Outdoor entertaining starts with the right deck material

Building a new deck or replacing an aging structure begins with a solid foundation for good structural support. When considering the decking surface, there are plenty of options to find the right decking material to fit your style and budget.

The Cavalry Construction Group provides deck design and construction services for your home renovation projects.

If you are looking ahead to a new deck this season, start here:

Deck Foundation

Pressure treated lumber is the most common deck material used for the framing and structure of your new deck. This product is strong, durable and widely available. However, as a lower quality and low grade timber, pressure treated lumber is a terrible choice as a deck surface material – it dries, cracks and splinters requiring significant upkeep due to weathering.

Surface Deck Material

Ipe hardwood and Kayu hardwood are gorgeous premium wood products for surface deck material. The hardwood provides an elegant and durable deck surface that requires minimum maintenance. The natural red/brown tone of the wood is treated with clear oil and should not be painted or stained.

The wood has a 20-30 year life span and is naturally resistant to rot and mold.

Composite decking offers homeowners a wide selection of colour and texture. This man-made material is estimated to have a 20-25 year life span and does not need stain or paint. Some product lines for composite decking include posts and other components to build matching railings.

With advances to production technology the composite deck material has improved colour stabilization and is UV resistant. Some product lines, including Trex Transcend Decking, have a very natural look.

The product requires little maintenance. Over time, sharp tables and edges will scuff the surface. Rubber feet and plastic pedestals on deck accessories are recommended to minimize the wear.

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Cedar is still a popular choice for deck material with a couple types available for purchase: 2”x 6 boards and 5/4” round are the most common dimensions. The 2” boards are preferred for quality and longevity, while the 5/4” round decking boards are cheaper and typically of a slightly lower grade cedar.

Maintenance for cedar deck material is required within just a few years of installation. The cedar is less resistant to rot and will usually require annual cleaning and bi-annual painting or staining to keep it in decent shape.

Over the 20 year lifespan, homeowners will inevitably be replacing boards as the soft wood begins to weather and degrade, and there will be more significant deterioration after 10 years.

Although initially less expensive, over a 20 year life span homeowners will spend more money on maintenance and upkeep of lower quality decking than the initial investment in a higher quality deck material, and will also have to invest more of their time and energy into the maintenance.

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Getting Started

Don’t be a slave to the maintenance of your deck. Outdoor entertainment begins with the selection of appropriate deck material. The Cavalry Construction Group works with owners of fine homes to evaluate their options and budgets. We will use our experience and knowledge to recommend the right decking material for your application. We will work with you to build a beautiful deck – one that will impress your guests and provide you with years of worry-free use.

Call 604-551-8993 to get started or sign up for our newsletter to receive landscape inspiration throughout the year.