they are placed together into an array of different ruddy colors. The important thing is that each board is evenly-hued and has consistent graining.

Additionally, because Cumaru wood is smooth and features flat grains, there’s no need to worry about it splintering your feet. You can safely walk around on your decking without worrying about injuring yourself.

3. It’s Doesn’t Dent or Chip

You may worry that Cumaru wood is attractive at the cost of durability, but this luckily isn’t the case. Brazilian Teak is extremely dense lumber and won’t dent or chip when weight and pressure are applied to it. It can therefore withstand heavy deck furniture as well as people dropping things on its surface.

The main alternative to Brazilian Teak decking is Burmese Teak, which is 3x softer than it. This is definitely something to consider when choosing between these two Teak varieties.

Its hardness also means that it will not scuff when walked on. While there will be some normal wear and tear over time, you don’t need to worry about jumping children, running pets, and wandering adults scratching it with their shoes or feet.

4. It’s Weatherproof

Brazilian Teak wood is weatherproof in addition to being hard and difficult to dent. It’s water-resistant and won’t rot when exposed to the elements. This is critical when choosing a wood that will make up the majority of your outdoor living space.

Most wood decking will absorb moisture from humidity even in dry seasons, which will warp the wood. You likely won’t notice what a large problem this warping is until the flooring is bent, sagging, and 100% unable to be fixed. That’s why Cumaru wood is a top-tier investment for deck renovations.

5. Maintenance Is Easy

While some woods will require a lot of maintenance in outdoor spaces, this isn’t the case for Cumaru. You don’t need to worry about resealing it often (as you would with more porous woods). Because of its water resistance, you also don’t need to worry about scrubbing mold and mildew off the surface.

Additionally, you do not need to worry about staining the wood, which would be an essential task with most types of decking. Staining and treatment are meant to prevent rot, after all, which isn’t a problem that Brazilian Teak users need to worry about.

Maintenance of Cumaru decking pretty much consists of sweeping it periodically to prevent dust buildup. You may need to wipe it down with soap and water every once in a while, but this isn’t likely assuming that you live in a climate where you get at least some rain.

6. There Are Multiple Varieties

When you shop with Ipe Woods, you can choose from many different sizes such as 3/4″ thickness with a 2.5″ width, 1″ thickness with 3.5″ width, and 3/4″ thickness with 5.5″ width. Planks can come in random lengths to give your decking a more natural and engaging appearance, but you can also select specific length options for uniformity.

To make the installation process easier, you can also select the type of board that you want to purchase. Eased-edge options are planks that have no grooves in them to slide together. You need to lay them and install them on your own.

Eased-edge boards are the least expensive option, but for some people, the difficult installation isn’t worth the money. That’s why we also offer both pre-grooved and tongue-and-groove options so that you can fit them together more easily. Laying them down will not take too long and not require professional installation, which can save money in the long run.

Get Brazilian Teak Decking Today

Now that you know why Brazilian Teak decking is a top choice for outdoor living spaces, it’s time to begin your home renovations. Contact Ipe Woods USA’s experts on lumber and decking for more information about Cumaru wood.

Not only are we happy to help you decide whether or not it’s the right option for you, but we also are happy to point you in the direction of the boards that best suit your needs. We look forward to chatting with you soon!

Everything to Know About Stunning Tigerwood Decking

Have you been looking for the most unique and stunning wood to use for your deck? Look no further! Tigerwood may be the answer to what you’re looking for. A hardwood like no other, it has many benefits aside from just looking beautiful. There’s a reason why so many homeowners are choosing to make their next deck out of this wood. Are you interested in finding out why tigerwood decking is so popular? We’ll cover all its pros and cons in this article.

What Is Tigerwood?

Tigerwood is a gorgeous type of hardwood that comes from many other countries. You’ll find it in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and even Brazilian Tigerwood.

It’s a popular choice for many different parts of the home, including flooring and hardwood decking. This is because of its hardness and durability.

The tree itself is comprised of sapwood and heartwood. They are the reason for their beautiful color.

Why Does Tigerwood Make a Good Decking Material?

To start, a tigerwood deck is one of the most beautiful additions you can add to your home.

It can easily impress your visitors and guests with its stunning patterns. When finished, it will make your backyard a place that you’ll love to be in.

Aside from this gorgeous feature, there’s so much more to know about this wood as a deck. Here are a few other benefits that you’ll find with tigerwood decking.

Hard Hardwood

If you’re looking for a durable deck that can withstand a lot, then tigerwood is a great material for you.

Hardwoods are rated on the Janka scale, which rates them from soft to hard. The harder the wood the higher the number on the scale is.

Tigerwood ranks at 2,160 on the Janka scale, meaning that it’s among some of the hardest hardwood that you’ll find. What that means for your deck is that it will take a lot to damage or impact it.

Being able to withstand so much, there’s no wonder why so many homeowners choose it.

Resistance

One of the best benefits that you’ll find from tigerwood is that it’s resistant to many things. This resistance can even be strengthened by sealing the wood.

When you use tigerwood when building a deck, you won’t have to worry about the rain. Tigerwood is water-resistant making it a great choice for the outdoors.

This also means that there’s less chance of the wood rotting and being infested with bugs.

It’s also scratch-resistant. However, it’s always best to limit the amount of scratching it sees to keep it in its best shape.

For homeowners who want a wood that stays looking its best for years to come, tigerwood is the best way to go.

Lifespan

Tigerwood has been known to last up to 50 years when indoors. Outdoors, it typically lasts half of that at 25 years.

To make it last for many years, it should be well maintained. This can be done through regular cleaning and maintenance.

By taking care of it, you’ll be able to keep it for a long time to come.

Cost-Effective

Tigerwood has a similar price to other hardwoods like it, but it’s a little more expensive than softwoods.

It’s a great investment if you want a material that will look beautiful, withstand the elements, and last for many years to come. Priced by board length, you can choose from a few options when building your deck.

If you’re not sure of how much you need, be sure to ask a professional.

What Kind of Maintenance is Needed For Tigerwood?

Like all types of decking, tigerwood needs some maintenance here and there too.

One of the most important things to do to keep your deck in good shape is to keep it clean. Give it a sweep once a week to make sure that there’s no debris sitting on it.

This will keep it looking beautiful and stop it from getting scuffed up over time.

Aside from regular cleaning, you should also be sure to keep it sealed. Sealing can help to boost its longevity and keep it in top shape.

One problem that many deck owners face is fading. Tigerwood is prone to fading due to the sun hitting it.

There are a few ways that you can combat this problem.

The first is to make sure that you move anything on the deck around now and then. This will allow the UV rays to hit all spots of the deck evenly so that one area doesn’t look more faded than another.

One last way to deal with this is by applying hardwood deck oil. This can help to protect your deck from fading due to sunlight.

Where Can I Get This Beautiful Wood?

Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, you need a supplier to get beautiful tigerwood.

It’s important that you choose a supplier with extensive knowledge of the hardwood. Be sure they know the best practices when using it for decking.

With exotic hardwoods, you want to be sure that you’re getting authentic imported wood. A trusted and reputable supplier will ensure this and help you through every step of the way.

At Ipe Woods USA, we’re proud to bring you only the finest of tigerwood for use when building a deck. It’s authentic and sure to make a good impression.

We have so much expertise and knowledge to share with our customers about tigerwood.

Are You Considering Tigerwood Decking for Your Project?

For a deck like no other, tigerwood is one of the best hardwoods that you can turn to. Mimicking the pattern of a tiger, it’s beauty will last you for many years to come.

Tigerwood decking materials are important to have on hand when building. To make sure that you’re prepared, you’ll need a supplier.

At Ipe Woods USA, we carry many different types of exotic hardwoods including tigerwood. We welcome you to have a look at all our different types, as well as use our resources to learn more about them.

If you’re looking to build a tigerwood deck, check out our selection of tigerwood today!

How Long Does It Take to Build a Deck for Your Home?

A new deck can add thousands of dollars to your home. In fact, with its high return on investment, it’s one of the best and most reliable ways to increase your property value.

But whether you want to create an outdoor living space or want to make worthwhile renovations before putting your home on the market, you might be asking yourself this question: “How long does it take to build a deck?”.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s impossible to put an accurate timeframe on the deck-building process because there are so many variables that can slow everything down.

We’ve put together this guide to help you figure out what to expect when you’re adding a deck to your home, so make sure you keep reading below.

The Planning Process

Before you can buy the wood and start nailing, you have to design your deck. Once you have the basic plan, you’ll need to run it past a contractor so (If you aren’t one for drawing blueprints, you can have the contractor handle this entire step).

This takes time.

You should set aside a week or two to come up with a design, choose the right wood, and double-check the details. The process might not take this long, but don’t be surprised if you need more than a few days to get everything done.

Hiring a Contractor

If you don’t already have one, you then have to hire a contractor in your area. To ensure you get the best price and the best services, it’s a good idea to get a quote from several different companies.

Researching and calling all these companies can take a week or two. If you want your new deck as fast as possible, you can start looking for a contractor in advance so they’re ready right when you need them.

You also have to consider the contractor’s schedule. They may be booked for the next few weeks (or even months). You may have to spend some time waiting to get a contractor you trust.

Getting the Right Permits

Your contractor will have to examine your property and review the zoning laws in your area. Depending on where you live, you may have to apply for a building permit before you start building. Filling out the application won’t take longer than an hour (give or take), but you may have to wait days, weeks, or even months before the local government grants you a permit.

The Construction

The actual construction is often the fastest part of the deck process. But again, it’s difficult to put an accurate timeframe on this step because there are a number of factors that impact how long the job will take, such as:

  • The Size — the bigger the deck, the longer it will take to build
  • The Design — if you choose a custom design over a simple style, you should expect a few days (or more) of slowdown
  • Extra Additions — things like built-in benches, stairs, rails, hot tubs, etc. take more time to add
  • The Accessibility — if there are a lot of plants or other objects on your property, the contractor will have a difficult workspace, which will slow things down
  • The Building Site — depending on the condition of your yard, the contractor may need to clear or level the ground before they start building

You also have to order the wood in advance, and the shipping can take several days (or weeks). This is especially true if you buy a unique or uncommon type of wood, such as exotic woods like Ipe or Tigerwood.

It’s also important to remember that some woods need time to acclimate to the local climate. You won’t be able to start building with them as soon as they show up at your house. Instead, you’ll have to let them sit outside for a few days.

If you skip this step, your deck may show signs of damage much faster than it should.

The Weather Conditions

Building a deck is an outside job. Because of this, the contractor is forced to work around the weather conditions, and it may not cooperate.

If it starts raining, you may have to put the process on hold until the area gets better weather. Always plan for a delay due to weather even if there’s no rain in the forecast.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Deck? Getting From Start to Finish as Fast as Possible

So how long does it take to build a deck? If you have a simple design and everything goes according to plan, you can get through the entire process in about one to three weeks.

However, it often takes much longer than this. Waiting for the necessary permits and adding extra features to your deck can slow things down. You may have to wait several months before your deck is completely finished.

Make sure you set realistic expectations. Hiring a reliable contractor will allow you to finish your deck as fast as possible, but there will always be delays. You should plan for your deck to take a week or two longer than you think. This way, you won’t be disappointed when things fall behind schedule.

Ready to start the deck-building process?

Make sure you take a look at some of the beautiful wood we offer and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about our products!

Key Benefits of Ipe Wood for Your Exterior Renovation Project

Since the average American homeowner spends between $18.371-$76,017 on home renovations, it’s important that you get the most bang for your buck. This means using only the highest-quality materials and installing them carefully and meticulously. It also means investing in wood that is durable while looking amazing. When it comes to wood, Ipe wood is the most durable and attractive that money can buy. This makes it perfect for home exterior renovation efforts.

Read on to learn all about Ipe wood and its many benefits as a material for siding, fencing, and beyond!

What Is Ipe Wood?

Ipe wood, also known as Lapacho or Brazilian walnut, is a wood that’s found in South America. The trees that it comes from grow best in tropical climates, which make the Tropical Americas the perfect place to find it. The heartwood is a reddish brown, but it can also have olive or yellow hues in many situations.

Ipe wood also is very textured, which makes it attractive for exterior home applications. The medium grain has lines that come in various textures. Whether you want them to be patterned or interlocked or to come in clean, straight lines, there’s a cut of Ipe wood just waiting for you to find it.

Why Is It Ideal for Exterior Renovation?

Ipe wood is the ideal wood for exterior renovations for reasons other than aesthetics as well. It’s a very durable wood and is resistant to water damage and rot caused by insects. It also won’t be damaged by humidity or excessive heat. This makes it the perfect option for weathering the elements.

Additionally, Ipe wood is incredibly low maintenance. It doesn’t require any chemical treatments and doesn’t need to be replaced often. In fact, since it is the one of the densest and hardest woods on the globe, it can last for decades without needing replacement. Because it is resistant to flame and water alike, there’s also nothing that can stop it from functioning properly as siding or decking.

Our Ipe wood is also sustainably sourced, so you don’t need to worry about negative environmental impacts, either! The forests that it comes from in the Tropical Americas are sustainably managed and there is space for renewable usage.

Where Can It Be Used?

Ipe is a versatile variety of wood. Because of its durability, it can be used for a multitude of applications that many wood types cannot.

One of the main places that you will find Ipe wood outside a home is as siding. Wooden siding made from Ipe is notoriously low-maintenance and only needs to be polished once each year to retain its brown hue. However, if you don’t polish it, it will just fade to a desirable and unique yellow or gray. This is the more common approach.

Many people also use Ipe for deck or patio flooring. It’s the best decking wood on the market because it’s hard enough to handle foot traffic and even heavy object falling onto it like branches. Additionally, it doesn’t allow for mold growth, so the wood will last a long time even in more humid climates.

Another great application of Ipe wood is as fencing. If your home has Ipe siding, having a fence to match is essential to creating a cohesive exterior design scheme. Your house will look majestic and high-class when you use this heavy and majestic wood for multiple design applications.

Also, because the boards we sell for all applications are milled especially for each project, every order is customized. Working with us to create an Ipe exterior ensures that your home will be individualistic and one-of-a-kind!

Varieties of Ipe Wood

While Ipe wood doesn’t come in different colors or designs, we offer a variety of cuts so that you can choose the best option for your home. We offer planks in a variety of sizes so that you can choose the best fit for your siding, decking, patio flooring, and any other applications that you would like to use them for.

We also offer Ipe wood with multiple types of edging. Eased-edge Ipe, the standard variety, has smooth and rounded corners. This is especially important if the planks are being used on a deck or patio floor. After all, you don’t want to continuously poke your feet on sharp wood corners!

However, for easier assembly, you can select and purchase pregrooved Ipe. These cuts have grooves already installed so you don’t need to use any power tools or other machinery to apply them to their intended location. All you need to do is use the hidden fasteners to hold them together.

If you’re having professional installation done, eased-edge Ipe is generally the better choice. However, those doing DIY installation will likely prever pregrooved since Ipe wood is incredibly hard and notoriously difficult to saw through.

Start Your Renovations Today

While there are many materials that you can use when renovating your home, Ipe wood is the perfect choice on many levels. Not only is it visually appealing, but it’s durable, long-lasting, and makes for one-of-a-kind exterior design that you’re sure to love.

Now that you know why Ipe wood is perfect for your 2020 exterior renovation, it’s time to get started! Contact us for more information on the Ipe siding, fencing, decking, and more. Our experts are happy to help you find the perfect cuts of wood for your home project, so we look forward to hearing from you soon!

8 Signs That You Need to Replace Your Wood Siding

Did you recently purchase a new home? What do you know about replacing the wood siding on the house?

Wood is an excellent, durable option to cover your home. It can last over 30 years and looks beautiful. But how do you know when to replace it?

If the siding is poor quality, it will need to be replaced before any damage occurs. Time and weather can wear away siding.

At any sign of an issue, it is best to replace your siding before any lasting damage costs you a fortune. There are many popular options to choose from.

Here is how you can tell if it’s time to replace your wood siding:

1. Broken or Cracked Wood Siding

Occasionally you will find a cracked piece of siding; this is no reason to replace the siding on the entire home. But, to prevent further damage, it is best to repair a siding board as soon as you see a crack.

If there is wood siding on your home that is cracked or broken, this could be a sign that you need to contact a contractor. There may be signs of damage or rot under the broken boards, which could damage your house.

2. Faded Wood Color

If your siding color is looking very worn out from the weather or the sun, this may be time to renovate! Good wood siding should last about 30 years if well taken care of. 

If you are re-staining or re-painting your home every few years, it is definitely a sign that your wood siding needs updating. Either your siding boards have reached the end of their lifespan, or there is an underlying issue.

3. Warped or Loose Siding

If your siding is loose, it is susceptible to the forces of nature. Moisture can work its way into your structure and damage the wood siding. When you come across a loose board, make sure the wood does not feel damp.

Weather and wear cause a wood board to become warped. Check of the wood material feels soft; if so, that is a sign of rot.

Replacing a board is easy, but if the siding on your home is warped or loose in many places, you need to call a professional. 

4. Bubbling on Wood

When water gets trapped in your siding, the wood will start to bubble. Bubbling is a sign that your wood siding is not sealed properly. The board needs replacement at the first sign of bubbling to prevent more serious problems.

Bubbling shows that there may be trapped water in your home. To prevent more damage to the structure, inside and out, have the siding replaced.

5. Signs of Mold or Mildew 

Mold on wood siding is very common. More than likely, you only need to clean your wood siding.

Mold and mildew appear when the wood siding is sealed incorrectly, or the wood is not keeping water out. Check the wood boards for cracks as mold can build up there.

There may be a more serious issue when you spot mold, mildew, or fungus around the siding seams. Mold and mildew around the seams and on large areas signal that moisture has damaged the siding.

6. Dry Rot

Dry rot is a fungus caused by moisture build-up in the wood. Like mold or mildew, dry rot is a sign that you need your siding repaired. 

Dry rot is difficult to spot because it can only affect the under layers of the wood siding. Here are some questions that will help you determine if your siding has dry rot:

1. Is there shrunken wood?

2. Is there any darkening or cracks in the structure?

3. Are there any cotton-like substances on the wood?

4. Is there a strange odor coming from the wood?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, contact a contractor to check your siding.

7. Peeling Paint Inside

When moisture is behind the paint, it tends to peel. If your walls need constant touch-ups from peeling and bubbling, this can be a sign that water is the problem.

Water damage inside the house can mean that the siding is causing this issue. If the siding is loose, rotted, or old, it does not protect your house from moisture.

When moisture works its way into the house’s structure; it can lead to paint peeling. It may be time to update your wood siding.

8. High Power Bills

Drafty windows or doors likely cause high energy bills each month. Although not common, it is possible that bad siding is to blame for your costly energy bill. 

Bad quality boards and improper wood installation could be at fault. Failure to seal the siding properly or using the wrong paints can also cause heat to escape your home. Leaving you with high power bills at the end of the month. 

If you notice a higher power bill and face any of the above issues, call your contractor!

We Can Help

Unfortunately, wood siding does not last forever. If you face any of the issues mentioned above, it might be time to look for a contractor for your siding needs. It is always best to repair it immediately, as you want to avoid any structural damage to your home.

Time to replace?

Wood siding is a beautiful, long-lasting option for your home. There are many options to consider. IPE Woods offer various color, durability, and prices to help you choose what’s best for you.

Check out Hardwood News to learn more about siding and hardwood! 

Deck or Patio: Choosing Which One Is Best for Your Home

Whether you’re enjoying the view or entertaining friends, having a functional outdoor living space adds comfort and style to your home. If creating a new living space is on your to-do list, you may be wondering whether a deck or patio is right for you.

While many people use the terms deck and patio interchangeably, you may be disappointed if you ask a contractor to build one, and he creates the other. Designing an outdoor space that’s a good fit for your home can be tricky when you don’t know your options. If you’re ready to add an outdoor entertaining space to your home, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about designing the outdoor oasis of your dreams!

What’s the Difference Between a Deck and Patio?

While it may seem like semantics, a deck and a patio have some key differences that can help you decide which option is right for your home. First, let’s look at the way patios and decks are similar before we note their differences.

Unlike a three-season room or screened-in porch, a deck or patio offers an outdoor entertaining space without full walls. Either a deck or patio is appropriate around a pool. You can cover either with a pergola or awning for shade.

Decks and patios are great spaces for entertaining and dining. Both can house a grill or outdoor kitchen to minimize trips into the house.

While a deck is typically attached to the house, a patio can be detached or attached. Consider the flow between your house and the outdoor area before making a decision. Decks are elevated and extend from the house to enjoy a view, while patios are ground level and are generally intended as an entertaining space.

Another primary difference between decks and patios is what they’re crafted from. A deck is almost always made from wood or wood composite. A patio is more versatile, and materials can be concrete, pavers, gravel, tile, and more.

Generally speaking, if you see an outdoor space made from wood, that’s a deck. Otherwise, it’s likely considered a patio.

Decks and patios can have very different zoning and building requirements, so deciding which type of space you want is vital before you call a contractor.

Pros and Cons of Decks

Decks can offer a beautiful view of your property, making them a preferred outdoor space and a solid investment for houses in scenic areas. Multi-level decks or wraparound decks can add style and curb appeal to the front of your house, while a back deck provides a private oasis and plenty of space for entertaining.

If your backyard isn’t level or your home is built on a hill, a deck can provide a cost-effective outdoor space that connects to the house. One of the benefits of decks is for parties where guests may move between the house and the deck frequently. A deck can provide optimal flow for large groups and become a continuation of indoor living space.

Since a deck is often made of wood, decks may require year-round maintenance to look their best. That may mean cleaning, restaining, shoveling snow, and resealing each year to keep your deck looking warm and inviting.

Using durable wood products like Ipe can ensure your deck stays beautiful even after years of use.

A back deck often has railings along the sides and stairs down to the back yard. If stairs are something you are looking to avoid, a deck may not be an appropriate choice for your needs.

Pros and Cons of Patios

Patios are a great way to enjoy landscaping and create a lovely, low-maintenance outdoor space for your home. There are many ways to personalize the style and design of your patio space, so you can customize your space to fit your exact needs. A patio can be a great place to enjoy a fire pit, create an entertaining space separate from your house, or naturally expand your living space into your backyard.

If you like spending time in your backyard or front yard, a patio is a great way to connect activities happening in the yard to a covered entertaining space. While a deck can keep activities in the yard separate from the house, a patio can offer a more cohesive outdoor space since they are on the same level as your lawn. Patios can also provide a great lounge space around an inground pool.

Since a patio is on the ground level, they are not an ideal way to make the most of a view. Plus, while you may enjoy a customized patio, patios do not typically offer the same resale value as a deck does. They are often made from materials like stone, brick, or concrete, which can make walking or lounging in that space less comfortable than a deck.

Should I Get a Deck or Patio?

Before you choose between a deck or patio, make sure you have an idea of how you will use the space. That will help you decide what type of outdoor living area best suits your home and lifestyle.

If you love your land and have a view from your home, a deck can help you make the most of that view and increase your property’s value. A well-designed deck can offer an attractive addition to your house that increases curb appeal and brings warmth to your space. While a deck may require more maintenance, the wood look offers a classic design.

For a custom look, a patio can offer the flexibility to create a space designed precisely for your entertaining needs. While a patio may be less comfortable, they can be placed anywhere and offer a relaxing area connected to your yard. Patios are also a great way to dress up a pool and add space for lounging.

If a deck is right for you, we recommend beautiful Ipe wood to create a gorgeous space that’s built to last. Get started on building your outdoor space with Ipe decking today!

How to Choose the Best Wood for Fence Building

America has always been obsessed with wooden fences.

From the pine fences that defended our land in colonial times to the rise of decorative picket fences, we’ve always loved staking out our property with the right fence.

Once upon a time, the choice of fencing materials would have been simple, as lumber options were limited to the trees in your immediate area.

Today, however, there are so many types of wood on the market that it can be hard to decide the best wood for your fence. Balancing appearance with your local climate, and your budget with wood quality, can be a challenge.

Let’s take a look at choosing the right wood, and the types of wood you’ll want to consider.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood for Your Fence

Though you’ll find a range of wood types at your local home improvement store, some are more popular than others for fencing. The variety you choose, however, depends on several factors.

Is the wood insect-resistant?

When you’re building an outdoor fence, insect infestation is always a concern. If wood isn’t pressure-treated or naturally resistant to bugs, nuisances like termites could be eating away at your fence by the time you finish it.

What’s your budget?

Even for projects where you don’t need the most beautiful or durable option, it’s crucial to consider the quality of the wood. The best wood for fences requires fewer repairs in the long run, and you won’t need to replace it as quickly as an inferior option.

Wood comes in the common range of standard, better, or quality wood—think of this as “good, better, and best”—but these sometimes have imperfections and knots that affect the final appearance of your fence. Instead, you can opt for the more expensive options: construction, select, premium, or clear grade. The last two are the most expensive, but they also tend to last longer and present a higher quality final product.

What will the fence be exposed to?

Consider the weather where you live. Is it a rainy area, where the wood will often be exposed to moisture? Is the climate dry and sunny, meaning the fence may be bleached by the sun? The goal here is to choose the best wood for your climate, and to protect it against the elements most likely to affect it.

Popular Types of Wood for Fencing

Pressure-treated wood

As the least expensive type of wood, this popular option comes from pine or fir. It’s treated to defend against rot and insect infestation, but the chemicals used in the treatment are toxic to humans and animals. While the risk of health issues is mild, you should still be careful when working with it.

Pine

A popular choice for a lower budget, pine is a soft wood, making it easy to work with. It resists shrinkage and warping from moisture, making it a good pick for wetter climates. Pine’s lifespan ranges from 5-12 years.

Cedar

This popular choice isn’t maintenance-intensive, as its acids and oils make it naturally resistant to insects. It carries a pleasing scent and often has a beautiful tint of red in its grain. Cedar typically lasts for 15-30 years.

Cypress

Tan to red in color, cypress is a durable wood that works well in wetter climates, though it can warp if it’s improperly dried. Like cedar, it’s naturally resistant to insects and carries a pleasing scent.

Redwood

Also naturally resistant to insects, this option is a little pricier than the wood types above. However, redwood is both durable and beautiful, and high-quality lumber comes with a stunning deep red color. A sturdy redwood fence will last around 25-30 years.

IPE

It should come as no surprise we consider it the best all-around wood, period.

This very dense hardwood has a tight grain, making it naturally resistant to rot, insects, scratches, and splinters. IPE fares well in all climates, and its outdoor lifespan is unmatched at 75+ years. With a natural and luxurious appearance that comes with tints of amber and red, it’s a great option for beautiful, durable, and long-lasting fences.

Preserving Your Wood Fence

Once you’ve chosen a wood fence type that you feel good about, there are a few things you should do to preserve its beautiful color and extend its lifespan for as long as possible.

First, make sure that the fence posts are correctly installed. The goal here is to limit wood-to-soil exposure, as the last thing you want is for your new wooden fence to fail due to moisture or rot.

Second, if you’re choosing any wood of lower quality than IPE (which doesn’t require any treatment), it’s crucial to weatherproof the fence. This protects your finished fence from extreme temperatures and precipitation. The best weatherproofing solutions will also have UV protection, which will help prevent the sun from bleaching the natural color of the wood so quickly.

Weatherproofing should be reapplied on an annual basis for woods that need it, so make sure to put the task on your maintenance checklist.

Building the Right Fence

In the end, the best wood for fence building is the one that matches the aesthetic you’ve envisioned for the project and one you feel comfortable building with. Find lumber of the right quality, and you won’t have to worry about fixing or rebuilding your fence for years to come.

If you have questions about the right lumber for your project, or if you’re set on fencing with IPE, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re happy to help you find the right material for your needs!

Carpet vs Hardwood Floors: A Side-By-Side Comparison

If you’re trying to sell your home, installing hardware flooring can improve your home’s resale value by 70 to 80%.

Deciding between carpet vs hardwood can be very difficult, especially considering if you’re trying to sell your house or just give it a new look.

There are pros and cons to both, but we’ll break it all down to help you come to a decision!

Pricing

Maybe you are buying a house with the flooring you’ll need to tear up. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out how much it will be to redo your own flooring.

Regardless, the pricing may be one of the most important deciding factors when it comes to deciding between hardwood or carpet.

The price is vastly different between the two, so if you’re trying to save money, you may just want to go with the carpet.

Hardwood is one of the most expensive types of flooring because it is a natural product. You can’t engineer it to make more of it unless you cut down more trees.

On average, hardwood could cost around $10 per square foot, but some of the nicer versions might cost even more.

On the flip side, carpet could cost an average of $4 per square foot.

Installation

Hiring a professional to install your flooring is going to be the easiest way to upgrade your flooring.

However, if you want to do it on your own, the carpet is definitely going to be easier to install than a hardwood floor.

To install carpet, you’ll have to staple a pad underneath the carpet and nail it down. Next, you’ll just need to roll the carpet over and attach it to the underlying pad.

It does take a little bit of work, but when you compare it with the process of installing hardwood, it is a lot easier and faster.

To install hardwood, you’ll have to lay out each individual board and then make sure it all lines up with the wall and the other boards.

It’s very easy to mess up this process, and most people end up leaving it to the professionals.

Aesthetics

Another thing you should consider is how the carpet or hardwood will look in your home.

The latest trend is to go with the look of hardwood, and carpet is now viewed as outdated to some people.

Carpet can be more comfortable and versatile in terms of texture and color, but hardwood also comes in all kinds of designs and colors.

Hardwood flooring can also go with just about any kind of interior design you want to incorporate in your space.

Carpet offers more of a soft, subtle look to a room. On the other hand, hardwood offers a bolder statement, so it really just comes down to personal preference.

Durability

If you’re going to be spending a lot of money on upgrading your flooring, you’ll probably want to know which one is going to last you the longest too.

Hardwood is more expensive, yes, but you’ll get more use out of it as it can last over fifty years. However, this does depend on what quality type of wood you get.

While carpet is cheaper, it will only last for about ten years, which means that you’ll be paying more money to replace it in the long run.

Comfort

Comfort is another factor that you’ll have to consider before deciding.

While the appearance of the flooring is important, you also want something that’s going to be comfortable for you.

Carpet can be nice and soft, but depending on how much you pay for quality, it could be rough and uncomfortable to walk on. In general, though, carpet is very easy on your feet and soft, which is why many people have it in bedrooms.

While hardwood can be harder on your feet and isn’t very comfortable to lay on, you could always get a rug for a room if you really wanted more comfort.

Environmentally Friendly

While hardwood might not seem environmentally friendly because of all the trees it needs, carpet actually is worse for the environment.

To make carpets, they have to use petroleum which is not good for the environment. Once it starts to break down, it can release harmful chemicals. If you do opt for carpet on your floors, you should get wool that is environmentally sustainable.

While hardwood floors use trees, they are biodegradable when you do get rid of them. Also, when they harvest the trees to make the hardwood floors, the Forest Stewardship Council is in charge of overseeing just how many trees can be cut down.

When you do buy hardwood flooring, make sure that there is an FSC® certification on it to ensure that it was harvested in an environmentally friendly way.

Noise

Lastly, noise is also something that you should consider.

The hardwood can make your home feel noisier since there won’t be anything to absorb the noise in your house. If this is something that you’re worried about, having rugs placed strategically on your hardwood floor can help reduce the echo effect.

However, the carpet will help to absorb that noise and reduce the echo that you’ll feel in your home.

Learn More About Carpet vs Hardwood

These are only a few things to consider when trying to decide between carpet vs hardwood, but at the end of the day, the decision comes down to what you want your house to look like.

Regardless of which one you choose, you should find a professional company to lay down your flooring and make sure that it is done properly and efficiently.

If you’re looking for a company to hire for this job, make sure that you check us out!