How to choose the right ma­te­rial for your deck

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE - (NC)

Look­ing to take on an out­door pa­tio or deck project as the weather warms up? There are sev­eral deck ma­te­ri­als to con­sider, that each have their own unique fea­tures and ben­e­fits. It is im­por­tant to weigh th­ese con­sid­er­a­tions care­fully prior to start­ing your project.

Here are a few in­sights from Steve Trescher, direc­tor of mer­chan­dis­ing build­ing ma­te­ri­als at The Home De­pot Canada, to help you get started.

Pres­sure-treated. This wood is among the most pop­u­lar and cost-ef­fec­tive op­tions for deck­ing ma­te­ri­als. A ver­sa­tile wood, it al­lows for bend­ing and cut­ting to ac­com­mo­date var­i­ous de­signs. It also re­sists rot, de­cay and ter­mite in­fes­ta­tion, and has a lim­ited life­time war­ranty.

Cedar. If you seek the nat­u­ral look of a wood deck, then cedar should be high on your list of con­sid­er­a­tions. This pre­mium deck­ing ma­te­rial is known for its grain tex­ture and rus­tic ap­peal. It's also nat­u­rally re­sis­tant to de­cay and in­sect dam­age, mak­ing it a re­li­able choice for the out­doors. Like other wood deck­ing choices, cedar does need clean­ing and re­seal­ing ev­ery few years to main­tain its orig­i­nal colour.

Com­pos­ite deck­ing. This ex­cep­tion­ally durable ma­te­rial re­sem­bles wood, but does not re­quire paint­ing or stain­ing. It's the per­fect deck to walk bare­foot on in the sum­mer — it will not crack, splin­ter or rot. Com­pos­ite deck­ing also of­fers the re­al­is­tic colour vari­a­tion of ex­otic hard­woods, and many boards come with grooves on the edges for easy in­stal­la­tion.

Heat-treated deck­ing. Durable heat- and steam-treated wood is less likely to warp, ex­pand, con­tract, or at­tract mildew and mould. This light­weight ma­te­rial — also re­ferred to as ther­mally mod­i­fied wood — has a smooth, splin­ter and chem­i­cal­free fin­ish in a deep, even tone that, if left un­treated, will age nat­u­rally into a sil­ver­grey shade. A re­li­able op­tion is Ther­mory heat-treated deck­ing, avail­able at The Home De­pot Canada.

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