Category Archives: Hardwood News

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 carpet, 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 which 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, the 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!

Decisions, Decisions: Understanding the Different Types of Wood Siding

If you want to give your home a makeover, then the siding is a great place to start. The right siding can give your house that “wow” factor, and make it the envy of all your neighbors.

Visuals aside, your siding also serves a functional purpose, which is to protect and insulate your home and its occupants from harsh weather like rain and snow.

When you’re in the market for sidings, there are a lot of choices. There are so many types of wood siding options that picking the right one may be a bit overwhelming. The difference is not only in the type of wood but also in its grade and overall design.

If you’re looking for the best wood siding for homes, then read on to learn about the many types of wood siding out there.

Wood Siding by Type of Wood

The type of wood you pick for your siding determines its look, durability, and insulation capability. Here are a few wood siding options to consider:

Fir

Fir sidings are among the more cost-effective siding options. Fir is a softwood that’s relatively easy to obtain. It’s ideal for large houses because you can get fir in long lengths.

It’s also generally easy to install and leaves a lovely finish. Since it’s a softwood, you can cut it into various designs. So if you want it in planks, shiplap, or tongue and groove, you can easily get it that way with fir.

Ipe

Ipe sidings are among the lesser-known siding options, but they’re arguably the best type of wood siding. That’s because when you compare it to other wood options, ipe has a clear edge over the others.

First off, ipe is a virtually maintenance-free hardwood, requiring only one oil treatment annually to retain its color. It’s popular in some parts because of its ability to retain structural integrity even under the harshest weather conditions, among other benefits. That means you won’t need to replace your ipe siding for a good long time once you install it.

If you don’t maintain it, the siding turns a grey color, which is what most owners want. If you want it to get its original color back, you just oil it, and it’s back to brown.

Cedar

Folks love cedar for its lovely color. You can also reveal the grain through the stain to make the siding even more appealing.

It’s also relatively low-maintenance when you compare it to other wood species. That’s because cedar is resistant to rot and insect damage, unlike most other wood types.

If your taste is more of the red type of cedar, then prepare yourself to pay top-dollar for “heartwood” cedar.

Cypress

Cypress is an extremely durable hardwood that’s very popular across the country. In fact, it’s so durable that some folks can salvage it from demolished homes to reuse it, and it still lasts.

It’s also lightweight, which makes it easy to install. Plus, just like cedar, it’s resistant to rot and repels insects, hence it requires little maintenance. The downside to cypress is that it’s very expensive, and most people aren’t willing to spend that kind of cash on their sidings.

Siding Types by Wood Grade

Most people select wood sidings based on their appearance. As such, there are no building codes to stipulate wood grades. Some agencies, like the WWPA, create their own grading systems that many suppliers choose to adopt.

With that in mind, here are the most common wood grades.

  • Number 1: This is a clean, high-quality wood with little to no knots or defects. It gives a very high level of finish.
  • Number 2: This is also good quality wood, just not as good as Number 1. It has more knots and minor defects here and there.
  • Grade A to Grade D: These grades denote wood that has a considerable number of knotholes, slight warping, a few splits and checks here and there.

Siding Options by Style

When it comes to style, all your options boil down to two main types of sidings which are horizontal and vertical. Horizontal sidings are lovely to look at but are also harder to maintain than vertical ones. After you pick your sidings orientation, horizontal or vertical, you next have to pick a style.

When it comes to wood siding styles, you can choose from:

Boards

Boards are cut-outs from wood that you arrange either vertically or horizontally. They come in different lengths, widths, and thicknesses.

Color and Finish

The color and finish style has been all the rage for the past half-decade or so. After you install the siding, you finish it with a fresh paint coat of your preferred color. This style has immense visual appeal and also lengthens the lifespan of the siding.

Shingles

The stylish person can always settle for shingles because it gives the house a more classic, rustic look. It works well, especially with ipe and cedar sidings. You can order shingles in a variety of shapes to suit your style.

Choose Your Types of Wood Siding Wisely

With so many types of wood siding, you have plenty to choose from. While it’s only natural to base your decisions off of aesthetics, you should also consider durability and maintenance.

Also, remember to buy your sidings from a reputable supplier to get your money’s worth.

For beautiful, durable, and robust ipe sidings, contact us today, and we’ll help you out.

Dispelling the Most Common Hardwood Flooring Myths That Exist Today

Hardwood flooring is one of the best amenities that you can add to your property. It spikes up your home’s resale value and makes jaws drop as they enter the room.

However, there are many misconceptions and “myths” out there in the marketplace about this flooring option.

Perhaps people believe that hardwood flooring is too good to be true. They think that there has to be a downside to something as beautiful as hardwood.

Whatever the case might be, this article is here to shut them down. Here are some of the most common hardwood flooring myths and reasoning for why they’re untrue.

1. Scratch or Faded Hardwood Floors Need to Be Replaced

As with any other material, hardwood will start to lose a bit of its coloring as the sun beats down on it over time. You might also notice that your hardwood floor has gained a few scars (scratches) from Lucky, the house dog.

The myth here is that your only resolution for getting rid of the scratches or faded color is by replacing the flooring. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Hardwood flooring can be refinished and look as brand-new as the day that you first had it installed. In fact, you can refinish the same hardwood floors up to 10 times before they need to be replaced.

Many people doubt the strength and endurance of hardwood flooring. Be sure to inform yourself on everything you need to know about hardwood lumber.

2. High Heels Won’t Damage Hardwood Flooring

Ladies, you’ve probably had someone tell you that those high heel shoes you wear aren’t going to damage your hardwood floors.

But the truth is that any item that puts a heavy amount of pressure on a specific point (such as spiked heel in your shoe), will more than likely cause damage.

Every step that you take will put an excessive amount of force into a square inch of your flooring. That kind of pressure can severely damage the hardwood lumber that your floor is made out of over time.

That’s not to say you can’t ever wear high heels if you were to install hardwood floors.

Just try to be sparing about the number of times you wear them and try not to walk across the same room more than once or twice while wearing your go-to pair.

3. Hardwood Flooring won’t Scratch or Dent

Technically speaking, this myth has already been debunked in this article with the first paragraph.

However, it’s worth repeating so that customers won’t get a preconceived notion before their flooring is installed.

While it’s true that hardwood flooring can take quite the beating and will hold up nicely as it ages, no flooring material is entirely impervious.

Especially considering the high-traffic areas of your house, such as your kitchen, living room, and hallways, which take a much workload to keep its form.

Your hardwood flooring is bound to gather a few scratches and maybe even a dent or two. The important thing to remember is that it can be refinished!

Unlike many other flooring materials, hardwood allows you to make it look as good as new 8 to 10 times in its lifetime.

4. They Shouldn’t Be Used in Kitchens

This myth is utterly ridiculous. In fact, most hardwood flooring experts agree that a kitchen is one of the best places to install hardwood flooring in your house.

Because of how durable hardwood is, it can stand up to many different spills and can withstand the high level of traffic that kitchens attract.

They can provide a beautiful aesthetic to your kitchen while providing a much comfier flooring option over tile or other hard materials. It has just enough give to help your feet have more support as you walk.

If you plan to keep your kitchen looking as nice as possible, then proper kitchen maintenance is of the utmost importance. Hardwood floors are perfect for your kitchen maintenance. As long as you keep up with it, the floor will keep its shine!

Be warned, however, that continually mopping the hardwood floor can do more damage than good. Instead, try taking a microfiber cloth to it when it needs to be cleaned.

5. Fading Color is a Sign of Defective Hardwood

Many people confuse the discoloration or fading of their hardwood as a sign of defective materials.

No matter how high-quality the hardwood you purchase is, the color is going to inevitably fade over time. As has been pointed out in this article already, refinishing your flooring can bring that color back easily.

The faded color is not a sign of a defective floor. In fact, not even cupped or warped wood is a sign of defective hardwood. It’s just a natural part of the process.

Be sure to move your furniture around frequently so that you can prevent significant fading over a few certain areas.

Consider it like getting a tan: if you keep your sunglasses on too long, you’ll have a skin tan with an imprint of where your glasses were.

Have Your Dream Hardwood Flooring Installed Today!

Now that you’ve seen the debunking of several common hardwood flooring myths, it’s time to receive a quote for getting yours installed!

Be sure to read this message from our CEO on the details of installing hardwood flooring during the pandemic and why we’re continuing business as usual.

For more inquiries, please begin by reaching out via our online contact page and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

Everything You Need To Know About Hardwood Lumber

Installing a deck adds extra value to a house while also giving you a lot of extra space to enjoy the outdoors for years to come. This makes it one of the best renovation projects for any home. With so many options of wood to choose from, it’s difficult to know which material to choose for your home’s new deck. Hardwood lumber is the best choice, both for its beautiful appearance and longevity, but what else is there to know about this material?

Making sure you know everything beforehand saves you both time and money in the long run.

That’s why we’ve collected that kind of information for you down below. Keep reading to learn all of the information you need to know to get the most out of your hardwood deck installation.

Why Choose Hardwood Lumber?

Hardwood lumber comes from deciduous trees that are slow-growing, which means the wood grows compact and dense. This high density gives hardwoods extra strength and longer life. They’re able to withstand more without ever getting damaged, and it makes the wood less of a chore to clean as well.

This is why it’s important to choose hardwood for your decking material rather than softwood. It makes for a much better investment compared to softwood lumber.

Ipe Wood

This type of wood has other names such as Brazilian Walnut and Pau Lope. Regardless of what you call it, this wood stands above the rest.

With a hardness rating of 3,600, it’s one of the hardest woods on the market. Having such a high hardness makes Ipe very durable and long-lasting. It resists against common problems such as warping, denting, and has the same fire rating as concrete without additional chemical treatments.

It’s sold without any knots or blemishes so that its beauty shines without any distractions. Ipe has a natural color range in rich browns with black undertones that makes it a desirable choice for many homeowners.

Garapa Wood

At 1,630, Garapa wood has less than half of Ipe’s hardness, yet it still retains many of the same desirable qualities as Ipe. It’s durable, strong, and resists many kinds of damages without extra chemical treatments. The best part about it is that it is a cheaper option, making it a good choice for those on a stricter budget.

It’s resistant to warping, rot, and is also fire-resistant. Also known as Brazilian Ash, Garapa is unique because of its eye-catching golden tones.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Ipe and you love yellow-toned woods, Garapa is the choice for you.

Cumaru Wood

Another Brazilian-based wood, Cumaru wood, sits just below Ipe at 3,540 on the hardness scale and is as beautiful as its brethren. Cumaru, or Brazilian Teak, is the medium brown option between these three hardwoods. There are tones of purple in the wood, giving it a mystical feel.

Like the others, Cumaru has high durability and resistance to damage, rot, warping, and even fire. It’s a cheaper option when compared to Ipe, though it doesn’t have as flawless of an appearance as Ipe.

Common Defects

When you purchase from a trusted company, defects in your lumber are hard to find, but it’s still a good thing to keep in mind. Sometimes minor defects won’t cause any problems during the installation of your new deck. Other times, they’ll stall the entire project.

Once you receive your lumber, give each piece a good inspection for the following:

  • Types of warping, such as bowing, twisting, or cupping
  • Cracks
  • Splits in the wood that go all the way through
  • Grain separation
  • Loose knotholes

Hardwood minimizes the chances of these defects from occurring, but make sure to call your provider if there’s a problem.

Installation

After you’ve chosen your desired wood material, it’s time to choose the right kind of cut for your project. Different installation plans require different cuts and fasteners. Purchasing your lumber pre-prepared makes the entire installation process easier.

Standard

This is the cut most of us think about when we think of lumber. It’s as basic as you get: a board cut only to the dimensions you set, without any other incisions. The edges of the wood are sharp corners, making it easy to lay the pieces up against each other.

This cut is best used with face screws drilled into the wood. Use wood plugs or other methods to hide away any evidence of the screws.

Eased Edge

An eased edge is the same as a standard cut of wood, except it has rounded edges. You’d install this type in much the same way as standard, but the finished deck has a different feel and appearance at the end of the project. This is also a great cut for making stairs and banisters.

Pre-Grooved

For an installation process that creates a seamless effect, pre-grooved is the way to go. Each side of the board has a small indentation, allowing you to fit the pieces into one another without the use of screws.

You’ll need special fasteners specific to this style to secure the lumber pieces together. Once you’re done, you’ll have a deck with nothing marring its natural beauty on the surface.

Groove and Tongue

This style of cut lumber comes with a large indentation on one end and a mirrored section sticking out at the other end. This is to help create a seamless look that hides aways any fasteners you use during the installation process.

Make sure to only select this style of lumber for places that allow for good water drainage. The grooves and tongues create hidden spaces for water to collect and cause damage to the wood over a long period. It’s a prime area for rot and mold to begin growing.

With the hardwoods listed above, you won’t have to worry as much, but it’s still good to keep in mind.

Always Choose Hardwood Lumber for the Best Results

Now that you know all of the pertinent information about hardwood lumber, installation is a breeze. No surprises wait for you around the corner when you’ve done all of your research beforehand.

When it’s time to figure out the logistics of your next hardwood renovation, make sure to check back here for everything you need!

Ready to get started on your new deck? Check out our lumber selection to find your home’s perfect match!

Ipe Woods USA Remains Open During Pandemic – CEO Message

The hardwood lumber industry has been deemed essential for the Nation during this trying time and so we will remain open and fully operational. We expect no delays in operations or delivery for any orders in the United States. Our hearts go out to all people that have been affected.

Message From CEO-

RE: COVID-19

In the wake of the recent COVID-19 “Coronavirus” Pandemic (Originating in Wuhan, China), we have a message for our customers. We, along with you, are concerned about the use of government funds to bail out the large corporations and print more money, while largely ignoring the plight of small and medium-sized businesses like yours and ours.

Every time the politicians go back up for election, they tell us how small businesses (classified as under 500 employees) are the backbone of our economy. They tell us how important we are and that, overall, we are the largest employers in the country we make this country what it is. But when it comes to tax time, the largest corporations pay the least. When it comes to a crisis like this COVID-19, those large corporations are the first to take the money that is handed out from the Federal Government. Never have I seen a small business get a bailout. The money they give to these large corporations is massaged into the economy by inflation and the printing of new money, which falls on the backs of the middle class, and small business.

I wouldn’t normally write something like this, but I want to express to our customers, who are literally the hands that built this country, that we are on your side. You know what it takes to build a business and you care about the well-being of every employee you have. We, like you, will work through this tough time to help our customers meet their commitments and we will also work to ensure our employees can take care of their families.

No bailout is coming for us, but in many ways, I prefer it that way. I’ve never been one to take a handout and I know that most of you feel the same way.

I want you to know that you can count on me and every employee of Ipe Woods USA to treat you like the hard-working people you are and to give you the respect you deserve. We are taking steps to make sure we don’t add to your level of anxiety at this time of uncertainty.

As part of this outreach, as of today, we will not seek to collect any debt on small businesses for at least 90 day and no interest will be charged over this time. We will also waive any interest accrued in the last 30 days. As the situation warrants, we will consider extending this grace period if that is In the best interest of our customers.

Secondly, for all projects that have used our lumber, we will accept your job photos (which you submit) and use these to promote your businesses and your relationship with Ipe Woods USA in your city or area of operation. All this is to be done at no expense to you.

We appreciate you all, and we are so proud to work with and be associated with such a great group of American businesses. It is you that have made this country what it is today and we intend to support you through thick and thin.

-Steven Rossi
CEO

Composite vs. Wood Decking: Can We Pick a Winner?

In 2018, the percentage of houses with no outdoor addition like a deck, patio or porch dropped to 8%. It’s clear most homeowners want some way to enjoy the outdoors, no matter where they live.

That’s because outdoor spaces like decks add value to your home, add extra living space, and lets you show off your design skills.

If a deck best suits your outdoor needs, you’ll need to choose between composite versus wood decking. To help you take some of the guesswork out of the process, we’ve developed this guide.

Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of plastic decking versus wood decking.

Composite Versus Wood Decking

When deciding between composite and wood decking, it’s important to factor in aesthetics, cost, durability, and your current lifestyle.  You may find that wood is less expensive initially but over the years it requires more maintenance and therefore, more money to keep it in good condition.

Composite may be a smarter choice especially since manufacturers are getting better at making boards that closely resemble natural wood. And while most composites absorb more of the heat in summer, making plastic decking hotter to the feet, there’s new technology available that can drastically reduce heat absorption.

Wood Decking

Wood is a natural product. However, it may be chemically treated.

Also, what types of wood you can find may depend on your geographical location. Here is the type of wood for decks most commonly used:

Pressure-treated Lumber

Most wood decking is made from pressure-treated lumber, including the understructure frame such as posts, joists, and posts. It’s affordable and widely available.

Most treated decking is 5/4 x 6–inch planks. It’s typically cut from southern yellow pine and then treated with chemicals to resist fungus, wood-boring bugs, and decay.

The biggest con is that pine isn’t very dimensionally stable. It can crack, swell, split, and warp.

Redwood & Western Red Cedar

Both redwoods and western red cedar’s are known for their beautiful crimson color, natural beauty, and their natural resistance to decay, rot, and insects. As a result, they’re treated with fewer chemicals.

These trees made great decking because they are:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to cut
  • Stable
  • Resistant to warping

Most sizes for decking are 2 x 6 and 2 x 4. They come in a variety of grades as well.

To maintain its color, treat with a semitransparent stain every three to four years.

Tropical hardwoods

Tropical hardwoods are new to the decking scene. And they have some great characteristics such as:

  • Dense
  • Hard
  • Heavy
  • Durable
  • Naturally bug and rot-resistant

There are myriad species available so pricing fluctuates. The most common decking sizes are 3/4- and 1-inch-thick boards.

They’re easy to care for but make sure your tropical hardwood decking has been legally and ethically sourced. You’ll ensure that your wood has been grown and harvested in a legal and more sustainable manner.

The Care & Maintenance of Wood

Natural wood requires more care than plastic decks. Every two to five years, you’ll need to perform the following tasks to keep your deck in good shape:

  • Sand
  • Stain
  • Seal
  • Paint

Twice a year you should clean your deck.

Durability & Lifespan

Wood has about a 15-year lifespan to fight off the following problems:

  • Splintering
  • Staining
  • Fading

Wood can last about 20 years.

Possible Problems After 20 Years

Before the following issues begin causing problems such as:

  • Insect and rot
  • Scratching
  • Warping

On average, most wood decks last between 10 and 30 years, if untreated. It can last up to 50 years if it’s treated wood.

However, how well it was maintained, weather conditions and the type of wood used will factor into how long it lasts.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a hybrid product. It’s composed mainly of wood fibers and recycled plastic. Common names for composite decking are:

  • Trex
  • TimberTech
  • Veranda

Composite decking is dense and heavy. It’s also stain and weather-resistant that doesn’t warp, rot, split or splinter. Its lifespan is 50 years.

Most types of plastic decking have wood-grain patterns molded into their surfaces to give them the look of real wood.

The Care & Maintenance of Composite

Unlike with wood, you don’t have to sand, seal, stain or even paint your composite. It is recommended that you clean your composite deck twice a year to keep it looking clean.

You can do that by using warm, soapy water and scrubbing your deck. Diluted bleach can kill any signs of mold or mildew.

Available in Different Colors & Sizes

Standard composite decking is available in several colors such as brown, gray, and tan. These colors will most likely fade over time, especially areas exposed to direct sunlight.

There are new fade-resistant composites available. They cost more but keep their color longer.

You can buy composite decking in lengths up to 16 feet.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Invest in a New Deck

Before you make the investment, you should ask yourself a few questions to help you decide which type of decking is best for you such as:

  • How will you use the deck?
  • Is the deck in a sunny or shaded area?
  • Will you do your own deck maintenance or hire a company?

You should also factor in how long you plan to live in your home. While a deck can help increase the value of your home, you shouldn’t blow your budget if you’re planning on moving within a few years.

The Price of Decking

It’s important to understand all the costs involved before you make your choice. Here are the typical costs of both composite and wood decking materials:

  • Pressure-treated wood: $1.50-$2.50 per square foot
  • Cedar: $3.75-$5 per square foot
  • Redwood: $6-$8
  • Tropical hardwoods: $8-$12 per square foot
  • Composite: $7-$10

Once you figure out which material you want to use, try the free cost estimator to get an idea of costs. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of maintenance moving forward if you choose wood.

Choose Your Decking Here

Now that you know the differences between composite versus wood decking, it’s time to start shopping. We have a great selection of decking materials.

We offer competitive pricing and materials that can stand the test of time. Click here to start shopping today.

How an Ipe Wood Fence Gives Your Home a Distinctive Contemporary Look

If you’re in the market for a new fence, an ipe wood fence may be just what you’re looking for. With an exotic, contemporary, and timeless look, ipe hardwood and ipe fence designs are as beautiful as they are durable.

Because of the grain and color of this tropical wood, you’ll often see it used in more modern, contemporary designs.

This guide has everything you need to know about ipe hardwood for your backyard and how to use it to create a beautiful, modern outdoor oasis.

What is Ipe Wood Fencing?

Ipe is pronounced ee-pay in Portuguese. Ipe wood is sourced from South America. This beautiful and exotic hardwood is from the tropics, so it makes a great weather-resistant choice for fencing.

Because it is a tropical wood, it comes naturally resistant to weather, insects, abrasion, and rot. Ipe wood fencing can stand up to rain, heat, wind, and any other elements your home may face. The Wall Street Journal describes this wood as being tough as nails.

The color is naturally a medium to a dark shade of brown. If the wood has been untreated or sealed, it may turn lighter and patina but it can easily be brought back to its natural beauty with a brightener or cleaner.

The color of ipe wood is similar to mahogany and it is a less expensive tropical hardwood that teak lumber. Because it is so durable and weather-resistant, you will often see ipe wood used in fencing, decks, outdoor furniture, and walkways.

In almost all applications, you can expect a really long lifespan out of your ipe fence. With a little maintenance, you can expect your fence to last longer than many pressure-treated woods or engineered materials.

Contemporary Design Ideas with Ipe Wood Fence

Ipe wood fencing is often used in modern and contemporary designs. The color and grain of the wood make for a great contemporary look as opposed to other more weathered or grainy types of woods.

Ipe fences can be laid horizontally for a contemporary look or even in a decorative pattern such as herringbone, or a mix of traditional horizontal boards broken up with vertical ones.

A modern fencing twist is laying the boards horizontally and using thicker, larger pieces of wood. You can separate the slats a little more as well. Bigger spaces with a wider plank give a cool take on the usual fence patterns.

The darker color of ipe boards is also on-trend right now and you won’t even have to stain it.

Another contemporary look is to mix ipe boards with black iron. You can use black iron to stabilize the fence and create a modern, industrial look.

Metal is another sleek way to stabilize an ipe fence in a contemporary and industrial feeling way. The combination of the two will give a clean and modern feel to your outdoor space.

A Good Neighbor Fence

A good neighbor fence is a newer trend where you try to have the fence look the same on both sides. The idea is that both you and your neighbor will see the same fence so one person doesn’t have a bad side while the other has a good side.

With boards laid in a modern, contemporary pattern such as horizontally, both of you will see the same thing on either side of the fence.

The great thing about using ipe as a good neighbor fence is that the natural color is also universally appealing. While it lends itself to contemporary designs and outdoor spaces, the pretty color goes well with any house your neighbor may have.

Additional Contemporary Fence Ideas

For some more contemporary looking ipe fence ideas, think of concrete or green vegetation. In addition to black iron, using concrete is also another super modern way of securing your fence and creating a minimalist and on-trend look.

Between the concrete and durable ipe hardwood, you will barely ever need to maintain this fence. While both are contemporary in design, they are also so clean and classic looking, you will have a look that is virtually timeless.

Another fun twist on the average fence is to use boxwoods or metal trellises to secure your fence. You can break up pieces of the fence with hearty, and contemporary boxwoods trimmed in a clean fashion.

Metal trellises filled with plants and vines are another pretty way to break up the fence while still creating privacy. Both looks add a natural element that are visually stunning.

The pops of green will look gorgeous against the rich, reddish-brown ipe wood fencing. This would also look pretty as a pergola, around a pool, or as a privacy wall.

Ipe Wood Fencing Price Guide

While getting a new fence can seem expensive, with proper care and maintenance, an ipe fence can last for decades. A new fence is also something that will always increase the value of your home.

Ipe fencing comes in three specific widths with varying lengths at Ipe Woods USA. There are 1×4 boards, 1×6 boards, as well as 1×8 inch boards. These are all ¾” thick.

The price of ipe wood will typically be around $2.00-$2.50/LF for standard 1×4 boards. The price will vary slightly depending on the board you go with. Each board can be used in a variety of different ways and the prices range depending on the size and quantity you need.

The 1×4 boards range in length from 4 to 20 feet.

The 1×6 boards range in length from 4 to 20 feet.

The 1×8 boards range in length from 4 to 20 feet.

It is always best to have a professional asses your needs and quote your unique job.

Why Use a Contemporary Ipe Wood Fence?

An ipe wood fence is well worth your investment. From its rich color and universally appealing look to its durability and versatility, you can use an ipe fence in almost unlimited ways.

The color and look of ipe wood make it an eco-friendly and timeless addition to your modern, and contemporary outdoor space. Use it with iron, metal, varying patterns, or in combination with natural plants for a sleek and modern fence that will transform your outdoor space.

If you’re ready to speak with a professional about your new fence, fill out the contact form here to get started on your contemporary backyard make-over.

2019 Ipe Woods USA Scholarship Winner Announced

We had many applicants in 2019 for the Caitlan Wallace Memorial Scholarship. Upon review of all the applicants, Ipe Woods has selected Zayd Albowyha from San Francisco State University in California as the grand 2019 scholarship recipient of $1500.

In 2018 our recipient was from Arizona State University. Making this the second annual scholarship award. We also have increased every year the amount of the scholarship.

We are glad to be able and provide this scholarship with the purpose to increase awareness and help prevent even just one tragedy from impaired driving in memory of Caitlan.

Ipe Woods USA will be offering the scholarship again in 2020. This scholarship will again be increased. This information will be coming shortly.

Congratulations to Zayd!