Covered & brick paver patios, wrap around porch, simple design or designer decks, no matter what your needs are, let our team of designers and professional installers at Honey Do Home Improvement help you choose the right materials that can fit any budget.
There are so many things to consider when your thinking of building a deck.
What type of materials do you like?
What type of railings?
Does the area need to be graded?
Do you want low or no maintenance?
Built in seating?
If you decide to stain what color?
Do you want to combine materials?
If you like wood then what kind of wood do you prefer?
redwood,, cedar, treated?
Then there is composite decking which offers over 50 different varieties.
Don't forget exotic imports PVC and steel.
At Honey Do Home Improvement we know the best place to start with any remodeling project is the budget.
Budget will have a big impact on the type of materials you select. It will also help you set the boundaries of your design.
Knowing what you can really afford to spend, will make it a lot easier to decide what items you want to replace and where you can get really creative.
We have provided below a slideshow of inspirational decking ideas. Take a look and see what inspires you and your project.
Redwood needs to be maintained by applying a sealer and reapplying it over time.
It's also more expensive the farther away from the West Coast of the United States you live, "as that's where it's grown."
As a decking material, it's naturally stable, so it resists warping, Redwood's stability helps it look great longer.
It contains little or no resins, which enables it to retain finishes.
From an environmental standpoint, the choicest redwood is from old-growth trees and the supplies are dwindling,
We're now down to 1 percent of the old-growth (redwood) trees.
Cedar is considered a soft wood.
Cedar has been used for decking for generations.
Its natural resistance to rot and insects makes it desirable, however, it might be too soft for decking and has a tendency to splinter.
It's best used for vertical elements like the balustrade of the railing, privacy fencing or for structures like pergolas and planters.
The heartwood of the tree (the deeper colored red part, (not the white sap part) is rot resistant.
Cedar doesn’t readily absorb moisture— and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar decking tends to lie flat and straight.
Most carpenters figure a lifespan of 15 to 20 years for cedar deck boards, but it can deteriorate faster when used for ground-level decks and for shaded decks that are slow to dry out.
To retain the color, you have to clean it and reseal it every year or two, and even then it’s a losing battle.
10-year-old cedar deck that still had that warm, rich look of new wood are few and far between.
Cedar is also soft; when used for stairs or for decks where furniture gets dragged around a lot, the edges in particular can get beat up.
The cost of the cedar is moderate, more than pressure-treated but somewhat less than composite.
What is the best deck materials to use?
Pressure-treated lumber is economical and rot and insect resistant, but it's cheaper than redwood or cedar and is
widely available across the U.S.
Deck builders use it to build the support
systems for decks because it holds up well and is often masked by
the deck flooring.
It’s stainable, hard enough to resist abuse, but beware! Standard treated decking costs less than cedar.
Inexpensive treated wood is often full of moisture and will shrink unevenly and twist when it dries.
It's better to buy higher grade choices like, "choice", "premium" or "select" treated boards.
These type of boards have fewer knots and straighter grain.
These higher grades are kiln-dried both before and after pressure treatment, they have less tendency to warp.
The problem with this type of wood is that it can be unstable, especially at lower prices.
Shrinking, warping and twisting are all common with lesser-grade woods.
If possible, pay a premium for higher-grade lumber that is treated at the mill with water repellents and sometimes pre-stained.
Simplify shopping for composite decking by weighing the importance of 7 key issues, including budget, sunlight, moisture, appearance, building codes and the cost of extras. Some types will meet your needs and others won't.
Composite decking is a great low-maintenance alternative to wood.
The industry had some growing pains in the past decade, but the materials continue to improve and the number of quality products on the market increases each year.
Ten years ago, there were only 10 choices, and now there are more than 50 different composite decking products available.
You'll also find cellular PVC and plastic lumber (HDPE—high-density polyethylene) decking, both of which install similarly to composites.
Focus on composites. Alot of this information applies to PVC and plastic as well.
The biggest frustration you'll encounter is choosing among all the styles, colors and brands.
Narrow down your options and simplify your shopping.
Choose composite decking based on your budget; style and color preferences; fastener choice; and site and code requirements.
Quality composite decking costs two to three times more than pressure-treated wood but lasts two to three times longer.
The fact that your local home center carries a product doesn't mean it's been approved for use where you live or for every application.
Check with local building officials before you buy.
Each system has different fastening and installation requirements. If you don't follow the manufacturer's installation instructions, the warranty will be void.
Composite decking materials average costs is $3 to $7 per sq. ft. ($1.50 to $5 per lin. ft.).
Most lumberyards and home centers stock at least one or two brands and can special order others.
Most brands of the basic composites are similar and will perform just fine. The differences come down to variations in design, colors, mix of plastic and wood, installation systems and texture.
If you're OK with a limited palette of colors; a simple, repetitive grain pattern; and a smooth or combed finish, you'll find a variety of low maintenance, lower-cost products that meet your needs.
Composite decking usually comes in 12-, 16- and 20-ft. planks, and railing components in 12- and 16-ft. increments.
Planning your deck design around these measurements can save you money and cut waste.
You can also keep your costs down by using a system that installs with face screws (rather than hidden fasteners) and building rails from wood.
Dark, solid composites absorb more heat than lighter types. Dark-colored and very dense composites can really heat up in the sun.
If you're sitting in a deck chair on top of all that plastic, the heat reflected up to you can make you sizzle like the burger on your grill.
Get composite samples in different colors and set them outside on your deck site.
If they're hot enough to fry an egg after a day in the hot sun, consider a lighter
color or a different composite material.
More expensive composites brands have finer details, more colors and more features.
Higher-end composites have a superior grain and the most “woodlike” appearance and feel.
Some of the priciest brands have subtle shadings and individual “grain” variations so that no one board is an exact replica of another.
Some manufacturers buff each board at the factory to remove any “plastic” sheen.
High-end composites also have a wider range of colors and matching add-ons such as railings, balusters, posts, post caps, skirts and decorative trim.
These add-ons give your deck a beautiful look, but they don't come cheap. They can easily be triple the cost of the decking boards.
Composite decks subject to frequent wetting can get slippery if they don't have a texture.
Smooth-textured composites can get slippery.
If your deck is going to be used near a pool, or if you live in a climate where ice is an issue and the deck is going to be used as a main entry to the house, search for a style with a pronounced texture.
Hidden fasteners are more expensive but result in a cleaner appearance.
Many people couldn't care less if they see the fasteners when they look at their deck. But if it bothers you, choose a system that works with hidden fasteners.
For example, tongue-and-groove systems eliminate gaps and allow you to hide the screws and drive fewer of them.
Clip systems work with grooved decking that's lightweight and has a thinner profile than face-screw styles.
However, these systems can have open ends that collect leaves and dirt if you don't install end caps or a special trim piece or use an installation design that covers them.
Hidden fastener systems are pricier than systems that install with face screws. The hidden fasteners themselves can bump up the price by 30 percent.
Are you sure materials meet building codes?
Call your local building officials to make sure the material you're considering is approved in your city.
Some composite systems have limitations on the materials for use as stairs or require specific framing in certain applications.
Also, be sure you know what kind of fastener spacing is required so you don't encounter any surprises during inspection.
Composite deck details like trim boards, railings and hidden fasteners increase the cost.
You won't need to pop for specialized tools because composite planks install using the same basic tools as any wood deck. But the decking itself is only a piece of your overall budget.
Each system requires either hidden fasteners or deck screws (for best results, use screws specifically for composite material).
In addition, depending on the system, you may need end caps, reinforcement pieces, special trim or skirt pieces, and add-ons like railings, posts and post caps.
Research the installation and the add-ons so you have a complete picture of the costs before you buy the decking.
Synthetic decking materials are required to have a valid Evaluation Service Report (ESR) to be considered approved for use by many local building departments.
ESR reports are issued by a nonprofit code-compliance testing agency. They show the results of tests for moisture absorption, abrasion resistance, fastener spacing, allowable spans and stresses and more.
The advantages of these materials are their relative durability and longevity.
They resist the usual ills that befall decking woods — fading, rot, discoloration, and deterioration — better than almost any domestic wood except cypress.
The disadvantage is their relatively high initial cost.
Some of these products cost ten times more than treated pine.
Mahogany, teak and ipe all have their pros and cons.
While beautiful and long lasting, mahogany is extremely pricey. For a large decking job, it will increase the cost significantly.
Mahogany is logged and shipped to the U.S.
Mahogany is an old standby — possibly the original premium deck material. Used extensively in the 1930s and '40s as deck and hull material for powerboats, mahogany's resistance to decay and durability in an exposed environment are well known.
Mahogany, however, is not really a species of wood as much as it is an umbrella term covering a variety of woods with similar characteristics.
There are many different species and subspecies of mahogany, and some woods called mahogany are not true mahogany at all.
Colors can range from white and yellow to light and dark red.
True American mahogany, which comes from the West Indies, Mexico, and Central and South America, is diminishingly stable and decay resistant, with a beautiful red color that made it the staple of Chris-Craft wood powerboats a few decades ago.
You are probably most familiar with this wood in fine furniture.
Philippine mahogany (Luan or Meranti), comes in all colors and even has a dark red variety that looks like teak.
Luan has a wide range of decay resistance and only some varieties are suitable for decks.
Its most common used is in inexpensive hollow-core interior flat doors.
Luan must be maintained with water repellent to protect it and keep its diminishing stability. It is not as durable or diminishingly stable as real American mahogany.
True mahogany lasts, if well maintained, up to 30-years. Luan somewhat less.
Teak is preferred for its beauty and durability, and comes from South America and Mexico, where it is not considered a native plant and is plantation grown.
Previously, teak came from Southeast Asia into the U.S.
Teak (Tectona grandis) is one of the best deck woods.
It is hard enough to resist dents and marks, but not too hard to be worked with fair ease — although it does tend to eat up saw blades due to its high silica content.
It is another of those woods that started life as a maritime product.
It is still commonly used as a material for luxury ship decks and upscale outdoor and patio furnishings.
Teak's use in boatbuilding dates back over 150 years.
Teak is naturally resistant to rot, fungi and mildew and has a relatively low shrinkage ratio, which makes it excellent for applications where it undergoes periodic changes in moisture.
As a deck it requires little maintenance.
Over time it will weather to a soft gray.
Because its growth rings wear at different rates (softer "summer" growth tends to wear first), it forms a naturally non-slip surface.
Sanding is not recommended nor is the use of most modern cleaning compounds, which can remove the natural teak oil in the material and actually shorten the deck's lifespan.
Marine experts typically use specially formulated teak cleaners or just natural sea water to clean the deck.
The salt in the water helps the wood retain moisture.
Old growth teak is getting harder to find and more expensive as the planet's tropical forests are depleted.
Most teak now originates from plantations where it is grown as a crop.
Indonesia is the world's largest supplier of plantation teak, followed by India.
The Forest Stewardship Council certifies teak as sustainably grown and harvested. Absent the Foundation's seal, teak should not be purchased. Even plantation teak is very expensive — probably the most expensive natural decking material.
In many applications it is being replaced by synthetic teak or alternative materials such as purple heart (Peltogyne paniculata),iroku and aftrican teak (Chlorophora excelsa), and angelique (Dicorynia guianensis).
Cumaru ( Dipteryx odorata) is an exotic hardwood species native to South America.
It is also known as Brazilian Teak and Southern Chestnut, and is very similar to teak in appearance and durability.
It is extremely dense and rich in color depth.
Camaru has a yellow brown color that varies from a light yellow to mahogany red. It will darken slightly with exposure to light over a few months.
It is about five times harder than pine, cedar or redwood and is generally considered one of the most durable of deck hardwoods.
Its life expectancy in a deck is about 25 years, but survival to as long as 50 years have been reported in semi-tropical areas.
Sealing is optional.
The wood naturally weathers to a silver-gray much the same color as weathered Eastern Red Cedar.
It can be stained and fading can be halted at any time with a UV resistant sealer such as Penofin.
Cumaru wood is incredibly fire resistant, having a Class A rating (the same as steel and concrete).
Harvested from managed forest projects, it is considered a renewable and sustainable "Green" material.
Denser and harder to work that the softwoods, it is considerably more expensive to buy and slightly more expensive to install.
Jarrah or Jarrahwood is the common name of two entirely different woods.
The first, (Eucalyptus Marginata) is an Australian import.
Widely used in that country for decks and outbuildings, it is a temperate climate cousin of the Eucalyptus and has the reddish hue typical of that family.
It is fragrant when fresh, durable, resistant to rot and insect damage.
The second (Manilkara Bidentata) is a tropical wood found in the Caribbean, Central and northern South America.
Slightly browner than the Australian native, it is commonly known as Jarrahwood,
Massaranduba and South Atlantic Jarrah.
It is not related to the Australian Jarrah although it is very similar in appearance and working properties.
Both species are dense and hard. It is an Australian wood.
A tropical variety.
For comparison, Western Red Cedar, one of the softest woods used in decks and Ironwood (Lignum vitae), the hardest wood known (so hard it was once used for battleship main bearings).
Both varieties are hard-wearing with a surface texture that finishes well to a deep rich color.
Straight-grained Jarrah looks something like a red-stained Douglas fir and like some composite decking materials (which were in fact modeled on Jarrahwood).
Bamboo strand-woven flooring growing in popularity, particularly on the West Coast, bamboo decking could not be far behind.
Essentially the same material but with an outdoor adhesive resin binder, bamboo decking is just becoming available through U. S. distributors.
The ultimate in sustainable, renewable materials, bamboo is not actually wood. It is grass stalks that have been pulverized into strips, boiled in boric acid (to remove sugars and repel insects), then woven together and finally bonded using some for of a phenolic resin under 2000 tons of pressure into a plank.
It depends on its bonding resin for much of its resistance to deterioration.
It is frequently advertised as a green material, but it really is not.
Natural bamboo is useless for decking. It is the elaborate processing it goes through, using lots of rather eco-unfriendly chemicals and an enormous of power, that make it a suitable decking material.
In fact, bamboo decking is best viewed as an engineered composite material rather than natural decking.
It may be "greenish", but it is not really green. It's what the environmental folk call "greenwashed", and despite its reputation for greenness, is actually less green that most domestic and many imported deck woods.
Bamboo is a wear resistant product — much harder than most natural deck materials.
However the hardness of the material is very dependent on the specific chemicals used and the manufacturing process, so hardness may vary widely.
Some manufacturers are pretty confident of its durability, however, offering a lifetime warranty.
Ipe prounounced (ee-PAY) is a natural hardwood used in the 1960s for boardwalks at Coney Island, N.Y., and in the 1980s in Atlantic City, N.J.
It is illegally logged from old-growth forests in South America.
Ipe is stamped as coming from managed forests and not taken from natural habitats.
It is one of the strongest, affordable hard woods and is mildew and termite resistant.
Its smooth finish and tight grain means no splinters, but its hardness makes it difficult to work with and therefore drives up labor costs.
Ipe decks are most commonly found on the coast.
It is the deck wood of choice where price is not an object.
It has deep, rich color tones that make it unique as a deck wood.
It is virtually maintenance free and requires no coating or treatments to maintain its strength or structural integrity.
A clear oil finish can be applied to maintain the natural color, if desired. Otherwise, the color will fade over time to a silver gray.
Imported from South America, Ipe wood (also know as Cambara Decking, Brazilian Walnut, Greenheart, Jatoba, Purpleheart, Massaranduba, and Ironwood) is very hard, extremely resistant to decay, insects, damage from ice, salt, abrasion, splintering, chemicals and fire.
The superior strength, density, hardness, stability, and durability of Ipe hardwood make it one of the very best materials for an outdoors deck, and one of the most expensive.
It is 5 to 7 times more costly than a treated pine deck.
Much of the Ipe imported into the U.S. is illegally harvested.
Any Ipe you buy should be certified by The Forest Stewardship Council as platation-grown and sustainable.
Copyright © 2010 D - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy Website Builder