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Which Building Materials Should be Used for a Deck?

Last modified: 2018/03/16 | 3 mins

Have you been thinking about building a new deck? Are you having a hard time making choices between all the different materials that are available?

Before settling on one specific option, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions in order to figure out which material will best suit your needs: How much money are you willing to invest? Should you prioritize durability and materials that require less maintenance? What are you looking for in terms of style? What usage will you make of this deck?

Deck building material guide

Once you’ve found an answer to your questions, it’s time to look more closely at the different types of materials available on the market. Everyone will find something that fits with their personal taste and budget. Here’s a quick guide to help you learn more about the pros and cons of each product:

· Treated wood

Without a doubt, the most common deck building material. It is popular due to the fact that it is cheap and versatile (it can be painted and dyed). However, even though treated wood is often the least expensive option at first, it costs so much money to upkeep it that in the end, it will end up costing you more. Treated wood decks have to be refinished every three years.

· Cedar

A type of wood that can be very beautiful when properly maintained. It can be dyed but does not support paint. Cedar produces fewer splinters than treated wood but it has to be treated on a regular basis (once a year) due to the fact that it reacts poorly to bad weather.

· Torrefied wood (roasted wood)

Contrary to other types of wood, torrefied wood is not treated with chemical products. Instead, the manufacturing process for this product entails prolonged exposure to heat and vapour. The resulting material is very smooth and well protected against insect attacks. However, since torrefied wood is not as dense as the other types of materials, it should not be used to build the deck’s structure. In terms of price, it falls between treated wood and Ipe wood.

· Ipe

Ipe wood is gaining popularity. This type of wood is 5x more durable than treated wood, in addition to being easy to take care of. It is weather-resistant, which is a great asset for Canadian homes. Once installed, it doesn’t require any regular treatments.  However, when left to age naturally, it will start to turn gray. In order to keep the wood’s original colour, you’ll have to apply a coat of anti-UV oil.

· Composite material

Composite material is made out of a mix of wood and recycled plastic. This combination of elements takes the benefits of both materials and brings them together. However, it has a tendency to become very hot when the temperatures start to rise and it cannot be painted. Therefore, you’ll have to choose among the colours that are already available and once installed, you won’t be able to change your mind. Pressure washing the surface once a year is recommended to keep things nice and clean.

· Fiberglass

Fiberglass decks and balconies are mostly found on condo buildings. This type of material is lightweight and it offers good resistance against corrosion and deterioration. Under good conditions, this type of deck can last 20 to 25 years. However, aesthetically speaking, it’s not as pretty as some of the other options.

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