Category Archives for Pressure-Treated Decks

Pressure-Treated Pine Decking

Pine Decking: Pressure-Treated and Budget Friendly


Using pressure-treated pine decking in the Dallas area makes a lot of sense. The more time you can spend outside rather than inside the better it is for your health. The weather in Dallas and the surrounding cities gives you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. You can have a cookout for the family, entertain your friends or roll out the big screen and cheer the Rangers, Mavericks or Cowboys to victory.

Whether you want a deck surrounding your outdoor pool, a standard patio deck or some other type of deck, you have a few decisions to make. The first thing you have to decide is what type of decking material you’re going to use. For a lot of people in and around Dallas, pressure-treated pine is the easy decision.

Here are a few reasons why.

You Can’t Beat the Price of Pressure-Treated Pine Decking

Pressure-treated pine really is a budget-friendly decking material. Even people who don’t think they can afford a deck are usually pleasantly surprised at the friendly cost. You can build a quality pressure-treated pine deck for just 1/2 to 1/3 the price of some other decking materials.

Price alone is not the only reason to choose pressure-treated pine.

It Looks Like Real Wood!

No two pieces of natural wood look exactly alike. That’s not to say that your deck materials won’t match. We just bring up this fact because a lot of people don’t like the plastic or unnatural appearance of composite products and other decking materials.

Pressure-treated pine looks like real wood because it is real wood. It also smells and feels like authentic wood made by mother nature. There’s just something about a natural wood deck that feels “right”, and this is why a lot of people choose pressure-treated pine over composite decking.

Pine Decking Takes Paint and Stain Well

Pine is perfect for building a deck that matches the look of your home. Composite decking materials are only offered in a limited number of colors, but you can paint or stain your pressure-treated deck any color you like. And hey, if you decide on a different color or stain later, that’s possible with natural wood, but not composites.

Pressure-treated pine takes paint and stain very efficiently. This means you can always find just the perfect color and hue to match your home.

For That Low Price You Get to Enjoy Your Deck for a Long Time

Have your deck builder use quality pressure-treated wood and you can get more than 10 or even 15 years out of your deck. All it requires is regular maintenance and you can fully expect to get a lot of wonderful memories out of a quality pressure-treated deck.

deck accessories like benches

Decking: Pressure-Treated Pine vs. Composite

Pressure-Treated Pine Decking around Swimming Pool

There’s no denying pressure-treated pine is a popular decking material. It feels good under your feet, it’s a natural wood material, and it’s easy to install. Its low cost when compared to alternatives like composites is attractive to a lot of homeowners. For these reasons some people choose pressure-treated pine versus composite decking materials.

Then there’s the flipside of the coin. There are plenty of reasons to build a composite deck. PT lumber needs to be stained and sealed. You need to stain it again every 2 to 3 years. There is a good deal of annual maintenance that is not needed with composite decking materials. A composite deck can last 20 or more years, twice as long or longer than a pressure-treated deck.

Finally, composite decks hold their appearance over time. You can expect some discoloration or fading with a pressure-treated deck, especially if you fall behind on maintenance.

So, should you choose composite decking materials or pressure-treated lumber? Let’s take a deeper dive and see which makes sense for you.

What You Need to Know about Pressure-Treated Pine

The number one draw for pressure-treated pine as a decking material is low-cost. Pine trees are plentiful in North America. The largest lumber companies that harvest southern yellow pine can do so at a lower cost than woods like cedar and certainly redwood.

Pine is strong but also easy to work with. It’s not the strongest wood or the hardest by any means, but it is more than sufficient to make for a great decking material.

There is also the fact that this is real wood. It looks like wood because it is! You get a natural wood grain and feel. Build a pressure-treated deck and you are adding a slice of mother nature to your backyard.

Because this wood has to be stained and sealed, you can choose whatever color matches your home. There are literally hundreds of stain colors to choose from at your local big box store. This is another benefit of choosing pressure-treated pine over composite decking materials.

Composites definitely come in a wide variety of colors and shades. However, you may be limited to just two or three dozen choices. Head to your local big box store and ask to see the selection of stain colors for pressure-treated pine. You will see that you can choose from several hundred instead of a few dozen.

Long-Term Cost Vs. Upfront Cost

Sometimes homeowners don’t think about the long-term cost of maintaining a pressure-treated deck. After several years you may be needing to replace balusters, deck boards and other components. Even if this is not the case, there’s the cost of staining your deck every two or three years. If you don’t, then it can give into the tough Dallas weather over time.

There’s no denying your upfront cost of building a pressure-treated deck is a lot less than if you choose composite materials. Even so, a pressure-treated deck can cost more money in maintenance per year plus initial cost in its lifetime than a composite deck. If your budget doesn’t allow for the greater upfront cost of composite, then pressure-treated pine is the way to go. Remember that you will have to budget more money annually over the lifetime of a PT deck than when you maintain a composite deck.

To Clean or Not to Clean?

You should scrub your pressure-treated deck at least two or three times a year. Yes, I said scrub. This means either getting down on your hands and knees with a hand brush or using a long-handled scrub brush. You can use a retail store deck cleansing solution or just some warm, soapy water.

If you don’t like the idea of spending your free time cleaning your deck, keep this in mind. Some homeowners understand regular maintenance is a part of keeping up their home value. They don’t mind committing to the regular maintenance a pressure-treated deck requires.

How Long Can You Expect a Pressure-Treated Deck to Last?

Your PT deck should give you 8 to 12 years of functional use. This number varies according to a lot of factors, the most important factor being maintenance. I know it sounds like we are beating a dead horse here, but you have to commit to regular maintenance with a pressure-treated deck.

If not, it simply is not going to withstand what can be a difficult weather environment here in Dallas. That having been said, if you are a stickler about cleaning and maintenance as well as staining every 2 to 3 years, you could get as many as 14 or 15 years out of a pressure-treated deck.

However, any natural wood (even pressure-treated pine) can rot, splinter and warp. Staining and sealing your deck regularly can delay this natural damage but it will eventually occur. This can lead to replacement costs after your deck is several years old.

Screw Heads or No Screw Heads?

Have you ever seen a pressure-treated deck? You no doubt noticed the hundreds or thousands of screw heads. Pressure-treated lumber is so easy to work with that it just requires inexpensive screws to fasten it together. This keeps the cost down. It also means you can have a quality deck built in a few days possibly even in one day.

If you would like a pressure-treated deck with a hidden fastening system, that is sometimes possible. There are fastening systems which have been made to work with pressure-treated pine and other natural woods. However, this drives up the cost of your deck. It puts you in kind of a catch-22 situation.

If you are choosing pressure-treated pine as your decking material, you might be doing so because the low cost is so attractive. Then if you start talking about a hidden fastening system, that cost goes up. Some people don’t care that screw heads are visible throughout a pressure-treated pine deck.

A quality contractor will make sure the heads are sunk below the level of your wood and don’t cause any injury risks. However, some homeowners want a smooth and polished look. You can get that with composite decking materials. If the presence of a few screw heads doesn’t make a difference to you one way or another, this is a non-issue. If you want a clean and smooth appearance without the presence of screw heads or any other fastening system, consider composite decking materials.

The Pros and Cons of Composite Decking Materials

Cost is always a factor when a homeowner thinks about some home improvement project. It is the rare homeowner who has deep enough pockets not to be worried about how much something will cost. One of your major considerations when building a deck has to do with money.

There are upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. As you’ve noticed in this report, these costs can vary greatly depending on the type of decking material you choose.

Comparing Maintenance Costs

A veteran deck builder with a lot of decks under his belt can tell you the real cost of any type of decking material. In the case of pressure-treated pine vs. composite decking, there is a vast difference in maintenance and upkeep costs.

A large pressure-treated deck will set you back about $5,000 over 10 to 12 years. That’s how much you’re going to have to spend to buy sandpaper, stain and sealers, paintbrushes, scrub brushes, tarps and other necessary items and accessories. This includes having to replace physical components like decking boards and rails that have rotted, split, warp or cracked.
Your maintenance cost for the very same sized composite deck is only going to be about $500. That is a huge difference. You never have to worry about replacing spindles, boards and rails on a composite deck. This is a very real consideration as a replacement cost on a pressure-treated pine deck.

What Does Maintenance Look like with a Composite Deck?

The Fiberon composite decking company says it takes anywhere from 16 to 32 hours of maintenance on a wooden deck to keep it looking good every year. Compare that to just 2 to 4 hours per year with a composite deck.

The intensity of that annual maintenance is important to note as well. You can clean off a composite deck with a leaf blower or broom, or spray it off with a garden hose. At least two or three times a year a pressure-treated deck will require some scrubbing and elbow grease.

The construction of composite decking materials keeps them looking brand-new for 20 or 25 or more years. You have to do virtually nothing at all as far as maintenance goes. You should always remove wet leaves or natural debris from your deck as soon as it accumulates.

Aside from that, and spraying off your deck or sweeping it off, composite materials don’t really require you to do very much at all for them to look beautiful and last a long time.

Composite Decking Materials Look Great… No Screw Heads Either

Composite decking has come a long way. It used to be that the earliest composite decking boards didn’t look like wood. That is no longer the case. You can choose from dozens of colors and grain configurations that look like mother nature. The upside is that they don’t wear like mother nature. They are virtually maintenance free and can last 20 or 25 years or longer. There is also the fact that composite decking holds its appearance over time. It won’t fade or discolor like natural woods can.

Composite Decking for Roof Deck

Are you looking for a consistent appearance? No two natural wood boards look alike, either in color or grain pattern. You can get a pleasing and consistent look with composite decking materials. The grain configurations and colors of the boards are the same from one board to the next.

By the way, you don’t have to worry about staring at screw heads. There are hidden fastening systems made for composite decking materials so you get a clean and smooth, fastener-free appearance. This also means you won’t have any screw heads working their way above the surface of the wood and causing a safety risk like you can have happen with a pressure-treated pine deck.

Pressure-Treated Pine vs. Composite Decking Materials – The Wrap-Up

Are you building a deck on a tight budget? Pressure-treated pine might be the way you need to go. It definitely costs a lot less upfront than if you were to build a deck with composite materials. Just remember that it’s easy to promise you are going to do all the maintenance that is required to keep a PT deck looking good.

It might be a different story when those maintenance tasks roll around.

That’s the beauty of a composite deck. You don’t really have to do anything other than brush it off and hose it down every now and then. Composite materials keep their appearance for 20 or more years. A pressure-treated deck can look great for its 10 to 12 year lifetime, it just requires a little more elbow grease than a composite deck does.

You are definitely going to have to pay more to build a deck with composite materials on the front end. However, maintenance and replacement costs are next to nothing every year when compared to what you have to do to keep a pressure-treated deck functional and good looking. There are a lot of benefits to either choice.

Whether you choose composite decking materials or pressure-treated lumber, you get to create great memories with your friends and family. You get out of the house and into the beautiful weather Dallas has to offer. Either type of deck provides you with a refuge after a long, hard work week or at the end of the day.

Give us a call and get your questions answered. We will give you unbiased information regarding pressure-treated lumber and composite decking materials. As we just discussed, there are pros and cons of both types of decks. Set up a time when we can come to your home and give you a free estimate. We’ll take a look at your particular situation and have a conversation about what you expect from your deck. That can help you decide what material you’re going to choose and we can get started building the outdoor deck of your dreams.

Trex vs Pressure-Treated Pine Decking Comparison Guide

Using Trex vs pressure-treated pine decking material means making several considerations. How much do you want to spend? Are you building a pool deck or a balcony deck? Maybe you would like a small patio deck or a large deck for your business. No matter what you are building your deck for, there are a few obvious (and not so obvious) considerations you need to make regarding functionality, longevity and other important factors.

If you use Trex as opposed to pressure-treated pine to build your deck, how long will it last? Is the extra cost involved in your up-front Trex investment worth it, or should you spend less initially for a pressure-treated pine deck? Which deck material requires more maintenance and money over time? Is one type of material better for the environment, and what do you need to know about fire rating and weather-resistance?

While the hard facts and statistics about building a deck are certainly important, there is an emotions-based question you need to ask yourself first, and that is …

… What Do You Want Your Deck to Do?

Whether you want a patio deck, pool surround or balcony deck, you have certain expectations. Some folks build a backyard deck to entertain. They need their deck to provide reliable functionality that will allow them to host parties and create wonderful memories for years or decades. What you want from a pool deck is excellent water-resistance and a deck that won’t get too hot for your friends and family entering and exiting the pool.

If you are making a deck to showcase your skills as a backyard barbecue expert, you need quick and easy clean-up and stain-resistance. All these considerations mean you should know exactly what you want your deck to do. How will you be using your deck? For instance, pressure-treated decking can be used for a pool or hot tub surround, while Trex works fine in both of those applications also. Comparing a Trex vs pressure-treated pine deck begins with knowing what type of experience you are trying to create. Then you can begin an initial and long-term cost comparison.

Trex vs Pressure-Treated Pine Cost, Now and Down the Road

Trex Deck

Trex Deck

Trex is the name of a composite deck material. It is also the name of the manufacturer that makes this combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. A Trex deck will run about $26 to $36 per square foot to build, and that includes labor and materials. Pressure-treated decking will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 to $20 per square foot installed. As you can see, this makes treated lumber a rather attractive financial choice over Trex.

Your home was not a “one and done” purchase, and your deck isn’t either. You have to set aside money for ongoing maintenance and upkeep or your home will suffer from neglect. The same is true with your deck. Since the materials are very different, comparing Trex vs pressure-treated pine will show significant cost differences for annual and long-term maintenance.

A Trex deck can last longer than a pressure-treated deck but will require annual cleaning. A pressure treated pine deck will also require cleaning and also a good weather sealant every 1-5 years depending on the brand of stain / weather sealant used. This means the composite construction of Trex allows for much less maintenance and upkeep than treated lumber. You can expect to spend more time, elbow grease and money taking care of your pressure-treated pine deck.

Trex does not require staining or painting. Once your Trex decking gets acclimated to your environment, the resulting color will stay the same without any painting, finishing or staining.

Pressure Treated Pine (aka PTP) lumber has a much lower up-front installation cost than Trex, but will require more effort and money to maintain over time.

Trex vs Pressure-Treated Pine Durability – How Long do You Want Your Deck to Last?

Some homeowners will build a basic pressure-treated deck before they list their home for sale. The low cost addition gives the home a higher perceived value than without the deck. If you are climbing the corporate ladder and don’t expect to be in your current home for more than a few years, a pressure-treated pine deck might make the most financial sense.

A PTP deck can look great with regular maintenance and upkeep for a several years, while costing less to build than a Trex deck. Treated decks are perfect for DIY homeowners that like spending their free time on home improvement projects. Why pay more for a Trex deck if you look forward to staining or sealing your deck every year or five and cleaning it frequently?

On the other hand, the durable Trex decking products carry 25 year warranties. In many cases these decks last more than 25 or 30 years. You can expect 10 to 25 years good use from a pressure-treated deck, depending on how regularly you maintain the deck and what your local climate and environment is like. The entire Trex vs pressure-treated pine deck cost comparison can be broken down for you by consulting an experienced deck builder. Call a deck builder with decades of experience making beautiful, durable decks in your area for a free, in-depth construction and maintenance cost breakdown.

Pressure-Treated Deck vs Trex Decking – Insect, Fire and Weather Resistance

The functionality and wonderful memories you get from your deck will depend largely on durability. You want decking material that is going to be unattractive to hungry bugs. Knowing the deck you build will effectively resist the effects of sun, rain and other aspects of weather is also important. You certainly don’t want a fire hazard on your hand. Both types have a man made resistance to bugs.

When a deck is built at ground level it would be best to use (ground contact) PTP but for longevity of either, then air flow (air space underneath deck) is recommended to keep them aired out and dry. Just as important is to have proper drainage underneath, meaning no standing water.

Consider the Fire Rating

Trex decking material carries a Class C fire rating. This is the minimal fire rating suggested by independent consumer safety organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for use in building products in and around the home. This is also known as a Class III fire-resistance rating. Many of the materials used to build your home carry this exact same fire rating.

Pressure-treated pine contains chemicals and preservatives which protect your deck against rot and decay. This pressurized treatment also resists fungi, termites and other wood-chomping bugs. Pressure-treated southern yellow pine also carries a class C fire rating. But you can spend more for Dricon FRT wood or there are a number of types of fire retardant that can be applied to slow fire spread rating.

Will Your Deck Resist Hungry Bugs?

As we just mentioned, pressure treated southern yellow pine (PTP) has a chemical used in the pressurization process that it is resistant to termites and other bugs or insects that bore into wood. Trex decking materials also carry an insect resistant label, and their combination of recycled plastic materials and wood fibers make them unappealing to the crawly creatures that eat wood.

If you choose pressure-treated pine or Trex decking materials, both will resist insect infestation and rot. However, there is a point that needs to be made here. You will need to diligently seal your pressure-treated deck every years in order to help the wood retain insect resistance. This maintenance factor is not needed with Trex decking products.

Are Pressure-Treated Pine and Trex Decking Weather-Resistant?

A Trex deck is resistant to fading. We mentioned earlier that your Trex deck requires no ongoing staining, painting or finishing to hold its color. If you are in an extremely sunny and hot environment, you may notice gradual fading after 10 or 15 years with Trex materials. In many cases there is no significant change in coloration over the lifetime of the deck.The exterior coating (capped) of Trex decking materials repels water.

Pressure-treated pine will definitely fade over time. You can delay this affect with a regular coat of weather sealant / stain that also repels water. Concerning weather conditions such as rain or snow, Trex is going to hold up better over time than pressure-treated decking materials. In the short-term, your deck will look great and function properly during normal exposure to weather whichever of these two decking materials you choose to use.

Looks Aren’t Everything … Oh Yes They Are!

It is probably safe to make the assumption that you want your deck to look good. No one wants to build an addition onto their house or in their backyard that looks trashy or downright ugly. When deciding on Trex vs pressure-treated pine as a deck building material, how your deck looks is not going to vary much for the first couple of years.

The difference happens down the line. The process which combines recycled plastics and wood fibers into the composite decking material (Trex) is a more costly procedure than simply pressure treating southern yellow pine. The process makes for a sturdy and long-lasting deck material that may not lose its color for 15 or 20 years.

The same is not true for pressure-treated wood. The appearance of PT pine deck materials will reflect how diligently you stain and seal your deck. If you don’t spend time on maintenance and upkeep with a pressure-treated pine deck, it is going to reflect that negligence. The benefit of a Trex deck is that once you choose a color and build your deck, you are going to get the same look and appearance for years and years without staining or sealing.

This isn’t to say that pressure-treated decks can’t be beautiful. Some people choose a natural wood over composite decking material because the beauty of nature really comes out when that wood is stained and sealed. It requires more upkeep and elbow grease to keep a pressure-treated deck looking good than it does with a Trex deck, but many homeowners don’t mind the extra annual maintenance.

This means your financial cost for the periodic maintenance of your pressure-treated deck will be greater than with a Trex deck, but your upfront building cost is much more attractive. You shouldn’t forget that a Trex deck will change slightly in its color and shade the first 2 to 3 months after installation. This happens because the decking material has to get used to your environment, but the change is gradual in nature. After that, the color shouldn’t fade for several years, and even then only gradually.

Trex vs Pressure-Treated Pine Safety Considerations

The safety of your deck comes down to a number of factors. If people are acting irresponsible and running on a wet pool deck, they may fall and become injured. This is in most cases not the fault of the decking material, but rather the person who was injured. Pressure-treated yellow pine and Trex are rot and decay resistant for a number of years. This means the likelihood of someone stepping through your rotted deck floor or falling because a railing gave way is not likely to happen.

The yellow pine which is used for many pressure-treated decks has a natural texture which makes it resistant to slipping. You can choose Trex products with textured finishes that make them highly resistant to slipping as well. As far as all-around safety goes, a Trex deck is a much more hands-off maintenance choice than pressure-treated decking. With either choice, you are responsible for sweeping and cleaning your deck and keeping it free of debris which could act as safety hazards.

For general safety concerns, you will be happy with pressure-treated wood or Trex decking materials.

Pressure-Treated vs Trex Decking – Which is Better for the Environment?

Trex decking materials are made up of 95% sawdust, recycled wood fibers and plastic materials. This keeps waste products out of landfills. It should also be noted that the Trex company has formed a partnership with the US Forest Stewardship Council. This guarantees your Trex deck was built with no materials that came from an endangered rain forest.

Caring for a PTP deck requires staining and/or painting every year or two. This means it is up to you to handle, store and dispose of these chemicals correctly so you don’t negatively impact the environment. Trex does not require a weather sealant or staining.

Comparing Trex vs pressure-treated pine reveals that a PTP deck that can last as long as a Trex deck but this can also mean that more yellow pine trees must be grown and harvested for you to replace individual decking materials like balusters and deck boards, or if you want to replace your entire deck. Most pressure-treated lumber is EPA approved, and both Trex and pressure-treated deck materials are environmentally friendly when disposed of properly.

To get a more accurate comparison of both for your application contact a seasoned pro for a no obligation quote.

An ipe deck with trees embedded.

Best Decking Materials for the Dallas Metro Area

So you are thinking about building a deck in Dallas, Texas but you’re not sure what decking materials you should use? The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is the 4th largest metro area in the US. More than 7 million people call the 13 counties of this metro region home because the weather is beautiful all year-round. Enjoying that weather without leaving home is possible with a pool deck, patio deck or balcony deck. You can entertain, create a place to escape or use your deck to show off your backyard barbecue skills.

Ipe deck poolside, stained.

Ipe can add that extra sense of luxury you’re looking for.

No matter what type of deck you build, you need to choose the right materials. This means understanding what decking materials work best for your environment. A veteran deck builder with decades of experience crafting quality decks in the Dallas area knows the pros and cons for the popular woods and composites used to build decks that last, and that help you create memorable experiences.

This report helps you compare decking products. You will learn which are more expensive to build and those types of decking materials which require minimal maintenance. We will cover popular wood and composite decking manufacturers, and all other aspects you need to know to make an informed decision as to which decking material you should be using. If you know you want to have a deck built but don’t know what materials you should use for your particular situation, this guide will help you answer all your questions.

Listed below in no particular order are the most commonly used types of wood and composite decking materials in the Dallas metropolitan area. They provide varying degrees of functionality and durability, cover a wide range of price points, and can be used for many types of decks.

Common Natural Woods for Decking

Far and away the most common type of wood used to build a deck is Southern Yellow Pine or SYP. This wood is pressure treated (then called Pressure Treated Pine or PTP for short) to extend its natural resistance against rotting, decaying and insect infestation. Pressure treated pine, cedar and redwood are the most common natural woods used to build a deck in Dallas. Let’s take a look at each in turn, comparing and contrasting them according to features, durability and price points.

Pressure-Treated Pine, Mobile Home Deck

Pressure-treated pine decks makes are an excellent add-on for mobile homes.

Pressure treated pine is the most economical and found to be used in most decks in the United States for one simple reason–it is the least expensive decking material. Bear in mind that this only means initial construction and labor cost. It is easy to work with, has a plentiful supply, and can give you a good looking deck for 15 or 25 years (or longer) if properly maintained.

Pressure treated pine delivers the beauty of natural wood, but pressure treated pine decks will need the application of a good weather sealant and it will have to be periodically reapplied. Talk to a well seasoned deck builder as to what products will give you the best protection as well as when to apply them to your newly installed deck.

People build decks for different reasons. If you are on a budget and looking for a pool deck or want to build a surround for your hot tub, pressure treated lumber is recommended. When you keep a routine maintenance schedule it can give you years of enjoyment.

Remember that the upfront cost for pressure treated decking materials is very attractive, but ongoing maintenance, time and financial considerations are going to be a little greater than with other types of woods and composites like Trex decking and ipe (pronounced ee-pay) wood.

Cedar is considered a soft wood, but it nonetheless makes for beautiful, long-lasting decks. Cedar decking materials offer a distinctive color and hue, and there is no mistaking the luxurious smell of a cedar deck. You may fall in the love with cedar decking products because of the rich red coloring. If you’re looking for a beautiful deck, cedar can definitely deliver.

Balcony Deck Made of Cedar

Cedar looks fantastic as a decking material, and it can last for years.

Cedar should be re-sealed every few years, and when proper maintenance practices are observed, you can still have a really attractive deck after 20 to 30 years. As opposed to other decking materials, cedar carries a middle-of-the-road price tag.

While Redwood has a natural resistance to rot, decay and boring insects it will still need maintenance. It will also give you a natural and beautiful deck. It works well in the Dallas metropolitan area and can be the centerpiece for great backyard entertaining experiences. Like cedar, redwood costs less than hardwoods and composites, man-made decking materials, and it can be less prone to warping over time than pressure treated wood. Like most natural woods it is best used when installed so that it has ample space between the deck and the ground. This allows for air to flow keeping the deck dry underneath and adds to the longevity.

You should also weather seal a redwood deck every few years to get the best possible performance. Since redwood is a softwood like cedar, it will be easier to scratch or stain than a hardwood or composite. Additionally, if older/inner tree growth is used to make your redwood decking materials, life expectancy is around 20 to 30 years (or longer) with regular maintenance.

To recap, pressure treated pine is always going to be your least expensive deck building choice at least upfront. Cedar and redwood will cost more to build than a PTP deck, while offering a more distinctive appearance and lasting a little longer. With any of these wood decking materials you are going to have to contribute regular time, money and elbow grease to keep them looking good and lasting as long as possible.

Composite Decking Material

Composite decking materials came about for a number of reasons. Sustainability is a real concern any time you build something using wood. A tree has to be grown and harvested to create wood decking materials. Composite decking products combine wood fibers, sawdust waste and recycling plastics. Because of this reason, they are environmentally friendly and the best composite decking materials last a long time with minimal maintenance.

Rooftop Composite Deck

Composite decks make for great rooftop decks.

However, the process for making composites is costly. This means that while your composite deck can often return several years of beauty and high quality performance with little maintenance, it is going to require a bit higher financial commitment in the construction phase. This is offset by lower annual maintenance costs and less time investment on your part year after year.

Build a composite deck and you get a uniform appearance from board to board. If you want a consistent look and a long-lasting deck, consider composites.

The manufacturer warranties you receive will in almost all cases be much more attractive than with pressure treated wood and other natural softwood products, and you won’t have to worry about splintering, cracking, splitting, deterioration or insects and other bugs eating your deck.

Composite decks can offer a high-end look, and this segment of the decking industry is one of the fastest growing currently. Trex is the market leader in composite decking, and Fiberon and Azek are other quality manufacturers.

The composite marketplace is evolving constantly, and Trex has become the industry leader because the company offers extreme durability with an environmentally friendly product that requires little maintenance while holding its appearance and functionality for decades. Trex offers an impressive 25 year warranty against fading and staining on residential decking products. This warranty also includes replacement due to defects in workmanship, and a guarantee that your boards will not splinter, rot or split. Additionally, you get a guarantee that Trex products are insect resistant and no structural damage will occur due to decay from fungal infection.

Trex composite deck set at poolside

Trex decking is long-lasting, looks great, and requires less maintenance than other materials.

Build a Trex deck and you’re working with material that is made from 95% recycled materials. The Trex lineup receives the blessing of the US Forest Stewardship Council, and FSC approval means no decking material came from an endangered rain forest. The Trex lineup includes Select, Enhance and Transcends lineups, with the Transcends product being the top-of-the-line offering.

Azek Building Products makes decking materials which are backed by 30 year limited and limited lifetime warranties, depending on the product. The TimberTech line is also a part of the Azek family. Fiberon decking products also work well in the Dallas Fort Worth metro area, and are backed with a limited residential warranty that promises protection against splitting and decaying, rotting or splintering, and termite infestation. Fiberon also backs their products with a limited stain and fade warranty.

Bamboo: The Hot New Thing for Decks

When most people think of bamboo, they picture the slender bamboo stalks which grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet. Some bamboo can actually grow to a height of 80 feet and a width of 1 foot. Unlike decking materials made from wood, where the entire tree must be cut down, bamboo can be harvested without cutting the tree. Moso Bamboo is a decking material now available in the Dallas Metroplex, offering a 25 year limited warranty against rot, decay and insect infestation.

If you want a deck with a slightly different coloration than you get from natural softwoods and hardwoods, you may want to consider Moso Bamboo products. This is a green alternative to exotic hardwood decking material, but expect to pay more than other decking materials other than most tropical hardwoods.

Tropical Hardwoods: Beautiful, Exotic, and Luxurious

Exotic, tropical hardwoods include ipe, tigerwood, cumaru, Abaco, massaranduba and garapa. These extremely durable hardwoods are longer-lasting but also require a little maintenance. They can keep their color for decades with proper maintenance, and you can expect up to 50 years of beautiful high performance from an ipe deck when it is cared for properly.

Beautiful and elegant poolside ipe deck

Ipe is an excellent wood for poolside decks.

Ipe (also known by other names such as ironwood), cumaru and the other tropical hardwoods are incredibly dense. They are among the hardest woods used for building decking products, naturally resistant to rot and decay, insect infestation and boring as well as wearing well against the elements. All tropical hardwoods offer a very attractive longevity feature but will need maintenance. Tropical hardwood decks are like a fine exotic automobile and if they are within your budget this means they do require a financial investment where annual maintenance is concerned.

These woods are gorgeous, long-lasting, naturally resistant to mother nature and weather, and definitely at the high-end of the initial cost range when compared with other decking materials. However, when you want to build a deck that says elegance and quality, look no further than a hardwood like the gorgeous ipe.

Ipe carries the highest possible fire rating and is one of the hardest woods on the planet. Expecting decades from your beautiful ipe deck is not at all out of line, and the decking materials made from this wood have received the blessing of the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for safety because they are extremely slip-resistant, even when wet.

Ipe wood naturally resists fungus and mold, rot, decay and boring insects, without the need for the addition of any chemicals. The natural olive brown to reddish finish gives a look of luxury and class, and this wood is so durable it has been used at the Atlantic City Boardwalk, Disney World, the Coney Island Boardwalk and San Diego’s Shelter Island Marina.

Ipe rooftop deck

Ipe provides excellent slip resistance on top of being beautiful.

If you select ipe or another tropical hardwood, you get one of the lowest cost-for-life decking products you can possibly choose. Your initial investment will usually be higher than if you select many other decking materials, but your ongoing upkeep and maintenance costs over time are much lower than those alternative decking products.

You should know that ipe wood offered by a responsible decking contractor is considered a “green” product. It carries the FSC seal of approval mentioned earlier as a wood that is harvested with sustainable and renewable practices. If you don’t mind paying more in the construction phase for your deck and a little every year for the next several decades for maintenance, a luxurious tropical hardwood like ipe adds instant status and high-quality class to any home.

Thermally Modified Wood

Natural wood can be modified through the application of a number of processes. One way to do this is to heat wood without the presence of oxygen, thereby making it more durable by changing its cellular structure. This thermal modification makes softer wood more durable and long-lasting, bakes the sugars and starches out of the wood making it insect resistant of which can be seen as an environmentally friendly by-product of this process. Since this wood lasts longer than it naturally does, fewer trees need to be harvested to make decking products.

These processes also make wood more resistant to mold. Thermally modified wood products are 50% to 75% less likely than their natural counterparts to swell or shrink in the presence of dramatically high or low temperatures. Some homeowners like the fact that attractive softwoods receive a darker color thanks to the thermal modification process. As with composite decking materials, there are a wide variety of colors and shades available.

Three of the top thermally modified would manufacturers are Kebony, Thermory and Cambia.

Choosing the Right Deck Material for the Dallas Metro Area

You just can’t beat pressure-treated pine if your biggest deck building consideration is your pocketbook. First-time homeowners and those with tight budgets are recommended to consider a pressure-treated deck for a lot of reasons. First off, the initial investment is lower than with any other type of deck build. If you have never had a deck before, this is a sensible and low-cost way to enjoy the experience.

If over time you realize that you are not spending that much time on your deck or you need to move out of your home, you have a minimal upfront investment. The slight downside to pressure-treated decks is maintenance. You should always sweep and otherwise clean any deck. In the case of a PT deck which is going to be subjected to the heat and humidity of the Dallas, Texas area, it is recommended that you stain your deck every few years.

The same is true if you choose to build a cedar or redwood deck. Redwood and cedar are going to set you back a little bit more initially than if you choose pressure-treated wood, and many people find them more attractive than a less expensive PT pine deck.

Consider a composite decking material like Trex if you are environmentally conscious. Since Trex materials are composed of 95% recycled plastics and wood fibers, you’re looking out for the environment and the planet because your decking material is made up of what would otherwise end up in a landfill. Trex decking products are backed with a 25-year warranty at least, they are resistant to rot and decay, insect boring and infestation, and you won’t begin to see gradual fading for more than 10 or 15 years.

Another benefit of Trex decking is that it doesn’t need to be stained, painted, sealed or finished. As you know, you should not expect that your softwood or hardwood decking boards will all have the same grain patterns, coloration and hue. If you are a stickler for uniformity, Trex will provide a better experience than natural wood. Trex decking materials come in a wide variety of colors and textures, and you receive long-lasting durability and low maintenance with an installation cost that is lower than tropical hardwoods but higher than softwoods like pressure-treated pine and cedar.

Thermally modified wood and bamboo make for interesting decking material choices. These are the newest decking innovations, and while they don’t have the track history of other alternatives, they seem to offer some attractive features.

Ipe deck for commercial property

Ipe decks also make a great solution for commercial properties because of their longevity.

Finally, if you want your deck to reflect class and luxury, you should definitely consider a tropical hardwood like ipe. This durable wood is made by mother nature to last for a extremely long time when compared to other decking materials. It will require annual maintenance such as any fine automobile.

Ipe wood carries the same fire rating as steel and concrete, and is easily the lowest cost-for-life decking choice. If you want to take your decking game to the next level and create an outdoor experience that will be the envy of the neighborhood while also reflecting your demand of excellence and class, you can’t go wrong with ipe. Also ipe if not weather treated annually will gradually change to a beautiful gray which is acceptable to many.

Deck Patio Pressure-Treated Pine Bench

The Definitive Guide to Pressure-Treated Decking

Why Pressure-Treated Decking?

Pressure-treated decking is very popular and can be found at many homes in the Dallas Metro area, but many of us know very little about this favored outdoor building material. Read on and be informed on everything that you need to know about pressure-treated wood deck and whether it should be your choice for your next decking project.

Pressure-treated decks are used in millions of homes all over the United States and has been around for more than 50 years in the building industry. It is sold in most lumber outlets in the country and is a favorite among builders and homeowners alike for its features and benefits.

Pressure-Treated Wood: A Closer Look at the Facts

According to statistics, more than 75% of all the decks in the US are built partially or entirely with pressure-treated wood. They are used for beams, posts and joists mainly for their structural strength and it’s natural ability to endure against ground-contact deterioration.

Pressure-treated decking uses a softwood lumber material—usually southern yellow pine decking—that has been chemically treated to withstand decay, termites and rot. It has a natural wood appearance, resilient and highly available. Being very economical, it is also the best choice for homeowners who are looking to build decks for less.

It is called “pressure treated” because of the process it undergoes before it is sold. The pine boards are placed into huge pressurized cylindrical tanks called “retort”. These chambers are sealed airtight and they contain chemical preservatives that are then forced into the very fiber of the wood under extreme pressure, resulting to exterior-grade wooden boards that are ideal for deck building and other woodworking projects.

Benefits of Pressure-Treated Decking

Pressure-treated wood deck is ideal for areas where the weather can be unpredictable and harsh, such as parts of Texas like Plano. Properly treated wood is a much less expensive option and offers a lot of benefits including a really long life span, to the tune of 40 years or more.

Here are some of the advantages to using pressure-treated decking.

  • Longevity—treated wood is highly resistant to damage caused by fungal decay, borers, and rot. This is why many manufacturers offer warranties of up to 40 years for pressure-treated wood products.
  • Grade Varieties—pressure-treated decking is available in a wide variety of lumber grades to suit the user’s needs, such as knot-free grades and close-grained grades. The lumber is distinguished into grades by checking the knots, grain angle, decay, damage warp and wane of the wood. The grades will let the user know if it is structurally sound for a particular application or environment.
  • Low Maintenance—unlike its exotic counterparts, pressure-treated wood decking requires a little more maintenance. As with any other deck, regular cleaning is very important. It is important to note that while the wood has chemicals that will protect it from rot and termites, moisture damage is still slightly possible. To prevent this, the deck should be maintained with an annual coating of high-quality weather sealant with water repellant and a ultraviolet block to help retain its appearance and longevity. Semi-transparent stain can be included with the above and really brings out the beautiful characteristics of treated pine.
  • Environmentally Friendly—you won’t have to worry about depleting the environment with your option, because pressure-treated decking is environmentally friendly and comes from renewable, plentiful and fast-growing types of wood that are grown on managed timberlands. The preservatives used are typically manufactured from EPA-approved chemicals.
  • Versatile and Pliant—working with pressure-treated decking is easier than exotic wood. It also has a unique cellular structure that exceptionally holds stains, paints and sealants after an initial weathering period of 4-6 weeks to allow the wood to dry so that it will absorb the sealant better and therefore last longer.

Working with Pressure-Treated Decking

First off, to make sure that your deck is built with the right kind of pressure-treated wood, you should check the label or stamp of the boards and verify the chemical retention level. The higher the number, the more resistant the wood will be against rot and termites.

There is a recommended retention level for each environment and application. For instance, the UC3B category with retention levels of 0.25–0.40 is ideal for decking that is intended for an environment where it will be exposed to prolonged wetting and different weather cycles.

In building a pressure-treated wood deck, lumber manufacturers highly recommend using only hot-dipped galvanized screws, nails, bolts, connectors and anchors. It is also important to remember that wood treatments cause corrosion to aluminum components.

The wood is treated with chemicals, so the builder or homeowner is reminded to wear gloves at work, and to thoroughly wash up before drinking or eating. Safety goggles and a dust mask should also be worn when drilling, cutting or sanding the wood.

You should never cut pressure-treated lumber in an enclosed space, only outdoors, and you should never burn it.

Before painting or staining, pressure-treated decking must be allowed to dry through. The best way to test this is to sprinkle water on the surface of the wood. If it beads up, this means that the wood is still too wet and must be dried further before a weather sealant/stain is applied. If the water is absorbed easily, it means that the wood is ready.

Deck Pool Pressure-Treated Pine

Pressure-Treated Decks


Pressure-Treated Decking – What Your Local Home Improvement Store Doesn’t Want You to Know

Did you hear the story about the two Dallas neighbors that used pressure-treated decking to create an outdoor living experience for their families? You are gonna want to hear this, especially if you’re planning on building a deck to take advantage of the beautiful Dallas, TX weather.

Bob and Tim live next door to each other. They have a lot of similarities. They are both popular in the neighborhood, have a lot of common friends, and have been working in Rockwall and Collin counties for years.

But there are a lot of differences between these two men as well.

For instance, Bob is the kind of guy who dives into a home improvement project without doing much research. He just wants to get the thing finished. So that is what he did when he built his backyard deck.

Research + Quality Pressure-Treated Decking + Seasoned Professional = Hands-Off Deck Enjoyment

Tim is smarter than that. He knows that outdoor decks can return pretty much all of its cost in improved home value, if the right materials are chosen, and a pro handles the job. And he wants to provide his friends and family with a wonderful outdoor living experience for years, with minimal “pain in the neck” maintenance.

So before Tim rushed out and bought pressure-treated decking material from the nearby big-box retailer, he did his homework. And what he found out was this:

There are different types of pressure-treated woods. If you spend a little more money and get your hands on some choice, premium or select pressure-treated boards, you get straighter grain, fewer knots and a better quality product.

These better boards are usually kiln-dried. Both before and after being pressured treated. That means your deck has a much lower chance of warping. These better boards often come with a limited lifetime warranty as well.

Where Can You Find High Quality Pressure-Treated Decking?

But where can Tim get his hands on these premium pressure-treated decking boards? They are not always available to Joe Homeowner. Well, Tim called the folks at Dallas Deck Craft. The seasoned deck builder there was impressed with Tim’s knowledge about the difference between pressure-treated materials.

After a friendly and professional quote, Tim found that he was going to spend more money on building his dream deck than his next-door neighbor Bob. However, the deck professional from Dallas Deck Craft explained that over time he would actually be spending less money.

Not to mention, he would not be breaking his back every couple of years staining his deck and replacing warped, shrunken and twisted boards. By doing a little more homework than Bob, and spending a little more money, Tim now has a hassle-free, low-to-no maintenance outdoor living experience that will look great and provide his family with wonderful memories for years.

The Right Kind of Pressure-Treated Decking Makes All the Difference in the World

Let’s fast forward 5 years.

Tim and his wife are relaxing on their still beautiful backyard deck. A soft summer breeze carries the scent of hamburgers and steaks from Tim’s grill, and the sounds of his grandchildren laughing and splashing around in his pool brings a lot of joy to his heart. He has not had to raise a finger to maintain his gorgeous deck in anyway, and that makes him smile.

Life is good.

Now let’s look across the fence and see how Bob’s doing. Not so good. Bob could be enjoying a wonderful Dallas summer day, just like Tim and his family are. But since he tried to save a little money by building his deck himself, and choosing pressure-treated decking material from the nearby home improvement store, he is working on his “sure doesn’t look anywhere as nice as Tim’s” deck, again.

Sweating and cursing profusely, pulling painful splinters from his hands and whacking his thumb as often as a nail, he sure didn’t sign up for this when he built his deck 5 years ago. Yeah, he saved some money up front. And he made sure that Tim knew it too.

But after today’s trip to the same old home improvement store where he bought his inferior pressure-treated decking materials, he figures he has spent about the same amount of money as his smarter neighbor. Not to mention sweat equity with the unhappy bonus of more than a few backaches and battle scars came with it.

And Tim is over there enjoying his deck, not working on it. Lesson learned.

Don’t be a Bob. Be a Tim, creating wonderful memories on your professionally built outdoor living experience. You have invested a lot of time and money into your home. Does it really make sense to pinch pennies and use inferior pressure-treated decking? Of course it doesn’t.

Take Smart Action Today

Give us a call today at 214-384-4267, and we here at will come out and provide a deck quote. Yyou can pick our brains, and we will provide 35 years of deck building experience in Collin, Rockwall and Dallas without charging you a penny. You may just find that spending more for some select, premium pressure-treated decking makes a lot of sense. You will also end up loving your deck, rather than resenting it and working on it.

Deck Pool Treated Park

Is Pressure-Treated Wood the Right Choice for My Outdoor Deck?


Pressure-Treated Wood Decking is Right in a Lot of Situations

If you’re still considering what kind of material to build your outdoor deck with, chances are you’ve encountered pressure treated wood, or also called Wolmanized pine as a potential option.

As one of the most commonly used materials in outdoor construction projects, pressure-treated wood has an excellent track record as a long lasting, affordable material, making it a deck builder favorite. Pressure-treated pine is commonly used for outdoor decking.

But what is it? What does “pressure treated” mean? Is it right for you? Let’s explore this common building material and find out.

What is Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is any kind of wood which has been saturated in a mixture of chemical preservatives. The wood is placed inside a closed tank along with the preservatives, and then the air is sucked out creating a vacuum which forces the preservatives into the wood.

These preservatives are specially designed to protect the wood from pests (such as termites), rot, and wood fungi.

It is important to note that pressure-treated wood still needs to be treated with a weather sealant, as the chemical preservatives generally won’t fare well against weather and aging.

Addressing Safety Concerns of Pressure-Treated Wood

Most of the concerns regarding the safety of the chemical preservatives used to create pressure-treated wood stem from old manufacturing processes which are no longer used.

For many years, chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was the de-facto preservative used in pressure-treated wood—which caught the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency in the early 2000s.

Even though there was some degree of controversy as to how dangerous the use of CCA was if the wood was properly maintained, it has since been banned in residential use, prompting the lumber industry to use safer and more environmentally-friendly preservatives in the creation of pressure-treated wood.

It’s important to remember that if you hear that pressure-treated wood is somehow unsafe, the source is likely using poor or outdated information, as pressure-treated wood using CCA as the preservative hasn’t been sold for residential purposes for at least a decade; it is, however, still used in a variety of industrial applications, which homeowners should be aware of when purchasing pressure-treated wood for their residential projects.

Deck Construction with Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood has been a long-time favorite for deck construction because of its affordable pricing, durability, and how long the wood will last when properly sealed and maintained. When compared to other common woods used in deck construction, pressure treated wood remains a common choice because of its pricing without sacrificing functionality—compared to, say, redwood, pressure-treated wood can cost 30 to 40% less while still retaining all of the benefits of redwood and/or other woods which are well known to be durable.

This comparatively low price bracket means that pressure-treated wood might be a great choice if your deck project is a particularly large one; the savings will add up with every square foot.

Pros and Cons of Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most commonly used materials used in outdoor construction—and there’s plenty of good reasons for that. The longevity as well as the durability make it the perfect framing material regardless of what type of material you choose for your outdoor decking needs. While the pros certainly outweigh the cons in most situations, here’s a brief overview of both.

Pros of Pressure-Treated Wood

  • Long lasting, many manufacturers offer a 30 or more year warranty
  • Very affordable
  • Difficult to dent or scratch, strong
  • Prevents mold, fungi
  • Prevents insects from taking up residence

Cons of Pressure-Treated Wood

  • Can only be used outdoors
  • When burned, chemicals can be unsafe; poses a potential health hazard in the event of a house fire