Hardwood deck questions

wear_your_babyJune 3, 2012

We built our own home with the help of GW experts in 2010. Now it's time to add the deck. Budget is tight, but we love the idea of hardwoods. We found some great prices at Advantage and have some questions before moving forward.

1. Advantage has garapa in 6' lengths for a great price. This pricing makes the difference In us being able to use hardwoods over PT lumber. We're planning for our joists to be 12" OC. Other than more seams, is there any reason to be concerned about using 6' lengths?

2. The best price we have found so far is a Cumaru rail. Is this an acceptable option? Garapa floor and Cumaru rail? Again, if it's not horribly tacky to mix the two, this pricing combination makes hardwood an option to us. We plan to use black alum ballasters. Will the colors work ok together? We would like to seal to keep natural colors rather than go grey.

3. I have read that we need to wax seal the cut ends of the garapa and Cumaru prior to install. Is this true, and what product do we use? I can't find much talk here on this topic.

I'm sure I will have more questions, but thanks in advance for reading so far!

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roquevalente

hello, we are an exporter of hardwood (ipe) located in South America. It is pretty common for importers to buy nice and expensive decking and then put something inferior underneath. Maybe the theory behind this is that you do not see the framework anyway, anyhow, the frame is the building basis of it all and if this starts to rot first then your entire deck needs to be dismantled. I would therefore recommend some hardwood and it is not so important which kind. Please do remind that cumaru is very hard, but it does not mean that it is very resistant to decay, in fact cumaru - despite being very hard - is prone to decay and rots in humid conditions (underneath your porch is such place. I would recommend for your framework your garapa, or ipe, itauba or angelim vermelho, curupau, iroko or azobe. These are THE species against rot.
Against end cracking of the boards you need to wax the ends, we do this here with paraffin (USD2/kg), I don't know what is available in your town. For much more information on installation please see the link given below:

Here is a link that might be useful: manual on building your own deck

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:12PM
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wear_your_baby

Thank you for your time and input.

It turns out Advantage likes to leave old sales posted on their site when they actually have nothing in stock at those good prices. I'm waiting to hear back from East Teak to see if we can use hardwood at all.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:49PM
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weedyacres

baby: All the pros on this site will say using PT framing is fine. Roquevalente is getting a bit too commercial for this site's self-promotion policies. It's pressure treated to last a long time, and it's perfectly suitable for framing. The decking is what takes a beating, and is worth spending more money on.

Keep watching the pricing on the various web sites. Or you might try calling some of them to see if they've got some sort of odd lot sizes or something that you can get at a discount.

As for sealing, you'll get opinions on both sides here. We put anchor seal on the ends of each board. Some say it's a crock. Your decision. :-)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:01PM
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