Treated or not Treated Deck
Thanks for all the advice and information on a couple of cabin building posts. my 16x24 two story cabin will also have two 6x16 decks. I'm leaning towards treated wood for maintenance and durability. The other would most likely look better but I'm thinking the green treatment type that SBS has, not the deck brown, as I'm going with a Denali Green metal roof and I think honeycomb stain on the T1-11.
Thanks for any info and experiences.
After reading your recent posts, I can appriciate your desire to save money where you can. However I want to caution you on something that I have learned in my real life experience... ask all the questions you want, make the best decision you can, but do not let money be the guiding factor.... If you can not afford to do it right the first time, when will you have the time or money to do it right the next time?..... life is to short to do things twice... or more.
Green treated lumber is for below grade use... Treated to a .60 retention of CCA or ACQ more recently... This lumber is a lower visual grade lumber due to the fact that it is typically used below grade.
Deck grade lumber, (brown) is treated to a .40 retention and is appearance grade in quality made for walking on and looking at...
That being said, I use ( Just Like the old timers) regular lumber when it is above the ground 1 foot or more and treat it with a high quality wood preseravative...
Keep in mind treated wood is treated to RESIST rot and insects.... that does not mean that you DO NOT or SHOULD NOT treat with a deck stain or preservative..... So that being said.... What is your installation situation? How willing are you to perform basic deck maintanace and upkeep?
I agree with CH...treated lumber is not great material for a deck..it will dry out and crack, warp and delam. Better to use #2 and better with a preservative. The brown/red treated lumber is ok but I dont think it's worth the money other than it tends to be slightly higher grade lumber. Pick your lumber and treat it often...every other year.
Thanks for the advise on saving money, often I hear from my contractor on ways to save money and he tells me the final decision is up to me on what to do. That said the deck I want to have installed is about 2 feet above the ground for the first deck and the second 10 feet above the ground. My contractor recommended just normal wood but I was thinking the treated wood would last long without normal maintenance. The cabin that I'm building is for season recreational use and will not be used for more than 30 days each for for the next 4 years, then hopefully 4-5 months a year. I'm looking for something I can leave and not worry about getting back to stain or perform maintenance on but that said it will not be used a lot either, just exposed to the elements. Both decks will be covered from direct rain and sun light (by the roof) but if treated will give me a better product for maintenance at a higher cost I'm more than happy to pay extra money for a better product. Guess I should just go with the contractor recomendation with the normal wood at then treat with a good water sealer with stain. He probably knows what he is talking about...this is his job.
Put your money into rust free hardware, good coated screws, stainless or good galvanized hangers and so on.
I like to use CCA on all the structure underneath and untreated for all the stuff I can get to and treat easy. Canít get the CCA now and the new ACQ eats hardware so you must use the high dollar stainless steel with it so now I just go with all untreated and dope up the underside good as I build.
Food for thought, I've worked with a couple of guys the were allergic to some of the cemicals in the green treated lumber.
Green treated or go with cedar, either one treat with a sealant every 1-2 years (buy it in the 5 gal size).
No one mentioned TREX or the equivalent. If you are going to not want to do maintenance then this is the thing unless some one has issues other than price. The stuff has no tinsel strength but is easy to work with.
Go with the brown treated wood, we just finished building a 6x18 front porch using that stuff and it looks very good. Coat it with some Thompson's water seal and your set of a year or 2. We built this for about $600 which inlcudes all the hardware and wood.
Yes, great stuff just the price (3x redwood) turns me off form it.
Originally Posted by George Riddle
Recommend oil based preservative stains
Lots of opinions here, of course.
Just from experience owning and maintaining cabins here in Alaska for over 20 yrs, and slaving on my houses for over 30 yrs--- I would recommend against using the Thompson's Waterseal product. I realize it has a legion of loyal followers, but I'm not one of them. It's a perfectly good product-- just the wrong product for the job IMHO.
My vote goes to an an oil-based semi-transparent or clear type stain designed specifically for decks in mind, that will absorb INTO the wood and preserve it, as well as protect against water damage, similar or identical to what we typically use on a fence.
Thompson's is merely a surface coat material, and does nothing to treat the wood undeneath the coat. You still have sun & UV issues working against you.
The better quality oil-based stains and preservers will better protect the wood in the long run. It won't bead water droplets on the surface as long as Thompsons will, but I'm after a wood protective and water-protector product, not water puddles.
I've used them all over the years; I hate painting and staining. I've settled on oil-based semi-transparents such as the Olympic brand "Maximum" product. I easily get 3-5 yrs out of these between coats.
That being said, my decks from now on will be something made out of a Trex-type material.
Did I mention that I REALLY HATE painting and staining?...