RoseAnn C. Spalt
ABR, CRS, SRES, PSA, SRS
License: 313898 MD
410-274-5850

Please enter a search value.


Basics of building a deck: Most popular materials to use

by RoseAnn C. Spalt 04/27/2022

Among the basics of building a deck is deciding what material to use. There are multiple types of wood to choose from, as well as other artificial materials. While each has their pros and cons, some building materials might be better for your specific needs than others.

Here is a guide to the basic types of materials for deck building:

Softwood decking

Cedar and redwood are both popular softwoods used for deck construction. Both are highly resistant to moisture damage like rot and warping. They also have high resistance to insect infestation. Both cedar and redwood require regular maintenance, including refreshing the stain every few years.

Hardwood decking

Popular hardwood decking materials include mahogany and ipe (Brazilian walnut). These tropical woods are extremely resistant to moisture and insect damage. The main disadvantage of hardwood decking is the cost. Of the available materials for building a deck, tropical hardwoods are the most expensive for deck boards.

Pressure treated wood decking

Pressure treated wood is a highly affordable deck board material. There are several kinds of wood commonly used for pressure treated lumber, including Douglas fir and yellow pine. Pressure treated lumber is easily obtainable and more economical than soft or hardwoods.

Composite wood decking

Composite wood is a modern option that’s becoming more popular for decking. This type of decking is made from a combination of recycled materials and natural wood fibers. It comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes and requires practically zero maintenance.

Composite wood is another affordable and easily obtainable material, but comes with some downsides. While it’s resistant to heat and moisture, the surface can become both very slippery and very hot when exposed to the elements.

These are the most common decking materials you’ll encounter when planning your outdoor building project. Keep these options in mind to make the best decision for your deck.

shadow