When you buy supplies for building your deck, you need to decide on the type of wood you'll use. Three popular choices are pressure treated wood, composite wood, and cedar lumber. Each kind has it's own advantages, but cedar lumber could be your best choice. Here's why you should consider cedar over other decking materials.
Rich Color And Defined Grain
The main reason cedar has such wide appeal is because of its natural beauty. It is a rich, reddish color that's a perfect match for all kinds of homes. You can maintain the color by applying a protective coating every few years, or you can let the elements age it to a sliver gray color. When you go to the lumber yard, you'll notice cedar is available in different grades depending on the appearance of the grain. You can opt for smooth planks or planks with a lot of knots that give them character.
Free From Chemicals
The reason pressure treated wood is popular is because it is injected with chemicals so it repels insects. While the chemicals are effective, it also means your deck is made from chemically treated wood. Cedar has natural insect repellents in it. The oil in the wood protects it from termites and carpenter ants. The oil also offers protection from rain. Since the planks won't absorb as much water as other types of lumber, the planks won't twist or warp as much. This gives your deck a longer life without the need to expose your kids and pets to dangerous chemicals.
All Natural Material
Since cedar lumber is an all natural material, it feels like you expect wood to feel under your feet. Your deck will feel, look, and perform in a traditional way as it ages. Compare this to a deck made of composite wood. Composite wood is made from wood pulp and plastic resin. It feels different to your bare feet, and your deck looks as if it is made from plastic. The advantage of composite wood is that it needs very little maintenance over the years. All you have to do is wash it and remove stains. The tradeoff is your deck doesn't look natural. It doesn't fade as it ages, and it doesn't have the same appeal as a traditional deck that's made from wood.
Ultimately, your decision may come down to cost. While cedar lumber is all natural and visually appealing, it does cost more than pressure treated lumber that's usually made from soft pine. Composite lumber has the highest initial expense. So, if you're looking for decking lumber at a mid-range price, cedar could be the answer. For more information, contact a local decking materials supplier like Rocky Mountain Forest Products.