the past thirty years we have been focusing our sights on stronger,
longer lasting and more durable deck products. Although we still
construct a full line of products made with real woods such as
Redwood, Cedar and hardwoods. Our clients are finding themselves
with less free time on the weekends and too many obligations with
the time they do have to be spending their discretionary time
sealing and staining the outdoor living space; they increasingly
request products that require much less time and maintenance with
new composite materials, solid plastics, vinyl coverings and even
fiberglass products have recently flooded the market and have
some very lofty promises to limit or even eliminate the normal
maintenance problems. It has been our experience that a cap-stock
mixed composite material can provide the longevity, durability
and can limit the maintenance, while staying in a reasonables
cost range. More expensive PVC coated composites can offer stain,
fade and mold resistance that makes life easy and your deck will
look much more beautiful with multiple coloration.
us to share the positive and negative
aspects from our perspective of the most popular choices in today's
retail decking and railing markets.
EverGrain, Trex and Fiberon materials top the list.
companies offer multiple levels of materials in a wide variety
of colors and textures. They will differ in quality, shape, color,
density and longevity, and although each product has it's own
limitations, each one of these products does have an optimal application.
Allow one of our representatives to help you determine which product
type and color blend will work best for your deck or patio project.
Having first hand knowledge and experience with benefits and draw
backs of each system, we can give you advise on a Company and
product type that will encompass all that your family requires
and that will look nice as well.
- has been widely used in the United States in various
applications for hundreds of years and is certainly growing in
popularity in today's decking and structural landscaping markets.
Cedar is milled for so many different applications and textures
making it the most versatile wood used in America. Rough cuts
are produced for fencing, siding, facing and trims. Timbers of
all sizes are cut for both structural and architectural uses such
as roofs, shade arbors, pergolas and gazebos. Smooth cuts of Cedar
are so beautiful because of their grain and knot configuration
and are milled for many decking and railing applications. They
can be cut, routed and milled easily on the job site to fit any
purpose. The strength of its grain allows it to be used in almost
all structural uses. Cedars softness allows it to age well in
very dry climates like Colorado, paints well and resists the normal
cracking of denser woods, and dries very quickly in wet climates.
Cedar has a very pleasing natural aroma and has a natural resistance
to rot and decay. Cedar will oxidize and gray if not treated properly
and will mildew or even get burned by the sun if it is over sealed.
In Colorado's dry climate, Cedar needs to be sealed yearly or
bi-yearly to maintain its natural beauty or should be primed before
- has been American's primary choice for decking products in the
past, but is quickly losing its charm and popularity because of
its rising cost and high maintenance. It has a natural lasting
beauty in its grain and knot configuration, mixed colors of Construction
Common, B-grades and Heart grades. The nature of Heart Redwood
allows it to be very resistant to decay and can be used for many
applications in the most humid of environments. In more arid environments
like ours, it will tend to crack, split and raise its grain when
not protected properly. The changing laws and management of the
Redwood forests in the United States has greatly increased the
cost and also limited the availability of products. Redwood should
be sealed every year in the early fall. Redwood should not be
used in painting applications, for it bleeds it's natural color
because of immature growth and clear cutting issues.
- such as Mahogany, Ipe, Brazilian Redwood, Tiger Wood and Cypress
have been widely used in the construction of decks and other landscape
structures for many years in other countries, but have just recently
been gaining in popularity in our area. The true beauty and consistency
to a real hardwood product is very attractive to the consumer
in this market. The durability and longevity are clearly acknowledgments
of the hardness and extreme density of hardwood trees. The strength
of a drying board of this density often requires a stainless steel
screw (costly) application to hold it firmly in place and will
also require high grade steel or titanium drill bits to bore pilot
holes. The hardwoods require more intricate and involved construction
applications, and in turn requires a more experienced, seasoned
and talented carpenter. The additional labor involved with this
type of construction can be as much as double the normal time
and can cost between double and triple the normal fees. In our
climate, normal oil based sealants may take several additional
days to soak into a hardwood product and specific ones may require
a Teak Wood Oil sealant.
opinions expressed here are those of Denver Decks and more specifically
of Philip R. Tussing, the owner and your "Deck Answer Man".
Note: The consumer should always
thoroughly investigate a product before choosing to purchase a
material or product for use in their construction project. It
would also be prudent to test every opinion in order to determine
its factual nature.
have determined that products such as first and second generation
composites, vinyl, solid plastics and fiberglass decking materials
have too great a financial or health risk, or some type of liability
we are not willing to undertake. The Deck market is always changing
to meet further requirements.