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Replacing my deck

2

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,248
    Wood stability and quality - pine and fir with minimal or no knots is #1 grade.  Knots are structural fractures.  You can buy just about anything you want if you're willing to pay for it.  Most of the PT crap sold starts out as framing lumber then get's soaked until it's more crooked than a southern politician.

    The characteristic of wood to check, cup or warp less a characteristic of grain size, and more of the cut and the type of wood.  Quarter sawn or edge grained cust wood is extremely stable against cupping.  Most of the framing lumber and decking you buy is plane sawed - efficient way to cut a log but it's going to want to warp in four directions based on the grain.

    Hard woods are more dimensionally stable across the grain than soft woods, but wood inherently expands in that direction and that's why egg table designs are generally planked rather than have edge to edge construction - so they don't expand and self destruct.

    Bottom line is, buy the best you can afford that's practical for the environment and application.  Know your materials.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    All good points about lumber. PT is the most economical wood choice for up front cost. However, you have to remember that in order to keep it looking nice, you will have to treat it. Over the years, that will add up to quite an expense. The stain that I use is $55. per gallon. Usually it takes 2-3 gallons to cover an average sized deck. This has to be done every 2-3 years.

    I absolutely love the exotic hardwoods and cedar, but they are still more expensive than PT. Here is aew some pictures of an Azek deck that I built last year. The frame is pressure treated as required by local building codes. The rest of the deck is 100% PVC.

    The gray deck is the new Wolf PVC decking.


    IMG_2812.JPG
    3072 x 2304 - 4M
    IMG_2816.JPG
    3072 x 2304 - 3M
    IMG_2817.JPG
    3072 x 2304 - 4M
    IMG_2821.JPG
    3072 x 2304 - 3M
    IMAG0277.jpg
    3264 x 1952 - 1M
    IMAG0278.jpg
    3264 x 1952 - 1M
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    Whatever choice you make, with the exception of pressure treated decking, I recommend the Camo Hidden Fastener system. The tool is $50 and uses special screws that toenail into the sides of the deck boards. Both of the above decks use this system. It is much more stable than all of the plastic clip systems out there.

    It will work for pressure treated, but the jig/tool automatically leaves a 3/16" space between boards. Because pressure treated shrinks so much, you wouldn't want to leave a space during the initial install. Now if you use kiln dried lumber, then no worries.

    Here is the link for the system.

    http://www.camofasteners.com/

    Mark Annville, PA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,250
    not sure how the trex is now but i put in a mahogony deck at my brothers 12 years ago and my neighbor put in trex, the mahogany now is still barefoot safe and the trex is like a coarse sharp sandpaper
  • tgklemantgkleman Posts: 199
    @kevinhville - what stain did you use on your deck?  I can't find a stain that will last more than 6 months.  Ipe looks nice silver as well, but it is hard as heck to find a stain that will stick to it. (glue and epoxy don't stick either, for what it's worth)
  • I am still working on my deck that was started last year. It is a pvc product, outer finished shell with an inner core. Looks great, not as expensive as Azek. My HUGE mistake was going with a dark color- on an 85* sunny day the deck will be about 130*-140*.

    My railing is Azek- I have had issues with it, but they always take care of it.

    If I did it over I would go with the pvc even at the extra cost.

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    @tgkleman sikkens SRD will work great on hardwood.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008

    not sure how the trex is now but i put in a mahogony deck at my brothers 12 years ago and my neighbor put in trex, the mahogany now is still barefoot safe and the trex is like a coarse sharp sandpaper

    That was also a problem with the early composites. PVC does not have those issues.
    Mark Annville, PA

  • @kevinhville - what stain did you use on your deck?  I can't find a stain that will last more than 6 months.  Ipe looks nice silver as well, but it is hard as heck to find a stain that will stick to it. (glue and epoxy don't stick either, for what it's worth)
    I used TWP.  It looked like those pics for about 6 months, and then started wearing off.  I stained it one more time after that, then stripped it all off last fall.  It's a nice, no-maintenance silver now.  I'll probably end up staining again in the future, but it's nice to not feel like I have to.
  • 3MBBQ3MBBQ Posts: 26
    We have a Fiberon Horizons deck - they make a board that resembles IPE and the boards come with either a 20 year of lifetime warranty. The deck was built 2 years ago and the boards still look like new. We really like it a lot! We did quite a bit of research before choosing the Fiberon and it received a lot of positive reviews from deck builders/installers.
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,574
    Blah blah blah! Blah blah blah!
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • I have trex decking and it is great! Holds up better than anything i've seen. Worth the money all the way.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • BakerManBakerMan Posts: 154

    I have had a 12 x 22 Trex deck for 7 years now and I am glad I spent the money on Trex vs PT wood.  It requires no maintenance and is as straight and true as the day I installed it.  If you get some stains you can mix up some soapy water and brush/rinse deck. 

    I use the Egg on the deck without an issue.  Since there is a screen door on lower vent I don't worry about sparks.  That IPE decking looks beautiful (and expensive).  By the time my guest have had a few ABTs, wings and beers they don't notice my deck... ;-D

    BakerMan - Purcellville, VA
    "When its smokin' its cookin', when its black its done"
  • I just use those flame retardant mats you get at wal mart. They have had hot camp fire embers on them and it didn't penetrate.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,511
    edited September 2012

    Thanks, all. This has been a very fruitfull discussion and may benefit many a future egghead if they used the search function.

    Well, we finally decided to go with PT pine. Yeah, I know. The size of the deck and design makes compsites prohibitively expensive. I may have a deck but no $$ for meat to cook and eat.

    I have folks building it who also can come and stain it for me periodically. That is so good.

    Also we have been looking at products like "Restore" for "covering the wood at areas where a hot tub is planned in the lower level which is like concrete.

    They have torn down the old deck this afternoon and we are excited. Very!!!

    \:D/

    We did explore a variety of options, but feel PT was OK for now. Later if we do not get mileage out of the deck boards we can aways change them to composite. But then the structure is already there.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • Get your guy to use Sikkens deck stain. It is the best on the market. SRD is like a semi transparent stain. Rubol Dek is a solid stain that can be tinted to any color you like. It will last for years to come.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • I would go: 
    1) concrete - stained, stamped, tiled, covered with stone pavers whatever.  
    2) Ipe - great stuff, hard as nails, great fire rating and stunning, 
    3) Cedar or other rot resistant wood - maybe fir who knows but definitely not PT.  Consider looking for a local saw mill rather than a box store.  You might get a great deal on a local wood.  There a a lot of tiny mills around - check crags list.  
    4) Pvc 

    Consider the cost ($$, time and aggravation) of maintenance.  You have to maintain wood.  Concrete, stone, tile, pvc - not so much.
  • After my deck caught fire and burned the house down I bit the bullet and did stamped concrete.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,511

    OK, deck is going up nicely. Have a question for all you wise ones here.

    What do you all use for lighting? I have posts extended for post caps and lights on them as caps. They do sell LED ones but they are more like ornamental if at all. Are there any brighter options? How did you light up your deck?

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,511

    Some pics of it :

    Pic 1 is standing on the lower level

    2 is on the upper

    3 is the lower level where the boss wants a spa. You gotta love the pork barrel-ing.

    :))
    Deck 1.jpg
    3264 x 1840 - 1M
    Deck 2.jpg
    3264 x 1840 - 1M
    Deck 3.jpg
    3264 x 1840 - 1M

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • @Tjcoley. Nice patio. What size is the concret pad? We had a huge, multi-level deck and screen porch all with trex. Overall, I liked that it had no splinters, no exposed screw or nail heads, and faded to a nice gray. However, it swells a lot in humid weather. If the boards are not spaced wide enough then adjacent boards can buckle and also fill up with dirt and debris. Ours did get moldy and had to be pressure washed. I found it stubbornly resistant to pressure washing. Any composite decking is rather soft so if you are going to put heavy stuff on it you might have to put the joists closer together. I would worry a bit about the plastic composites with hot coals - seams like the deck board would melt in spots and be unsightly. One option to consider around the egg is aluminum decking like they use on piers and boat docks. It is loud to walk on and probably expensive. But if you used it just for the area with the egg it would be durable and not cost so much.
  • I had a deck and next time around did pavers. Next time it will be stamped concrete. Hated taking care of the deck all the time. I have a fence to stain but I only do that every 8 years or so.
  • I can give you a nightmare tale of the GAF version of whatever they call their TREX decking.  I spent a fortune putting it around a pool, looked great. Every sales rep from all over the world was running in and having their picture made with my deck.  Then it went to hell in a hand basket, discolored, curled up, warped, pulled out the screws, etc.  GAF refused to do anything about it.  After all the pictures and PR they came back with some document that said don't install near the ground.  In other words, if you have a deck up in the air go for it but if you have a deck around a pool forget about it.  Two others installed at the same time with the same material did the same thing in my area.  I ended up eating the entire cost of ripping it out 6 months later and replacing with treated lumber.  For the price I paid, I could have built a deck from teak.  If you need further info, email me and I'll send you pictures of the initial awesome deck and the horrible mess a few months later.  Tried to put down pavers but city wouldn't let me because of impermeability on a coastal area. Never could figure out how pavers would be less permeable than that fake wood stuff.
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,184
    @Tjcoley. Nice patio. What size is the concret pad? We had a huge, multi-level deck and screen porch all with trex. Overall, I liked that it had no splinters, no exposed screw or nail heads, and faded to a nice gray. However, it swells a lot in humid weather. If the boards are not spaced wide enough then adjacent boards can buckle and also fill up with dirt and debris. Ours did get moldy and had to be pressure washed. I found it stubbornly resistant to pressure washing. Any composite decking is rather soft so if you are going to put heavy stuff on it you might have to put the joists closer together. I would worry a bit about the plastic composites with hot coals - seams like the deck board would melt in spots and be unsightly. One option to consider around the egg is aluminum decking like they use on piers and boat docks. It is loud to walk on and probably expensive. But if you used it just for the area with the egg it would be durable and not cost so much.

    Patio is 15 by 18. Replaced a 12 by 15 wood deck. For a patio you can't beat stamped concrete. Lot's of options on color and style and virtually no upkeep. And no chance I'll burn it down using the Egg.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,511
    Agree with above posts. There is something about real wood that makes a deck what it is.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • Despite the extra cost, we recently went with Trex. We have 3 kids now (2 when deck was built) and wanted something easy on the feet and knees for them - no splinters, etc. We love it.
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • I'm a teacher during the months of September-June. From June-August I'm a licensed contractor who specializes in deck construction. I've built over 50 decks in the past 10 years. Most have been pressure treated, but some have been out of various alternative materials. The original Trex and other composites had mold and mildew issues. Enter second generation composites which have zero wood fibers. Instead they are 100% cellular pvc. Azek is the leader in these products. They are phenomenal. Scratch resistant, won't mold or mildew, no splinters, and a lifetime warranty. These materials are also fade resistant. Expensive, yes. Worth the money, absolutely. Along with Azek, there are some new kids on the block that are very good. Wolf decking is very good. I worked with it for the first time this summer. Same warranty as Azek, but cheaper. Azek has the most colors. Wolf has 3 color choices. All very nice. Azek has around 10. Trex also makes a cellular pvc called Trex Escapes. It is very good. The primary differences between Azek and the others is the coloring. Azek colors their decking the same color the whole way through. The others color the outside layer and leave the inside black or gray. It is still pvc. Trex Escapes is also colored through, but I recently read that Trex was going to discontinue Escapes because it was not selling well. There is another company called Guardian which also makes pvc decking. The quality is there, but I don't care for the look. My top 3 in order of preference. 1. Azek 2. Wolf 3. Trex (if available) I hope this helps.


    +1 on Azek.  I run a construction company and we use most of the products mentioned here, but we recommend Azek.  The one thing that seems to be missed with most natural products is the cost of maintaining.  Even if you refinish yourself, using a good product will quickly cost you time and money above most PVC's/composites over their life.  If you have a contractor/painter do it, it will be out cost them that much faster.  Some enjoy the maintenance every year or two others don't consider cost comparisons and that is fine.  Using untreated lumber and finishing all sides (which can only reasonably be done once) will be very costly thru the life of that product, plus every penetration made in the wood after it is finished is a potential problem source.  I replaced my 10 yo PT treated decking, approximately 800 sq/ft, last year with Timbertech composite.  (They changed the profile and my supplier cleared it out for $.50/ft!)  I worked on my own for a week removing and replacing boards.  I don't want to do that again in the near future, nor did I want to re-finish/seal every 1-2 years.  So far so good.  It does have woodgrain, but no, it doesn't look like wood and that's fine with me.  It all comes down to your priorities.  Do you want to spend less up front and then catch up with maintenance costs, do you want to spend more up front and have less maintenance and costs, or do you want a deck that looks like interior hardwood floors and the maintenance and cost that goes with it?  It's really a personal decision.

     

     

  • just added 18' to an existing deck...matched the Trex and love it...easy to work with and no maintenance  
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