Published April 12, 2011
The Basics of Decking
A deck in your backyard can make any outdoor living space more comfortable and inviting. Decks come in all shapes and sizes, from multi-level decks to attached pergolas. Many decks are DIY-friendly, but many homeowners work with a professional contractor for their decking needs.
The most common type of decking is pressure-treated wood because it is resistant to both rot and insects, but there are other decking materials used by homeowners who want to create a new deck or replace their old one:
- Bamboo: This is one of the cheapest deck materials available and is ideal for dryer climates as it is susceptible to rot.
- Cedar: Cedar may be soft and susceptible to scratches but naturally rot-resistant.
- Composite: This eco-friendly decking option is made from recycled materials and wood byproducts.
- Ipe: Insect-, rot-, and weather-resistant, this hardwood is among the most expensive deck materials.
- Pressure-treated lumber: The most common type of decking material, pressure-treated lumber is an economical option.
- Redwood: This type of lumber is a mid-grade material resistant to insects and warping.
Even though the cost of decking materials ranges from $3 to $15 per square foot, labor costs, at $8 to $22 per square foot, often account for half or more of the total cost. Installing your deck yourself can save you a lot of money.
A local contractor will give you an estimate if you want to have your deck installed by a professional. However, it is always advisable to get several quotes, as the cost may vary depending on the company you choose.
If you want to learn more about installing your deck, maintaining your existing deck, or finding a local contractor, check out the resources below for more information.
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