Real backyard decks deserve real wood

The deck is the heart of a backyard. It’s where the family gathers for dinner, the perfect spot for grilling, a great place to hang out with friends and the ideal location for relaxing after a long day. Whether you’re thinking of building a new deck or your old one needs resurfacing, be sure and choose the right decking product: choose real wood.

Building a Deck. Thinking of building a brand new deck? What a great way to enhance your backyard! According to the 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine, homeowners can expect to recoup 72.8 percent (on average) of the cost of building a wood deck vs. only 66.2 percent if building with composites. Deck substructures are built using pressure-treated wood anyway; if it’s strong and durable enough to hold up your deck, it’s strong enough to actually be your decking surface.

Pressure-treated wood is a builder favorite and has been the number one decking material for decades. It’s natural, real — and it looks fantastic.

If you already have a wood deck but it’s more than 20 years old, consider a resurfacing project. This is where the decking surface is replaced, while the substructure remains. (It’s always a good idea to have a decking professional check the entire deck for soundness.) Resurfacing is easy, and it’s a great way to refresh your outdoor living areas without blowing your budget.

Every building material designed for outdoor use requires maintenance; luckily, real wood decks are very easy to maintain. Once a year, check your deck to see if it needs cleaning or perhaps another coat of sealant. Perform the cup of water test: if a cup of water poured on the deck boards immediately soaks into the wood, it’s time to apply water repellant.

Why choose wood? Your deck should mesh with your backyard — be sure your decking material is an extension of nature, with all the beauty, strength and durability you’d expect. Pressuretreated wood is your most natural decking option: it’s easy to find, easy to use, requires no special tools, and it’s affordable. Wood doesn’t conduct heat like other decking materials can, meaning no burned feet in the summertime. Treated wood is impervious to rot and pests and it’s proven to be people- and pet-safe.

Concerned about our forests? Choosing wood for any home improvement project is a very wise environmental decision. Thriving, sustainably managed forests create a healthier environment for all of us. Choosing forest products — wood — encourages US landowners to keep replanting trees; the forest industry plants more trees than they harvest every single year, ensuring wood will be around for generations to come. Wood is one of the only naturally renewable building products available, and the only energy required to manufacture it comes from the sun. You can’t get much more green than that.

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