Incense Cedar decking - any thoughts?

run53June 29, 2009

Hi,

I am resurfacing my old PT deck and was sold on Port Orford Cedar. But where I live (eastern Massachusetts) it is very difficult to find. My lumber dealer suggested a knotty grade of Incense Cedar (not as strong as POC but stronger than WRC). We like the idea of a white cedar for better staining choices.

Anyone ever use this type of cedar? Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike

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john_hyatt

I use incense cedar 5/4 x 6'' decking as an ecno choice for decking. In 5-7 years you will be replacing rotted out boards less than that installed low to the ground.

Most of the time for a budget minded project I use 5/4 pt decking and do the handrail detail with IC cedar. J.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:46PM
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run53

Thanks for the response J.

Although I'm not quite sure what you are advising. My boards will be 18-24" from the ground. Are you saying I will have to replace some of them in 5-7 years and that PT would be a better choice?

Sorry for not understanding.
Mike

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:35PM
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john_hyatt

Its a trade off Run, pt will be less stable far as spliting,cracking,splinters but it will be more long lived. IC is klin dried and will be a lot more stable after install, takes finish really well,looks good but the life span is not all that great as decking.

Far as I know IC all comes from N Cal,thats where my local gets it anyway, plantation grown, young trees with a lot of sap wood. In fact there is very little hart wood in the stuff just not enough time.
J.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:26PM
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run53

Thanks for clarifying. I just got off the phone with the lumber guy and they have Garapa for 2.95/lf . He said that the boards have a significant amount of color variation and as a result he would be willing to sell me 18' boards for 2.45/lf (50 cent savings per foot). He also said that if I was planning to use Penofin, it would do a good job of hiding the color variation. Is this just B.S. or something I should consider?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:13PM
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john_hyatt

Garapa is a good choice. Actually the color diferance is a good thing,I like it a lot. That sounds like a sales pitch to me but what the hay. Any tinted finish is going to blend the color of the wood not hide it, ghessssssss Man you dont want to hide it, Anyway I am not a big fan of penofin my outfit uses twp. Jon Mon

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 5:43PM
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weedyacres

I just bought garapa 1x6 from ABS Wood for 1.75/lf. Even East Teak is cheaper than your source, at 1.91/lf. Shipping costs ($525) added up to around $.21/lf, still cheaper than your local guy. You might want to shop around.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:01AM
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run53

The price I got was for 5/4 x 6. I'm sure that is more money. The question is how much. I'm not really sure I need 5/4.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:48PM
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weedyacres

They told me that if your deck is at least 2 feet off the ground it's sufficiently ventilated for 1x6.

East Teak's 5/4x6 is 2.70/lf as a point of reference.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:37PM
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run53

Thanks weedy....turns out I am going the budget route. I'll probably go with the Incense Cedar at $1.10 /lf for 5/4 x 6

I know the project won't come out as nice as garapa (or last as long) but money is tight now.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:57PM
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john_hyatt

Go for it Run...My local is selling that for.65 but what the hay. J.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 9:31PM
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run53

john...wow, that's a good price. Must be a location thing. I can't find anything under $1.00 in the Boston area. Mostly in the 1.1 to 1.5 range. Sounds like you've got some cedar experience. Even though it wouldn't be your choice for decking, do you see any advantages/disadvantages between the different types....Port Orford Cedar,Western Red Cedar and incense Cedar? All are readily available here in knotty grade (except POC which is a 4-5 week wait).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:12AM
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john_hyatt

Its the shiping from the left coast. If I had to make a choice between the three it would be PO. J.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:09AM
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