Set scene: Grilling out. Kicking back. Sipping on a cold one. You know a deck can be a great everyday getaway. A deck adds strong natural accents to your environment and lifestyle. But before you call a contractor to begin your project, there will be a few things you want to think about before you start your project.
Whether it’s a covered white wraparound porch perfect for sipping sweet tea, or an uncovered deck 3,000 feet above sea level in the mountains, one of the most important things to look for in a nice deck is the quality of the building material being used.
No one wants a warped and splintered deck with areas of rot and decay. A high quality product is one of the most, if not the most important, thing to look for in a nice deck.
In the United States, there are traditionally three types of wood contractors recommend, usually depending on location: Pressure treated Southern Yellow Pine, Western Red Cedar, and Redwood.
Pressure Treated Wood, specifically Southern Yellow Pine (pine trees native to the Southern United States) is one of America’s favorite building materials. If I were to put on my salesman’s cap, I’d outline the following benefits:
Another component of a nice deck is the treatment you choose to apply to it – stains, paints, or protective oils. The treatment you decide to apply to your deck will depend largely on your personal style and the exterior design of your house. Some people prefer to use solid colors such as white, red, or brown for very high traffic areas. Others love the look of naturally aged beauty – more like the gray wooden fences you see you near horse stables.
Whatever colors you choose you will want to make sure your deck is protected. You can do this yourself or have a professional do it. However, the steps will remain the same. Clean the deck; let the deck dry; apply the stain, paint, or sealer you have chosen. Depending on the product and your location you will have to do some maintenance every year or two.
You will notice over time when your wood is ready for a little attention. It is not an exact science because not all locations will have the same weather. For example a deck on a beach house will take far more abuse from the salty air than say a deck in the mountains that sees a greater range of temperatures throughout the year.