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Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
The quality or grade of your decking material ultimately
determines the success or failure of your structure. Using a high
end decking material will offer you the best results. High end
materials include cedar, redwood, mahogany, ironwood, and certain
composite decking materials.
When selecting your high end material it is important to consider
the cost, availability of the product, shipping cost, and
maintenance costs. It is best that you take these figures and
compare them to the amount of money it will cost you to use non-high
end materials (pine or fir) that will need replacement in 10 years.
Most likely, you will see that it is worth the additional costs for
high end materials because they will last for longer periods of
If you do decide to go with a high end material for your decking
construction, pay special attention to the grade of wood. Not only
does the grade represent the level of visual appeal, but also the
level of strength. Wood grades are also based on the number of
obvious flaws, such as splits, sap pockets, knots, and other
In addition, you will want to focus on the level of maintenance.
There are three different decking material options that can affect
the strength and amount of maintenance required.
• Pressure-treated Lumber- Least expensive (Pine or Fir)
• Rot-resistant Wood- High End quality (Cedar, Cypress, Redwood)
• Synthetic Materials- Least amount of maintenance (Plastic, Rubber,