When my first child had an accident at home, I realised we hadn't childproofed the house as well as we could have. Thankfully, they were fine, but I learned my lesson and began a thorough inspection of my home and garden. I got to work addressing the various hazards we had overlooked, and I started this blog to help other parents think objectively about the hazards in their own homes. I post about a variety of topics, such as pool safety, choosing a safe garden fence, storing medication and cleaning products, window and door locks and kitchen safety for kids. I hope you find my blog useful and informative.
When building an outdoor deck yourself, you need to carefully consider the material you choose. Not all timber decks are alike and other materials you might choose for your deck can offer a lot of advantages that you may be overlooking. Note a few tips for choosing the right material for your deck, if you're thinking of constructing it yourself.
Pressure treated pine
Pine is very affordable and feels good against the feet because it's a soft wood, and it's easy to cut and fabricate on your own. It also holds a paint or stain color very well. The chemicals used to treat pine to keep it protected from rot, mold and insect infestation can cause corrosion, so you want to use stainless steel fasteners and avoid thin, weak nails that may curve or break when they start to rust. This can make a DIY installation more difficult and costly. Pine is also prone to chipping and rotting, so you need to ensure you have it sealed every year or as often as recommended for your area and standard weather conditions.
Tropical hardwoods have a natural tone that is very attractive, so you may not need to paint or stain them for a beautiful deck. They are very tough and durable, but this can be a problem when making your own deck as you may not be able to easily cut slats of hardwood with your standard saw blades. You also typically cannot nail through the boards without a power hammer or without drilling a hole first. Tropical hardwood planks may also be expensive to replace if a slat should get damaged in time, and remember that darker colors of wood can be very uncomfortable under bare feet when in hot summer sun.
Composite materials are a mixture of plastic and wood fibers; these fibers are usually taken from waste materials including shavings and sawdust, so composite is a very eco-friendly choice. These boards are also very tough and durable but easier to cut and fabricate than tropical hardwoods. They come in a variety of finishes so that they don't need to be painted or stained over the years. However, like real wood, they may be prone to mildew, so they do need to be cleaned regularly. Some brands may also recommend the slats . They're also heavier than most wood types so you may need to add some extra bracing around the deck to keep it from sinking into the ground.