Wood deck

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WriteON

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The floor needs to be replaced. The man offered grade 1,2 or 3 Cedar. I have no knowledge of cedar. The house will sold in 2-3 years so long term durability is not an issue but I want a nice job. How is grade 3 cedar... would appreciate some comments. Thanks, Frank
 
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studioseven

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I had to redo my deck floor two years ago. I used Trek decking material . Turned out really nice and is maintenance free. I recommend it but it is steeper than wood.

Seven
 

dpstudios

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New Orleans
You, as the homeowner, have the final say on materials, not the contractor, I'm saying this as a contractor. In my experience here in south Louisiana, cedar will not last longer than about ten years. Trex, or similar synthetic decking, while more expensive at the front end, will pay for itself in the long run. You should recoup the extra cost when you sell the house. Just my $.02

Dan
 

randyrls

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Harrisburg, PA 17112
Have someone give you a quote on synthetic material. Not the same person. You may be pleasantly surprised. The deck on the back of the house is composite with powdered finish aluminum railings. Still looks good. The carpenter bees don't like it.
 

WriteON

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I appreciate the replies.... but I want to use this particular contractor. He comes recommended..... showed up on time, clean cut, etc. Did not start with the clipboard and sales manure. He particularly likes cedar. That’s why I’m asking aboard it. He will use any material I want. Not looking to spend $10,000 for the floor. As for house resale. It will sell fast regardless of the deck.
 
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Woodchipper

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Cleveland, TN
Synthetic decking is great but WOOD magazine had a comparison on deck materials. Their only criticism of synthetic is that is gets beastly hot in the sun.
 

Noot17

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Oregon
I don't personally have experience with Cedar decking, but felt compelled to look something up to at least attempt to answer your question instead of just telling you to do synthetic.

From what I saw the difference in the grading is mainly how "clear" the cedar is. Grade 2 and 3 would both be very nice lumber, straight, few knots, etc. 3 being the best. I'm sure grade 1 would work for a deck, but wouldn't last as long. As you said though, you're not too worried about longevity.
Hopefully that helps, sorry it's not from experience.


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monophoto

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Saratoga Springs, NY
Our deck is a combination of pressure treated wood, Trex and cedar - pressure-treated wood for the structure, Trex for the floor and railing, and cedar for the structure and roof of a gazebo. That combination was required because Trex doesn't have the structural strength required for structural work. The deck is now 14 years old.

My experience:

Trex is great, and generally lasts a very long time. But it is NOT maintenance-free. Mildew will collect on the surface where it is not exposed to direct sunlight, so it is necessary to scrub it down with a detergent/bleach solution once a year. And if you choose a strong color, it can fade over time. Also, because Trex is a soft material (recycled plastic and sawdust) that doesn't have much structural strength, the recommended joist spacing is 12" rather than the standard 16" - if you have 16" joists, you could see ripples develop over time. Finally, long runs can expand/contract with temperature leading to buckling (especially for things like fascia boards).

Cedar: it's ok, but it does weather over time, and to maintain appearance, you probably need to apply a stain initially and periodically thereafter. Periodic sanding may also be required. Also, at least in our area, we have 'carpenter wasps' that will burrow into the cedar to lay their eggs. The solution is to force a mixture of waterproof glue and sawdust into the hole, let it cure, and then sand smooth.

Both the Trex and cedar in our deck are holding up well after 14 years
 

zig613

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Canada
The floor needs to be replaced. The man offered grade 1,2 or 3 Cedar. I have no knowledge of cedar. The house will sold in 2-3 years so long term durability is not an issue but I want a nice job. How is grade 3 cedar... would appreciate some comments. Thanks, Frank
Frank,

I would ask the contractor for the specs on the three grades of cedar being offered. Perhaps even ask for samples. In my area grade 1 cedar would be knot free whereas grade 3 would contain a considerable number of knots. The difference between the three grades would be in appearance (e.g., knot free vs. lots of knots) and not necessarily in the durability of the deck.

Wade
 

Terredax

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Grading No. 1, 2, and 3 are for structural strength, with the lower number being best.
Grading A, B, C, and D are for appearance characteristics. Or how knotty the lumber is. A being the best and very clear.
Then there is the texture. Saw texture, rough texture, or S4S.

Cedar is also difficult to stain on horizontal surfaces. It doesn't hold up well with foot traffic.
 

turncrazy43

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Apr 22, 2012
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Marietta, GA
I used pressure treated lumber on mine and it is lasting very well. Just a thought, instead of 5/4 by 6" decking boards I used 2' X 6". It cost about a $1 a board cheaper than the 5/4 and is much stronger. Just my tw0 cents.
Turncrazy43
 

GaryMGg

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McIntosh, Florida, USA.
Cedar Is very soft; I like Cedar for outdoor use but for the decking floor I would use something else.
5/4” PT premium pine boards or something like Cumaru.
If you’re gone in 3 years, 2” X 6” PT pine boards with a good outdoor oil is just fine.
 

WriteON

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Cedar Is very soft; I like Cedar for outdoor use but for the decking floor I would use something else.
5/4” PT premium pine boards or something like Cumaru.
If you’re gone in 3 years, 2” X 6” PT pine boards with a good outdoor oil is just fine.
I'm still kicking everything around. I'm starting to consider PT as it tends to look good for few years. Other thing is I want screws used ...not nails.
Where is McI Florida.
 
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WriteON

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Taking a look at #3 cedar. If it looks good I'm going for it. The original deck was mahogany and lasted for years. No idea what grade it was...the installer used a good quality.
 
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