How To Pick A Durable Lumber Post For Your Deck

A backyard deck can be a useful addition to almost any house and is the ideal area to meet with family and friends during pleasant weather. It’s a terrific spot to meet people, unwind after a hard day at work, barbecue food, and stargaze at night.

As long as you choose the appropriate kind and quality of deck material, building a deck is a rather simple and uncomplicated operation. You can use the following tips to pick the ideal deck posts for your project:

1.   Choose the right type of lumber

Yellow pine, which has undergone pressure treatment, is the most widely used material for decks because it is both affordable and widely accessible. It has undergone chemical treatment to make it resistant to infestation by insects, fungal deterioration, and moisture damage. In contrast to other materials, it is simpler to deal with and maybe attached together using hand or power equipment. On the other hand, it has a brief lifespan of only around 15 years, and it must be constantly resealed to maintain its weatherproof. Due to the strong chemicals used to provide it moisture resistance, it also needs careful handling during cutting, drilling, and installation. Additionally, it has a propensity to shrink, warp, and twist, much like any natural wood product.

Redwood and cedar are two popular alternatives to pressure-treated deck lumber because they both have a natural resistance to insects, fungi, and dampness. Both are simple to work with and have a lifespan of up to 20 years when exposed to the outdoors. Unfortunately, redwood and cedar are both softer timbers that are more expensive and more susceptible to damage from impacts and foot traffic than pressure-treated lumber. They are also vulnerable to sun damage, warping, and twisting.

Another natural substitute for pressure-treated deck material is hardwood decking, which comes in a number of gorgeous species like Brazilian hardwoods. Hardwoods, like cedar or redwood, are inherently resistant to moisture, fungi, and pests, and with the right care, they may withstand the environment for 25 years or longer. They are heavier and more difficult to work with than pine, cedar, or redwood, and they require high-quality saw blades to cut the material well. However, they have unique grain patterns and exotic appearances that cannot be matched by these woods. Hardwoods still need to be periodically resealed and are significantly more expensive than other organic wood products.

Composite deck lumber is gaining popularity as a substitute for real wood goods since it requires substantially less upkeep and has superior weather resistance, more uniformity, and a wider range of designs, colors, and textures. In order to develop a durable material that can withstand the environment for well over 25 years, composite goods, like Fiberon decking, use a special combination of wood and plastic particles. Some products even come with a lifetime limited warranty. Composite items are more eco-friendly, durable, lightweight, and user-friendly than real wood products, but because they cost more to produce and last longer than genuine wood, they frequently cost more.

2.   Pick quality lumber

To prevent issues caused by warping, twisting, splitting, or decay, you must carefully select the lumber for your deck when using natural wood decking goods. Before applying any chemicals to pressure-treated wooden decks, it’s crucial to select the right chemical concentration. Due to their infrequent exposure to moisture, deck or floorboards can have lower chemical concentrations. A medium concentration will be necessary for posts or other lumber that is constantly in touch with the ground. High amounts are required for wood that has been submerged in water. The type of wood used and the particular chemical treatment will determine the precise concentrations.

Secondly, look for flaws like crowning, warping, splitting, scalping, or twisting in each board or post. Each piece of lumber will have some flaws because it is a natural product, but by carefully inspecting each one, you can get the best lumber possible. Where it is concealed, such as in the joists in the center of the deck, or where short pieces of lumber are used, and problematic areas may be removed, lower-quality lumber may be used.

Avoid pressure-treated posts with significant amounts of heartwood from the tree’s center since this wood is denser and less able to absorb the chemical treatment. Choose boards made of cedar or redwood that have more heartwood since it resists decay and moisture better. Avoid using exceptionally wide deck floorboards, such as eight inches or wider, as they are more likely to cup or pull away from the joists.

The deck lumber you select should also be as dry as possible to prevent cracking, twisting, and warping. Wet wood often starts to shrink as it gets dry, and as it frequently dries unequally, this might result in broken boards or gaps between neighboring boards. Plan for shrinkage since pressure-treated lumber usually has high levels of moisture than kiln-dried lumber because of the treatment procedure.

3.   Size the lumber correctly

The type of deck lumber you choose will be heavily influenced by the deck’s overall design. Larger decks or decks that are higher off the ground could need 6-inch or 8-inch posts, but small decks can be built with 4-inch square posts. The length that the floor joists will span will determine their size. For instance, on 16-inch centers, two 26 boards can span a 9-foot gap, whereas two 28 boards can reach a 12-foot gap, two 210 boards can span a 14-foot gap, and two 212 boards are needed to span a 16-foot gap. Deck boards should be installed in 4-inch widths because wider widths are more likely to be damaged. The majority of the time, six-inch broad boards work well.

Final thoughts

You can easily build the deck of your dreams with careful planning and design and the correct kind of deck posts. You can find a lot of free resources online to assist you with planning, and with the appropriate supplier, you can receive all the materials you require in one location to build your ideal deck.

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