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cibula11 02-22-2007 08:39 AM

New Deck Question
With spring around the corner I am going to start a deck and fence project for my back yard. The current deck is just a simple 12x16 deck. I am adding a fence and tearing out the deck and adding a new one. What is the BEST material to use? I know there are varying opinions on the topic. This is probably not a house we will live in forever, but at least several more years. I am thinking cedar so that I can use the same material for both fence and deck. Any other options or things to consider?

Kerrylib 02-22-2007 09:13 AM


This question is bound to get the full range of answers. Everyone has their own opinion of what is BEST. Far too many things to consider to call any one choice BEST.

I will say my preference for a deck would be to use composite decking. It runs about 2x the cost of cedar/redwood decking but no finishing and annual restaining. For cost considerations think about if you will be there for five more years, what is the cost of restaining it probably 3x? Of course you will do a new stain job right before you put the house up to sell. That one you are not going to get to "enjoy" like any of the other times.

I like cedar fencing. Just what I am used to. See lots of vinyl fences going up on new housing and I have to say it definately looks like plastic.:eek: Now to some I'll bet they like the look and think cedar looks run down and junky because of the way it fades and changes as it ages. (Gotta maintain it at least a little bit)

Cedar framing for the deck is probably good. That or treated lumber.

cibula11 02-22-2007 09:44 AM

I figured I'd hit a nerve with "BEST", but I need some feedback. With compostite decking I have heard there is a tendancy for the boards to bow between joists. Is this true? Any ROUGH estimates of the cost of a 12x16 deck with PT, Composite, Cedar?

Kerrylib 02-22-2007 12:11 PM

stick with 16" centers for the composite decking.

Check out the big box retailers. They often show decks in their sales adds. usually something like a 10x12 ft deck for the price listed. I'm sure these prices vary quite significantly regionally due to material prices.

asbestos 02-22-2007 06:06 PM

well "Best" I like Ipe (e-pay) it will knock your socks off. Use brass/bronze screws to put it over the top. I think this is flat out the best looking stuff.

cibula11 02-23-2007 09:58 AM

Okay, so what about a standard 12x16 deck on a budget. My home would not get back anything too extreme. It is in a pretty modest neighborhood. (I don't want my deck to be better looking then my house :)

asbestos 02-24-2007 02:18 AM

Ipe is on a budget- just a big one.
Composite may still be a good choice long term, just price it out and remember that it needs almost no upkeep.

cibula11 02-24-2007 10:02 AM

what about a pressure treated sub structure and composite or cedar floor and post/rails? Does this work and look okay?

Square Eye 02-25-2007 12:20 PM

For your money, Composite can cost up to 3 times, (even more) than treated wood. Composite is prone to mildew and rust staining. Also, to keep the manufacturer's warranty, you will need to use their recommended cleaner. NO pressure washing!! Pressure washing can eject fibers and make the surface even more pourous, making it even harder to clean!

On a budget? Treated, treated and treated.. Framing, floors and rails.

cibula11 02-26-2007 12:17 PM

Thanks. After thinking about, I will go with pressure treated. I guess cedar looks nicer, but does age like any other wood in freezing rain and a foot of snow. I figure if I put the time in, I can keep a pressure treated deck looking nice.....and nice on my checkbook.

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