One of the hardest choices you will ever make as a homeowner has to do with selecting the type of wood to use for your decking. The right board or type of wood is not just about the budget, strength or even looks but an excellent combination of these three attributes!
You may also be considering giving your old decking boards a face-lift suing new decking material, or maybe you just want to add a new deck to your house. But whatever the reason is, you need to be careful about the type of boards to purchase. The decking market has experienced a recent boom and with so many decking materials shoved literally into your face which is capable of confusing you the more.
Therefore, here are some of the things to consider when choosing wood for decking:
What do you intend to use your deck for? – The answers to this question will help you in making up your mind about the type of wood you should choose for your decking. Different decking boards have different holding power, especially under hard use. If your deck is used for entertaining your friends or neighbors and treating them to nightly barbecues, then the wood to be used for decking must be very sturdy. If, however, your decking area will be less frequented, then a less hardy and pressure-treated wood is the best choice.
Available materials – This is another thing you need to consider when choosing wood for your decking. You need to assess the decking materials that you can quickly acquire. Do you have Ipe wood close by? Ipe is a very durable lumber that when used for decking, lasts very long and is resistant to insects, fire, and mildew.
Composite decking is made using wood furniture quality which is mixed with a polymer to produce a high-density and sturdy product. It does not expand or shrink according to the weather, and you will never notice anything like splitting or warping on composite deck boards.
What is your budget? – This is another factor you need to consider. You may come across different price levels which cover different types of woods ranging from wood composite boards, pressure-treated wood, capped wood composite boards, etc. Ipe wood, for instance, is a bit pricey, but its durability, strength, and its resistance to fire, insects, and mildew makes the price to be worth it.
Different materials call for varying levels of upkeep and maintenance. Therefore, it is highly crucial that you ascertain your price range while considering what you’d like to use your decking for. Nevertheless, do not go for cheap wood up front as you may have to bear with high maintenance costs later on in life.
Finally, it is expected of you to be environmentally responsible when it comes to using wood. When you go for treated wood – which requires less energy to produce compared to other building products – you will be assured of using lumber which is durable and environmentally friendly. This implies that your decking will last for a long time, thereby reducing the demand on forests for lumber.