Cedar for a deck??

tim_pool_newbieJune 11, 2009

I received a rough estimate today on a composite deck, and I think I need to consider other options simply due to cost constraints of my project. My designer mentioned Cedar might be a viable option for me.

Anyone have an opinion either way in terms of using Cedar for a fairly large deck (800 sqft)?

If you also have a price comparison between Cedar and any composites, I'd like to hear that also.

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IMO a nice new cedar deck will look better than any composi
te. The problem is keeping it that way, year after year you'll have to do some work or pay someone to do it.

If the deck is low to the ground I'd stay away from cedar at all cost, unless of course you want to replace all decking in 8-10 years.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 9:56AM
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I think both look nice but thought Trex was worth the cost due to minimal maintenance and is ecological.



    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Wrong again, no manmade decking is ecological or " green " in any person's world. J.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:50PM
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Trex is recycled grocery bags...ecoLOGICAL. Some of these exotic woods are from the Amazonian rainforest...BOO.
For the author's benefit, cedar is probably commercially grown.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 5:31AM
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The engery/transport cost of composite,the effect on the land fill with constustion waste, what happens when composite burns makes for a large carbon footprint.

Using recycled plastic bags makes for good press but it defentley does not make it ecologial or green or good for the inviroment. J.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 7:42AM
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Doesn't wood need to be transported as well? There is a large industrial footprint required for a tree to make its way from forest to deck.

I would also think that the least ecological aspect of a wooden deck comes first in the use of chemicals and treatments to maintain them, and the waste associated with such.

There is also the lifespan of the decks. As good as any wood deck is built and maintained, its lifespan is shorter than a PVC one.

As far as waste goes, I wouldn't be surprised if cut-offs could be recycled, but even if they can't, proper planning and use of stock will make the waste very minimal. The stuff costs too much to be wasteful.

In any case, I am not saying PVC is more ecological, but there are certainly cases for either side.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Does anyone have a general cost comparison between Cedar and the various composites? Is Cedar HALF as expensive, 3/4, etc.??

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:01PM
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There are some composite products that do not contain any PVC. One example that comes to mind is LifeTime Lumber. My husband and I are researching materials for a deck we plan to build and after comparing them to other manufacturers like Trex we think LifeTime is the way to go.

Here is a link that might be useful: LifeTime Lumber

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:16PM
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I find it just mind boggling that anyone would want a composite deck connected to their home. Just reading the first few words in the introduction for the life time lumber it tells me that it is not as good as a wood. The website also leads me to belive it has poor structural strength, because it can not be used for joists in a deck. in my opinion if it is not sound enough to be used for framing it should not be used at all. I was just reading some where the other day that some composite decking manufacturing company was being sued because people were falling through their decking. I wish i could rember the manufacture.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:47PM
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Some of the newer composites actually do look nice. They do cost quite a bit more than cedar tho.

The comment about if you can't use it for framing is way off base. You wouldn't use 5/4x6 for framing, but it's suitable for decking in several species of wood.

All that said, there are some really crappy composites out there. Too many for me to name names. Far as folks falling thru their decks & sueing, Geodeck & Weatherbest are a couple of the culprits.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:17AM
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It's tough to settle on ONE opinion for the case of "Recycled" decks vs. "Natural" decks...

IMO...I would also prefer "Real" wood.

ANY substance used for horiz. decking will wear/fade...no matter what.
Real wood can last a long time IF periodically sanded; say every 5-8 yrs.

IF YOU CAN...stain the undersides of the floor-decking too!!! AS/just before your deck is being built, put a couple coats on those bottom sides.
>>> The HUGE benefit of this is keeping ground-moisture vapor from getting into the underside of floor-boards, and working its way up...slowly pushing-off stains.
>>> The lower your deck is to the ground, the more important this is!!!

It's the same principle as dipping sheet-metal for cars into rust-preventatives...if ALL sides are coated, they last a lot longer...
Wood isn't really any different in this sense.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:58AM
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"The comment about if you can't use it for framing is way off base. You wouldn't use 5/4x6 for framing..."

The MATERIAL is not suitable for framing.

The wood used for 5/4 decking is the same type of wood used for framing.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:12PM
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None of the composites are recyclable. They can't separate the plastic and wood. It will last 100 years and end up in a landfill decomposing for another 500 plus years. Do the research.

Aluminum is the future.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 12:22AM
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