If you’re interested in the basics of building a deck, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the decking materials available. There are multiple options including vinyl, composite and natural wood. However, if you’re going with natural wood for your deck, you also have different options to choose from.
Here are the main types of wood used for deck building:
Cedar is a classic decking material. Cedar’s popularity has endured for decades because it’s durable and resistant to moisture damage. Though cedar is technically a soft wood, it’s less susceptible to insects than hardwoods. Cedar is also popular for its appearance for those who prefer the natural look of wood decking. However, it’s easy to stain, giving you plenty of options for the perfect aesthetic.
Redwood is another soft wood popular for outdoor decks. It’s similar to cedar in its durability against moisture, rot and insect damage. While the lifespan of a redwood deck is about the same as cedar, redwood requires regular staining every few years to maintain its appearance and finish.
Redwood is popular in deck construction across the country, particularly on the West coast, where it is widely available for lower cost.
Pressure treated wood (PT)
Pressure treated wood, also called PT wood, is a less expensive option for decking compared to cedar and redwood. It’s widely available and suitable for all climates. Pressure treated wood is extremely durable and will last decades with relatively low maintenance. However, it’s a good idea to pressure wash and stain every few years.
Overall, PT wood is the most economical option and the easiest to buy, regardless of where you’re building your deck.
There are other options for wood decking materials, but these are the most popular options to know. Keep these different varieties of wood in mind when planning a deck for your outdoor space.