Everybody needs a place to relax at the end of the day; a beautiful cedar deck is the perfect place to escape. Or, perhaps you’d like the perfect place to entertain, enjoy a barbeque, or take in the view - with a little planning you can turn your nice backyard into a paradise.
Durability - A cedar wood deck is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. With cedar’s natural preservative oil no further treatment of the decking material is needed. Cedar doesn’t readily absorb moisture and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar decking tends to lie flat and straight. Cedar swells and shrinks less than half that of other softwoods.
Heat resistant – kick off your shoes day or night, even in extreme summertime heat. Cedar is resilient and does not transfer heat.
Beauty – Cedar decks are downright gorgeous; rich in grain, texture, and color. A cedar deck will compliment any architectural style home. After a couple years of weathering it turns beautiful silvery gray.
Giving your deck a personalized touch
There are a growing number of patterns, shapes, and sizes produced from cedar to enable you to personalize your deck. Pre-cut wood items can include fencing, lattice, decorative accessories like sunbursts, and balustrades.
Sit down with a pen and paper and do a rough sketch of how you’d like your deck to look. Take into consideration all the activities you’ll be using your deck for. You can add various levels and zone each level for a different activity. Your grill could be on the main level, 2 steps down add a level for your hot tub, another step down for a built-in intimate sitting area, etc. Built-in benches and planter boxes will add charm and depth.
Retaining your decks color
If you want your cedar deck to retain its color you’ll need to clean and reseal it every couple of years. You’ll never achieve that “new wood” look again, but it will prevent your deck from going full on gray.
Besides the maintenance of cleaning and resealing every other year, the only other drawback with a cedar deck is that the wood is soft. Dragging around patio furniture might leave marks and, if you have cedar stairs on your deck the edges will get beat up.
For a 12 x 16 foot deck, based on a price of $1 per linear foot for twenty six 16 ft. deck boards, you’re looking at around $400.
15 to 20 years for cedar deck boards, ground level decks will deteriorate faster as well as any part of your deck that is heavily shaded and slow to dry out after it rains.
Wood Deck Grade Choices
Members of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association have pared down decking grades and material into four easily understood choices:
WRCLA Architect Clear – the ultimate in durability and appearance, the finest choice in grade, manufactured to individual order.
WRCLA Custom Clear – very stable and durable; sophisticated good looks; perfect for the discriminating buyer; for custom residences requiring fine woodwork.
WRCLA Architect Knotty – slightly knotty but very nice. Charming and rustic; characteristics will not affect durable performance.
WRCLA Custom Knotty – combines hole-free knotty appearance with high standards to provide economy and lasting enjoyment.
The WRCLA offers deck project ideas and a deck designer tool at:
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