Category Archives: Tips

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 maybe longer. But I am going to list 4 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 sea water 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 pregroove  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.

How to Choose the Best Deck Wood

Inside a home, far more attention goes into how to decorate walls and the protective layers constructed outside of the bones.  It’s easy to forget how much effort goes into the procurement and betterment of materials for construction. 

Outside of a home, bare wood (or nearly bare) is a chosen aesthetic. This naked wood needs to be considered as an outer layer that also works as an inner layer.  Choosing the best deck wood, then, is about finding a material that holds both its strength and looks with the least maintenance.

This selection is partially based on a chosen aesthetic, naked wood versus painted, stained, etc. The other selection pressure is climate. An area with more humidity needs different materials than a dry area with lots of unfiltered sunlight. 

The following provides information on the most popular choices and explains their strengths and longevity. 

Best Deck Wood

At one point in time, deck wood was chosen by local availability or cheapest distribution. The local procurement made sense because wood growing in an area clearly was adapted to the area. 

Cheap distribution helped make replacements and upkeep cheaper by offering a standardized product. 

Today’s options expand on these two concepts integrating new technologies and time-tested materials that beat expense curves. This list breaks down decking material into broad categories of natural woods, exotic wood, and budget materials. 

Naturals

Natural woods provided the best appearance without resorting to treatments or stains. They create their own protective chemicals and are rich in color. 

That said, to expand the longevity of these woods, stripping, sealing, and eventually staining come into play.  Sealing of natural woods is recommended every three or so years. Stains for natural woods are less about coloration than they are tint.

Much like a window, the stain offers sun filtration that blocks light from bleaching the wood as quickly. 

Redwood

This softwood from the west coast offers a rich color and tannins that repel bugs and slow decay. 

Redwood comes in grades representing respective hardness based on if the wood is pulled from the inner or outer areas of a tree. heartwood provides the best in decay resistance but is somewhat firmer and always more expensive. 

Sapwood is softer but limited in its repellant qualities. Sapwood also tends to have more character in terms of knots and patterns. 

Recent investigations indicate promising directions for getting replacements to color match older boards, furthering the longevity of this wood.

Cedar

Red cedar has many of the same properties of redwood and similar aesthetics. Red coloration makes decks feel warm and lived-in over duller grey and brown colorings.

While grades of redwood concern the longevity and hardness of the material, grades in red cedar represent scales of most to least knotty. 

Cedar is a thinner tree and less prone to variation in hardness. The level knotty content changes the look but also structural integrity with exceptionally knotty wood offering more area for decay. 

Tropical Hardwood

These materials come from harder trees sourced from tropical locations. They are relatively new to the market but offer key resistances not found in northwestern woods.

These woods are dense and fibrous, making them resistant to weathering, especially from water. Like natural woods, they do best when treated with a protective stain that reflects light to keep the color longer.

Ipe

Pronounced ee-pay, this wood is also known as Brazilian Walnut. It is a deep mahogany in color and lightens over time to look a softer red. This is the decking material Ipe Woods specializes in because it’s the wood that offers the best in strength, appearance, and upkeep. 

The relative hardness of Ipe limits the fasteners used to hold it in place. Screws and nails work poorly without pilot holes. Clips and hidden fasteners both hold better and keep the deck looking flush.

Garapa

Also known as Brazilian Ash, Garapa wood resembles Ipe in many ways. The key difference is the color, which is a more rich brown that fades into ideal warm browns and ‘woody’ colors. 

It also keeps a smoother appearance, looking more like wood tile than the rich grain of Ipe or the natural woods. 

Budget

Budget options lower costs by blending materials or otherwise treating wood to add durability. These woods are functional but lack a lot of the natural beauty of natural and tropical woods. 

These materials also need more frequent upkeep. It’s always important to consider the impact of preservatives and stains, especially if applied annually.

Pressure Treated

Pressure-treated wood starts out soft and becomes denser from the aforementioned pressuring treating. Typically comprised of yellow pine, the material undergoes a process that provides resistance to weathering, insects, and decaying agents like fungus. 

It isn’t a very appealing color but is porous, making it easy to stain other colors. This porous construction does leave it vulnerable to taking in water which warps it over time.

A yearly wash and stain are recommended and a three-year treatment of preservatives to keep the wood water-tight. 

Composites

Composite materials cost more than pressure-treated but also bring in better longevity at the cost of looking more uniform and less wood.

This material almost doesn’t belong in this list as it isn’t so much deck wood as full-on deck ‘material’. Still, composite decking holds up to weathering well.

Composite decking requires the least maintenance with only semi-annual washing needed to keep it looking proper. 

Hem-Fir

A combination of western hemlock and Amabilis fir, these boards are sold together and may contain either or in any combination. 

Generally speaking, these are not great deck woods but are cheap and can be useful if treated well. 

For a deck that’s subject to punishment from physical blows or one that you want to paint a non-wood color, hem-fir offers low costs and low-aesthetics. 

Expect to strip and repaint the wood every other year and wash annually. 

Find Yours Now

Now you have an overview of the best deck wood options on the market for every budget. All decks require maintenance to last but some require more frequent than others. 

Keep in mind your total budget and don’t be afraid to pay more upfront to have a lower-cost per year and a more natural, lustrous deck. Contact us with questions about your property and for deck ideas and tips. 

5 Reasons to Consider Ipe Siding for Your Home

Adding some kind of wood siding has been a common practice for many residential homes for more than two centuries. Wood siding has withstood the test of time for so long because it hits that sweet spot of form and function. It looks great and it works just as well. 

In recent years, Ipe siding has been one of those popular wood choices. But even with its growing positive reputation, many homeowners are unaware of this great option. 

If you’re a homeowner that falls into that category, let us fix the situation for you! We’ve compiled the top five reasons why Ipe wood siding is a great option for any outdoor upgrades you need! 

1. Unique Design

Let’s face it, a lot of exterior design choices can be pretty bland and a lot of houses look the same. Switching the material up to an Ipe wood exterior siding can give your home an extra dose of excitement to take it to the next level. 

Ipe siding is a natural wood found in the forests of Brazil. The coloring and grain of the wood bring out the exotic and luxurious feel from the very beginning. Many homes use a painted, vinyl siding, so going with natural wood is already outside-the-box thinking. 

But you also have the ability to really customize the look of your Ipe siding. Planks come in a variety of widths that can be installed in a variety of ways to create specific looks. You can go for a more traditional look or a fun Ipe shiplap siding design, both work and look great!  

2. Extended Lifetime

A major downside of many designs is that they don’t stand the test of time. They look great initially and even for a few years after that. But then they start to fall apart and the beautiful look you worked so hard to get is destroyed. 

That will definitely not be the case if you decide to go with an Ipe wood siding option

Ipe is an extremely strong wood that has a very strong reputation for being able to withstand the elements. Rain, wind, snow, dirt, and debris can’t do very much to damage its surface. Even after years of this, you won’t have to worry about needing to spend a ton of money to get your siding replaced. 

Since the wood grows in such extreme weather conditions, you know it will be able to stand up to whatever your local area brings! 

3. Environmentally Friendly 

As we mentioned before, Ipe wood is found in the Brazilian rainforests. These trees can grow up to 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. They’re extremely large, especially when you consider the environment that they’re growing in. 

One of the best parts about using this type of material for your home improvement projects is that it’s an extremely environmentally-friendly choice. Even though these trees reach incredible heights, they do it quickly. So it only takes a few years (relative to the average tree’s life) to replace the trees that are used. 

Most organizations that sell Ipe siding are sustainable resources that are making sure they look out for the environment that produces such a great material to work with. 

Ipe siding also doesn’t require any plastics or chemicals to be added to before it can be used as siding. The process to get it ready for use on a home is much more environmentally friendly than others as well. 

4. Cost-Effective Material 

There’s no getting around it, re-siding a home is an expensive project. It requires so much material that it’s impossible for it to be a cheap upgrade. But you can make a smart investment and make it work for you by going with Ipe wood exterior siding. 

When you use a wood that is going to withstand the test of time and does not need to be replaced for decades, you are going to be getting your full money’s worth!

Beyond its longevity, Ipe Wood siding installation often costs less than other siding options because of the way it’s purchased. Companies who sell this type of product often purchase in bulk from their suppliers. This action saves them money upfront which can be passed on to you at the price offered. 

It’s almost like double savings, you save upfront at the time of purchase and then down the road when you’re home looks great and you don’t have to redo the project! 

5. Added Safety Measures

There are so many ways that your home can be damaged, many of them are facts of life and nothing can be done. But there are ways you can try to prevent other types of major damage and the main one is by choosing the right material. 

One of the coolest traits of Ipe wood is that it’s fire-resistant. This doesn’t mean that it will never burn or catch on fire but it does mean that the chances are lower. Also if it does catch fire, it will burn much slower giving you more time to get to safety. It’s remarkable for a wood product to be able to do this. 

It’s also less likely to have infestations of insects as well. The wood is so hard that the bugs can’t get inside of it, which is a huge bonus! 

IPE Siding for Your Exterior 

Making any major decisions for your home can be a daunting task, you want the investment to last for a long time and still be something you love. This is especially true for the siding on the exterior, it’s such a major part of the home. 

This is exactly why Ipe siding is a great option for many homes. The material is durable, strong, and long-lasting. But it also gives you a unique design perspective with its eye-catching, natural beauty. You really can’t go wrong with adding it to the exterior of your home. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Ipe wood siding and your specific project, contact us today! 

10 Incredible Things to Know About Massaranduba Decking

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your deck, you don’t want to settle with just any type of lumber. If installed correctly, your new deck should last you anywhere from 15-20 years with proper care and maintenance.

So where do you start? Massaranduba hardwood decking is exactly what you need to keep your new deck looking brand new for years to come! Here are 10 things you may not know about massaranduba decking (but you should!):

#1. It’s One Of The Hardest Woods In The World

Yes, you read that correctly. Massaranduba decking is one of the hardest woods in the world making it an incredible choice for anyone wanting a deck that is durable and will last longer than other materials on the market. 

Since massaranduba wood is so durable, it’s very versatile and is used on many types of build designs. From commercial to residential, you can’t go wrong with choosing massaranduba decking for your next project.

#2. Massaranduba Wood Is All Natural

If you know anything about composite decking, you know that it’s a mixture of plastic and wood pulp. These two materials together contribute to the pollution of our planet and are known to be very harmful to animal and plant life. Unlike these traits, massaranduba wood is 100% all-natural wood! 

This means you can have a brand new, beautiful deck all while knowing you’re doing no harm to the planet or its inhabitants!

#3. Don’t Worry, It Will Last You Forever

Another great thing about massaranduba decking is its longevity. Due to its hardness, massaranduba wood is known to last decades, even while enduring extreme weather conditions. This makes it a great choice for those looking for a material that won’t need to be replaced frequently. 

#4. It’s Weather Resistant 

Massaranduba wood is also known to be very weather resistant as stated above. Originated in South America, the wood was originally found in the forests. Here they could receive up to 400+ inches of rain a year. That is up to 10 times more rainfall than in the United States. 

This makes massaranduba wood naturally resistant to heavy rainfall, rot, and even mold!

#5. Don’t Even Stress About Insects

Like other tropical woods, massaranduba wood is naturally insects resistant. Over time, massaranduba wood has evolved to withstand the insects of the South American forests. Though different species of insects live in North America, they are no match for the incredibly tough wood fibers of massaranduba. 

This means more time relaxing on your new deck and less time buying insect repellant or calling your local exterminator. Sounds like a win in our book!

#6. Need To Replace A Board? No Big Deal

One of the most frustrating things comes when it’s time to replace some of the boards on your deck. Even more frustrating? When those new boards stick out like a sore thumb compared to the weathered and worn out pieces that have been there for 5 years. Luckily, this applies to composite decking and not massaranduba!

Like other tropical woods, massaranduba is known for its durability, and this applies to looks too! No need to worry about when it comes to needing some replacement pieces. Since most tropical woods all have a slightly different look from the beginning, you’ll never be able to tell you had that board right in the center swapped out for a new one!

#7. Massaranduba Won’t Break The Bank

With its incredible qualities, you’d think that massaranduba wood would put a huge hole in your wallet. However, you may be surprised to learn that is not true. The upfront costs of massaranduba wood are actually around the same as lower-end composite options. 

What’s even better? Massaranduba is known to last anywhere between 20-70 years depending on upkeep and weather conditions, unlike composite wood which can begin to rot around 4-5 years after installation. This means that you could replace your composite deck 4 times before you could possibly notice any changes to your massaranduba deck.

Overall, massaranduba decking is a cost-effective way to create a beautiful outdoor sanctuary right in your backyard.

#8. It’s Highly Fire Resistant

When it comes to construction material decision-making such as large commercial projects, fire resistance is a huge deciding factor in product choice. Massaranduba wood is known to receive a high B rating in Flame Spread testing as it’s flame spread resistant. This means if a fire were to break out, it wouldn’t get far with the help of massaranduba.

#9. Massaranduba Wood Is As Beautiful As It Is Functional

Originating in South America, massaranduba wood is a naturally gorgeous color. It ranges anywhere from a deep plum color to a lighter brown, making it a great option for those looking a natural, beautiful wood without having to use any artificial stains to achieve the color you want. 

#10. It’s Slip Resistant, Too!

Like all of its other amazing qualities, massaranduba is known to be slip-resistant as well. Due to the fine texture of the wood, you won’t have to worry about slipping and falling on your way out the door when you’re running late for work. 

Is Massaranduba Decking Right For You?

If you’re looking for decking wood that is going to last a long time, is weather-resistant, looks beautiful, and won’t break the bank, massaranduba wood is perfect for you! Being one of the hardest woods in the world, you know you can trust it for years to come to stay beautiful and be easy to maintain. 

Contact us for more questions about massaranduba wood and how you can take your deck to the next level!

What Are the Pros and Cons of Cumaru Wood for a Deck?

Adding a new deck can be one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home. It can be especially important to consider the type of deck you want. The reason being, all decks aren’t created the same. To save time and money knowing what type of wood to use for your deck is key. If you have started your research chances are you have discovered there are many types of woods to choose from. And with so many options you may be wondering which one is best for building your deck. We’ve found that one of the best wood for building a deck is cumaru wood.

To help you determine if this type of deck is right for your home, we’ve created an easy to read pros and cons list about using cumaru wood.

What You Need to Know About Cumaru Wood

Cumaru wood, also referred to as Brazilian Teak, is a type of wood found in Northern South America. It is known for its durability and distinctive color.

Cumaru wood is usually medium to dark brown. But sometimes it has been found with a reddish and purplish hue. It can also feature streaks of yellows and greens, that blend into its brown dexterity.

Grain interlocked, cumaru wood has a medium texture with a waxy feel. It is said that cumaru can give off faint cinnamon or vanilla-like scents when being installed.

Pros for Using Cumaru Wood

When it comes to building a deck you want wood that will last through all weathering conditions. One of the many pros of using Cumaru wood is that it is rot resistant. It tends to outlast many other types of decking wood such as Pine, Redwood, and Cedar.

Again, this speaks to the excellent durability that Cumaru wood has. It is known for having superior resistance to termites and other dry wood borers. If you live in humid climates, cumaru wood is also resistant to mildew and mold.

Cumaru would also have a “Class A” Fire rating. This means it has a similar level of fire resistance properties as that of steel and concrete.

The natural resistance to decay and damage is a major pro, making cumaru wood a top pick for decking wood.

Another pro is that cumaru wood is more affordable than other types of wood. Its moderate price point makes it a great alternative to other woods such as Ipe.

There are few other kinds of wood that can claim a life span of over 50 years. One reason for that is cumaru wood is also easier to maintain. Which is one more pro to add to the list.

Most importantly cumaru wood is known for its aesthetically appealing finish. And if you consider yourself an eco-friendly homeowner, you’re in luck.

Cumaru wood is naturally strong by itself, which means it doesn’t have to be treated with any harmful chemicals. It’s also 100% biodegradable, making it a pro for you and the environment.

Cons for using Cumaru Wood

While there are many pros for using cumaru wood for your deck, there are also a few cons to consider. One con is its workability. It can be difficult to install because it is dense and has an interlocked grain texture.

No matter if your using glue, screws, or nails, cumaru has a high oil content which can present problems at installation. Another con is the effect the wood has on tools themselves. Since it contains silica, there could be some moderate blunting on the cutting tools used.

There may also be the need to predrill or use specialized installation hardware to complete a cumaru wood install. Other notable cons are cumaru wood is heavy, stiff, and hard making it laborious to work with.

Other Things to Consider When Building a Cumaru Wood Deck

You should consider your budget for your decking project. Cumaru wood is a commodity so its pricing does tend to fluctuate. Factors that drive its pricing includes supply, availability, and the market.

You also want to buy wood that has been properly dried. That is what determines the stability of the wood and ultimately your deck. If this process has been done correctly it helps prevent your deck from warping.

When purchasing your wood you want to specify that it will be used for decking outside. There is a different drying process for cumaru used for indoor projects. Getting the wrong kind of wood can turn your decking project into a huge hassle.

Before installing your new deck you want to check with your cities rules and regulations for how and if you can build a deck. While there is no limation for using cumaru wood, you want to make sure you are clear on any specifications. It would be a travesty to build a beautiful deck only for it to go against city code.

Another thing to consider is making sure the underlying structure of your deck is built with quality products as well. You want to consider hardware that is specifically designed for tropical hardwoods such as cumaru.

This could include faster clips that blend in with the wood. You could also consider stainless steel screws for a seamless finish across your deck.

One last thing to consider is that your deck can change color over time. If your deck is directly exposed to the sun you could see some fading to its natural reddish color overtime.

A Cumaru Wood Deck Creates the Perfect Deck

There is nothing like having your own deck creating the perfect backyard oasis. Contact us today and let us help you build your brand new cumaru wood deck.

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!

Crucial Steps to Winterize and Protect Your Deck

Soon, the crisp autumn weather will leave us behind and a healthy layer of snow will blanket the ground. When that happens, you need to make sure that you’re ready. You have to winterize your deck.

If you don’t, the snow and ice that comes with the chilly season will trap moisture into the wood and cause mold and rot. If that happens, you’ll have to replace your Ipe wood deck as soon as the warm weather comes back.

Preparing your hardwood decking goes further than sealing it to keep moisture out. Check out this guide for a full list of steps that you should take to winterize your deck.

Do a General Inspection

First things first, take a look around your deck to see how things look. It will be hard to make general repairs once your deck is covered in snow so, it’s best that you get it out of the way now.

Secure any loose nails that you find. If there are some boards that are looking a bit worse for wear, chances are they won’t last through the winter. Go ahead and have them replaced.

Clean Things Up

Once everything looks good and secure, it’s time to do a little cleaning. If you leave any leaves or pine needles on your deck, they’ll trap in moisture and cause the wood to rot.

Sweep all of it away and bring your potted plants inside if you can. Not only will the winter weather harm the plants but the moisture the pots give off might rot your hardwood decking as easily as the pine straw will.

Check for Weak Tree Branches

You can prepare your deck for the winter all you want but if a tree branch falls on it, all your hard work will be for nothing. Look for signs of tree rot.

If you see any dead branches, go ahead and trim them away. It’s good for the health of the tree and it will save your deck from any unfortunate accidents.

If you live in an area that sees heavy amounts of snow and ice, even a healthy branch might break. You might want to do some trimming just in case.

Power Wash

You don’t want to leave grease and other gross residue sitting on your deck throughout the winter. Rent a power washer and clean any and all mildew off your deck.

If you have an older deck, a power washer might do more harm than good. Instead, go over it with a bleach-free cleaner. This will be enough to get rid of grease and mildew without discoloring and chipping the wood.

Perform the Water Test

It’s time to test your wood to see how it holds up to water. Give your deck a small spritz with a garden hose and see if the water runs off. If it does, you don’t have much to worry about.

If it doesn’t you should re-stain your deck to create a layer of protection. You should pay extra attention to the areas where the water pools. It might be a good idea to have the boards in those places replaced.

Seal the Deck

As we said above, if your deck is no longer repelling water as it should, it’s time to re-stain it or waterproof it. Now, you can’t throw a sealer on it can call it a day.

You have to pay attention to the weather first. If you don’t, the sealer won’t be as effective and your wood will rot before the winter ends.

Play the Waiting Game

Your deck has to be completely dry before you throw a sealer on it. If it’s not, as the deck dries the sealant will come out of the wood along with the water.

The good news is that there are a few signs that your deck will give off when it’s ready to be sealed. The wood will turn a lighter color and you’ll be able to see a little bit of space between the boards.

Check with the Weatherman

Warm weather helps the seal dry faster and makes it more effective. This being said, check to make sure that the weather is going to be above 50 degrees for at least 48 hours after you seal the deck.

This is easier said than done. While fall and spring weather usually stays above 50 degrees during the day, the temperature may plummet during the night and ruin your sealant.

The temperature isn’t the only thing that has to be favorable. Take a look at the 5-day forecast to check for rain, snow, sleet, and other nasty weather conditions.

Store Your Plants and Furniture

Again, you want to store your plants away because the pots will trap moisture into your deck. The cold weather might also ruin your ceramic pots and kill your plants. Check the leaves for spiders and other creepy crawlies and bring the pots inside.

The same can be said about your outdoor furniture. You won’t be having a family BBQ in the middle of the winter so wash down your furniture and store it away until the warm weather comes back. If you don’t, you’ll be buying a new set when the springtime comes along.

Winterize Your Deck in Time for the Cold Season

You need to take the proper steps to winterize your deck before the icy weather brushes through. This way, you won’t have to deal with rot and mold in the spring.

Take the time to seal the deck, remove your potted plants, put away your furniture, and clean the wood. Trust us when we say you won’t regret it.

If you want your deck to be dry enough for sealing before the cold weather hits, it might be a good idea to begin your deck building project now. Check out our large selection of Ipe decking to get started.

Building a Deck Frame 101: How to Choose the Perfect Wood for Your Project

Don’t use just any old wood for your brand-new deck. Before you build your deck, do a little planning.

A deck can make your home look bigger and better. When planned thoughtfully, it can also add some spice to your façade.

Decks make great outdoor entertaining spaces. If you reside in a scenic area, a deck is a great way to take advantage of the view.

If you’re going to build a deck, it helps to understand the basics of the project. Read on to learn the basics of building a deck frame.

Building a Deck Frame

Before you build your deck, always remember to check local zoning laws and apply for any necessary permits. You don’t want your dream deck to turn into a hotbed of trouble with the local authorities.

A reliable deck needs a good foundation. There are several ways to set the posts of your deck.

A popular method involves pouring concrete into the post holes. Next, you’ll set the posts in the concrete. Then, you’d backfill the post holes with gravel.

To keep your posts from rotting, you can set them in aboveground concrete footers. No matter what method you use, however, you should make sure that you set your posts above the frost line.

The frost line is the level where the ground freezes. By setting your posts above the frost line, you’ll prevent freezing ground from pushing the posts out of their foundation. The frost line is different in various regions, so you’ll have to find out how deep it is in your area.

You’ll also need to fasten the support beams and joists. It’s important to use hardware for treated lumber to attach your deck materials.

For instance, use stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized fasteners. Standard fasteners will rust, ruining your entire deck over time – more on that shortly.

The Best Wood for Decks

There are many tasks involved in the installation of wood decks. One of those tasks is choosing the wood.

There’s a lot of wood types that you can choose. It can prove difficult choosing one, especially if you’re wondering about the best wood to use for decks.

Here’s a tip: Hardwood lumber is your best option. It’s beautiful and durable.

For instance, Ipe is the best wood for an outdoor deck. You may have also heard it called Brazilian Walnut or Pau Lope wood.

Garapa wood is approximately half as hard as you Ipe wood decking. Still, it retains many of the positive traits of Ipe building material.

Cumaru wood is another attractive Brazilian building material. It’s only slightly less hard compared to Ipe wood. Cumaru wood also retains many of the good qualities of Ipe wood decking.

You may have also heard Cumaru wood called Brazilian Teak. It has a medium-brown color and also comes in exotic purple tones.

Cumaru wood is more affordable compared to Ipe. However, it doesn’t have the flawless appearance of this more superior product.

Wood Deck Ideas

Now comes the fun part – picking the right finish for your wood deck. There are three options for finishing wood decks – paint, stain or raw wood.

It may seem unusual to paint a wood deck. However, there are benefits to using paint.

If you choose the right color, for instance, you won’t need to clean it often. Also, it’s easy to clean some high-quality paints. Furthermore, quality paint lasts long.

However, you need to make sure that’s what you want to do. Once you’ve painted your deck, it’s difficult to restore it to a natural wood finish.

Most people choose to stain their decks. Stain enables you to retain the natural beauty of the wood. With some woods, stain brings out the beauty of the material.

However, stain doesn’t last as long as paint. The amount of time that wood stain lasts varies depending on how many coats you apply as well as the quality of the coating.

Finally, you may decide not to treat your deck materials. One advantage of not treating your deck wood is that you can use it immediately. With diligent cleaning and maintenance, your deck will still last for years.

Redwood and Red Cedar resist insects and decay naturally. However, untreated wood will discolor, especially in high-traffic areas.

Still, the right raw wood will stand the test of time, as long as you don’t live in an environment with extreme weather. It will look different over time but will still retain its durability.

Designing Your Wood Deck

Before you build your deck, think about the big picture. As a rule of thumb, you should build a deck that’s no larger than 20-percent of your home’s total square footage.

You should also consider how you’ll make use of your deck. For example, you may want to use it for entertaining. In that case, you may want to consider including a fire pit feature and space for outdoor furniture.

It’s also a good idea to build your deck a few inches below your door. This method isn’t as attractive as building the deck flush to your doorway. However, it will prevent debris from making its way into your home.

It’s also helpful to have a deck that’s lower than your entryway when it snows. A deck that’s set a few inches below your door will keep snow from blocking the entryway in the wintertime.

Trust Us for the Best Wood for Your Deck!

There’s much more that goes into building a deck frame. However, this overview gives you an idea of the basics of building a beautiful outdoor area for your home.

Ipe Woods USA is the leader in direct-to-consumer exotic hardwood. Were also a member of the International Wood Products Association and the National Hardwood Lumber Association.

You can count on top-notch service from Ipe Woods. We’ve won the Houzz “Best of Customer Service” award two years in a row.

It’s our mission to provide the highest quality Ipe wood at the lowest cost. Contact us today at (844) 674-4455 for a free quote for your next deck project.

The Hardest Hardwood Floors: Are They Worth It?

You love the look of hardwood floors, but you’re worried about the dents that could come from everyday use.

This is a genuine concern that many people have.

Being a homeowner, you know that even the slightest movement of furniture can be enough to mark up the floors. You might have young children who use the floors as a playmat.

The hardest hardwood floors are your answer to decorating your home in a practical way.

While no floor can completely guard against dents, the hardest can do a great job at resisting it.

Are you interested in finding out why the hardest hardwood floors might work for you? Read on to find out why they’re worth the investment.

How Hard Is The Hardest Wood Flooring?

Hardwood floors are rated for their hardness using the Janka scale.

Each type of wood receives a Janka rating. The lowest numbers on the scale mean that the wood is more likely to dent, while the highest numbers mean that the wood can resist dents better.

The one thing that the Janka scale does not determine is how likely the wood is to get scratches. Instead, it determines the hardness of certain types of wood flooring.

The lowest ratings are typically in the hundreds, with the highest ratings usually reaching into the thousands.

When looking at the hardest of wood floors, you want one with a high Janka rating.

What Is The Hardest Type of Wood Flooring?

When looking into the hardest hardwood floors, there are a few options to decide from. Since all the options rank high on the Janka scale, your choice should come down to the floor that is right for you.

Hickory

Hickory is one of the hardest domestic woods available for hardwood flooring. It ranks fairly high on the Janka scale at 1,820. It’s a good option that surpasses the industry standard of hardness, but there are many harder options to consider as well.

While hardwood from the United States is used for flooring, it’s not the hardest that’s available. If you’re looking for the hardest floors you can find, exotic species are the way to go.

Garapa Hardwood

Garapa is a hardwood that also takes on the name of “Golden Teak.” One great feature of Garapa hardwood floors is that they are golden in color. It’s one of the softer options when it comes to exotic wood as it has a 1,700 Janka rating.

Garapa is often used outside for decking, so it’s prepared to take on some of the toughest scratches. This makes it a great option for hardwood flooring indoors. It will brighten up a room while keeping up with high traffic.

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet durable option, Garapa might be the choice for you.

Tigerwood Hardwood

Looking for a unique hardwood floor with a lot of character? Tigerwood can give you all that and more!

You might know it better as Brazilian koa or African walnut. It’s a popular choice for hardwood floors for many reasons.

It’s a great option if you want your floors to stand out while protecting against marks and scuffs. Its Janka rating is 2,160, meaning that it surpasses the hardness of domestic woods.

This means that it’s a great option for flooring as it resists dents and damages well.

The lifespan of tigerwood is another great feature of this hardwood. That unique tiger print pattern can stand out for many years to come!

Cumaru Hardwood

Another name for Cumaru is Brazilian Chesnut. This falls in line with the beautiful brown color that makes this wood so stunning.

Cumaru ranks at 3,540 on the Janka scale making it one of the hardest hardwood floor options available.

Pairing its durability with its beautiful patterns, it’s a great option if you want some of the hardest wood available for your flooring.

Ipe Hardwood

Ipe or Brazilian walnut is top-notch if you want the hardest and most durable flooring on the market. It boasts a Janka rating of 3,680, making it extremely hard to dent.

Aside from its extreme hardness, it’s good for a few other reasons as well. One reason is that it’s available in many colors. This makes it a great option for you if you want a certain look to go with extreme durability.

In addition to this, Ipe is also fire resistant!

If you’re looking for the toughest of wood that will last a lifetime, then Ipe is the choice for you.

Are The Hardest Hardwood Floors Worth It?

Janka ratings that are over the standard aren’t bad choices. There are plenty of advantages to consider when going with the hardest hardwood floors on the market.

Consider the area that you plan to install the flooring in. Is it a high traffic area that is bound to see rough wear and tear? Is it an area that a pet will use often? If you said “yes,” then you would benefit from choosing a hardwood floor with a higher Janka rating.

This way, you wouldn’t see as many dents on your floors from impact and high traffic. Even if the kids came in and slid their chairs across the floor, they’d do a great job of resisting the scratches.

Finding a good balance between the look that you want and the durability of your flooring will help you reach the best decision for you.

If dents and scratches are your main concern, the hardest hardwood floors will be worth it.

Want to Learn More About the Best Hardwood Floors for You?

Choosing the right flooring is an important decision. Flooring is meant to last you for many years to come, so you’ll want something that can hold up over time.

At Ipe Woods USA, we have a large variety of durable wood choices, the main one being Ipe. You can trust that your hardwood flooring will stand the test of time and of course, the Janka test!

If you’re ready to invest in the hardest hardwood floors you can find, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us to find out how we can help you find the hardwood flooring that’s right for you!

Modern Siding Trends That Homeowners Are in Love With in 2020

The exterior of our homes is often a forgotten area for smart design. But improving the curb appeal of your home can increase its value by 3-5%

New, modern siding can be exactly the upgrade your home needs. These modern styles are becoming more and more popular with a variety of applications. The wide variety allows you to find just the right look for your home. 

Let’s take a deeper look into modern exterior trends and your options. 

Modern Siding Materials

One of the main characteristics of modern exterior design is the use of specific materials. 

Modern style usually has a mixture of materials that seem opposite to each other. Natural wood will be accented by man-made cement or metal. This contrast gives a unique, intentional look for a well-designed home. 

There are several types of siding for houses looking for a modern design. 

Ipe Wood

Almost all modern homes will feature some kind of wood in their design. This element is crucial for the overall contrast needed to achieve the right look. 

A very popular choice for wood siding is Ipe wood or Brazilian walnut. This type of wood is known for its durability and strength, eight times stronger than redwood. It sets the industry standard for wood. 

Many choose this type of wood siding because it holds up so well to the elements. Ipe wood has a natural ability to withstand rot and decay, so it’s perfect for outdoor use. 

There is also very little maintenance (or none if that’s what you choose) to keep it looking fresh. Ipe wood provides the natural element used in modern design without the hassle and upkeep required by other materials. 

Fiber Cement 

Many who are going for a modern exterior will contrast the soft-looking wood elements with some harder, man-made elements. This can easily be achieved by using a fiber cement siding. 

Fiber Siding can be molded to have a variety of different looks, which can be helpful in exterior design. It can also be painted or stained to match the rest of the design. 

This material is quickly replacing vinyl siding throughout the industry. It has a similar look but is much more durable and requires less maintenance. Fiber cement combined with some Ipe wood would give a contemporary siding finish. 

Concrete

One of the hallmarks of modern design is the touches of industrial materials. These help to create that contrast we’ve been talking about. 

Many homes will use areas of concrete to bring in some hard touches to the design.

Though this material is generally reserved for accents or small areas because of the work to install it. Using concrete is more expensive and much more labor-intensive. A professional will definitely have to do this type of work.

But the finished product is quite striking.  

Steel

Similar to concrete, metal is often used in modern design to bring in a harder element for contrast. Steel is most commonly used for this purpose. 

Steel has become a popular choice because of its quite durable as well. It’s easier to work with and can be manipulated to fit the needs of the design. Unlike concrete, it is easier to use on larger areas. 

These metal accents can make a very big impact on the overall exterior design. 

Modern Siding Style

It could be argued that the materials used are the most important part of good modern exterior design, but the style of siding is also just as important. 

There are a few modern siding options that easily create the look you’re going for. 

One of the most popular options is to change the traditional thickness of siding slats. So some homes will have much thinner boards and others will have much thicker. This gives more of a customized look by changing the norm. 

Some even cut their siding into large squares or rectangles to be hung on the home. 

A modern design calls for the unique placement of the siding materials. They can be run vertically or on the diagonal. Some modern homes include intricate designs in their siding. 

This customization is also why Ipe wood is so popular for exterior siding. It can be cut and manipulated to fit any design needs. 

The style and the way the siding is placed is a crucial element to the overall design. It can make or break the look, so it’s important to decide carefully. 

Modern Exterior Extras

Modern design hinges on the use of accessories and accents. These are the elements that bring the contrast out and make it appealing. 

One very large accent that is popular among modern designs is a metal roof. These are especially becoming on a home with Ipe wood siding. Many roofs are also flattened to create an over-the-top modern look. 

But if you aren’t looking to completely change the structure and material of your roofing, there are plenty of other modern accessories you can use. 

Adding accent lighting is a great way to highlight key design elements. The easy addition of a few uprights on the side of your home, maybe near the front door or the main accent wall, can make a huge difference. 

The hardware can bring in the contrasting harder elements as well. Industrial lights, door handles, and house numbers bring in that needed metal. 

A modern exterior just doesn’t work without these little details. 

Update the Look of Your Home 

Updating the exterior of your home can seem like a very daunting task. Largely because it can be such a major investment.

But if you start with the basics of choosing the right modern siding, you’re sure to get the look you want.

These modern materials, like Ipe wood, provide not only a stunning look but also a strong foundation. They are durable and will look great for years to come! 

If you’re interested in getting started on some Ipe wood siding, contact us today!