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16 Jan. 2002

Wood vs composite decking materials,band saw wood vs metal,diy futon frame plans - Try Out

Probably the most difficult decision to make when building a deck is what type of decking to use. The first thing to know about choosing a deck material is that all decks use treated lumber for the framing, which is the structural part of the deck that you don’t usually see unless you’re underneath it. If you’re maintaining your wood deck properly and hiring professionals to do so, I'd say that by the end of year eleven you will have spent more than $4,600 on maintenance, and you’ll still have a wood deck that may crack or splinter, whereas a deck with manmade materials will require little regular maintenance. Although I tend to recommend composite decks, you need to decide for yourself what fits best for your home and situation. A local deck builder told us that in dark colors, composites ran 8-10 degrees hotter than wood. I agree with Jim Casper - after about 50 years of dealing with weathered wood finishing both in my homes and in the construction business, it comes down to about 90% preparation, 10% the finishing.
The full sun and hot conditions will, of course, cause more thann normal heating of dark colored painted decking. My personal preference, though it limits the architectural coloration possibilities, is ground-contact rated copper compound treated wood (NOT the Wolmanized brown product), which comes green initially but can be retreated with either green or brown solution or can be liquid colorized darker (though not easily to a specific tone) using either of those as a base.

The laundry list of things at the start WAS intended to intimidate you - I would say not 1 in 25 homeowners who buy a new patio door have bought it the right size for the rough opening and have everything needed to install it - the contractor almost invariably has to go get materials or parts to complete the installation - sometimes waiting weeks for factory adapters that are needed or missing parts AFTER the original door has already been taken out.
So the decision process usually involves only the materials that will make up the decking surface and railings. If you do not prep the wood right, any moisture, mold, etc in the wood will destroy whatever you put over it. Water will therefore get into the underlying wood, and because it entered through small cracks and scratches, does not have any airflow to make it evaporate, so it sits there and breaks the finish bond to the wood (causing peeling and blisters), and promotes decay. Penetrating stains, properly applied, do NOT seal in the moisture, they inhibit its entry and (when dark colored) help protect against sun damage to the wood and finish, but still breathe enough to let moisture escape on dry days.
The main reason people choose composite or manmade deck materials is for the low maintenance required. For my money, I will only use petroleum distillate (paint thinner cleanup) products, as they penetrate into the wood much better. Finally, the cost of the cedar is moderate, more than pressure-treated but somewhat less than composite.

Other species of wood such as redwood and hardwoods like Ipe, jutoba and tigerwood are also used on decks, but not nearly as often. Water based ones immediately start swelling the wood pores, so it blocks further penetration of the stain, which while cleanup is a bit easier, totally defeats the purpose of a PENETRATING stain or sealer. But inexpensive treated wood is often full of moisture and will shrink unevenly and twist when it dries.
Manmade deck material products include composites, PVC and vinyl from manufacturers such as Trex, Fiberon, Timber Tech and Azek. Like most deck builders, I can’t recommend the right deck material without talking to you and answering these questions first.

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