what's wrong with pressure treated pine?

scrappy25March 12, 2013

We've had a PT pine deck for 18 years, have it cleaned and retreated every other year (average $400 every other year, total $3600 maintenance over that 18 years). We are planning an addition and need to take down this old deck and build a new one. The contractor said that composite decking would be 4x the cost of PT pine. My original deck 18 years ago was $6400 cost. My maintenance costs are only 60 percent of the original cost of the deck over the lifespan. So why should I go for composite decking if I have been happy with the PT pine? It does get a little ratty by the 2nd year but the maintenance cleaning and upkeep seems to bring it back to life.

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There is nothing "wrong" with using pressure treated pine. It can be aesthetically not pleasing without upkeep and maintenance, but you seem to be fine with that so no reason you cannot use the same type material again. I would suggest just making sure the top decking is a Premium or at least No. 1 grade.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:35AM
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thanks millworkman. I did a search on it in this forum and there is very little, doesn't seem like anyone uses PT pine anymore, yet the composites still seem to need maintenance. . I am fortunate that I have had the same company all these years doing the maintenance so that the effort is minimal on my part.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:08AM
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There's not much on these forums because GW users tend to be above-average in their spending on home projects. PT is a perfectly good option for decks if you are comfortable with the aesthetics and the maintenance.

I built a garapa deck, and it requires maintenance too. It's worth it to me because it's gorgeous, and we needed to match the style/price range of our house. But PT is a perfectly good decking material.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:28AM
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It all depends on the source of the lumber.

I usually ask for no.1 select structural pressure treated, and buy through my ordinary supplier.

For anything that will contact the earth, you should get PT with a minimum of 0.40 pcf of chemical treatment. Look at the tag on the end of the board, it will tell you the type of chemical and the quantity used in pounds per cubic foot. (pcf)

Also, while you're looking at the end of the board, is a good time to select wood cut from trees with tighter growth rings. Large growth rings equal low quality lumber.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:42PM
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thanks everyone for the advice, I'll make sure we get no 1 select and ask for the tighter growth rings!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:49PM
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