OK.  You’ve decided that you want, no NEED, a new outdoor living space whether it be a deck, screened porch, covered patio or gazebo.

Pressure Treated Wood Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Pressure Treated Wood Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis

Then the dilemma begins.

But which material should you use?  Wood?  Composite?  Capped Composite?  Vinyl/PVC?

The sheer number of options today can seem overwhelming… at first anyway.

Yet in a sense, all decking materials share commonalities.

Each must be weather resistant, withstand wear and tear from foot traffic and of course be aesthetically pleasing to you, complement your existing home and provide curb appeal as well.

Take comfort in the fact that there’s really no wrong choice.  It’s simply a matter of determining exactly what qualities are most important to you and then make your selection based on those features.

Professional contractors understand this and will be happy to guide you through the process.

Today though, let’s focus on pressure treated lumber because no other product can beat this building material for affordability, durability and longevity.

According to industry studies, PT wood still remains the most commonly used decking material even though composites and other synthetics have gained a place in the market.  Many homeowners also opt for natural cedar or exotic hardwood; however, pressure treated is always a budget-friendly choice within the wood family.

Pressure Treated Wood Screened In Deck, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Screened In Deck Designed and Built with Pressure Treated Wood, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Why is pressure treated lumber an industry staple?

Well, this hardy lumber has been around for a very long time and routinely used for decking since the 1970’s.

With a high-tech chemical treatment, pressure treated wood is protected from internal decay such as rot and insect damage.

And with newer environmental regulations (and homeowner preferences), contemporary treated lumber now uses less toxic preservatives than in years past.

It is safe, sustainable and equally as durable.  With proper care, it’ll last a very long time.

But what exactly is involved in proper care?

The pressurized chemical treatment that protects the wood from internal decay, does not however, protect the wood from drying or warping; therefore, a thorough cleaning, pressure washing and a protective coating of some type is needed to defend the wood from external damage.

Pressure Treated Decks in Ballwin Mo by Archadeck

New Pressure Treated Deck in Ballwin Mo by Archadeck – Before Sealant

Care is the key.

A properly maintained outdoor space built with pressure treated lumber holds-up to the elements and, on average, will last 15+ years.  If maintenance is neglected, then you’ll lose your bang-for-the-buck.

According to Consumer Reports, deck finishes (referred to as coating, protectors, stain, sealants) worth considering include Behr, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Cabot, Thompsons, Penofin and others.

Categories include oil, water based or an ‘oil modified’ product; solid/opaque coverage, semitransparent treatment (that allows some of the wood grain to show through) or a clear application with little to no pigmentation.

These choices allow flexibility in both the ‘look’ and in pricing.

Key Takeaways

  • Pressure treated lumber used for building a deck, screened porch or other outdoor space is budget-friendly.
  • This lumber is safely treated with chemicals to fight-off decay from harsh conditions; however, it’s not invincible.
  • The boards will need proper cleaning, coating and sealing for it to last decades.
  • Use a high quality, penetrating coating to keep-out moisture and seal-in preservatives.  This will provide protection from the sun’s damaging rays and slow the weathering process.
  • Regardless of maintenance needs, pressure treated wood continues to ‘make the grade’ with many homeowners today.

Next Steps

When you’re ready to talk about a deck, porch or other outdoor space for your home and property, please consider Archadeck.

If you reside in Greater St. Louis, you can reach Archadeck at 636.227.0800 or visit the St. Louis Archadeck website west-county.archadeck.com.  We’re locally owned and operated and would love the opportunity to work with you.

Archadeck in St. Louis on Pinterest

Archadeck in St. Louis on Pinterest

If you’re still in the exploring stage, we’ve got a few resources for you.

Download Archadeck’s free design guide or online e-magazine, Loving Outdoor Living.

We also have a BRAND NEW Archadeck Pinterest page that provides terrific ideas and limitless inspiration too.  Follow us on Pinterest for daily updates.

Sources:  Home Advisor, The Family Handyman, Archadeck Outdoor Living, Home Guides, This Old House, BHG.com, Consumer Reports. treatedwood.com, Home Partners, Professional Deck Builder Magazine

Outside of St. Louis visit archadeck.com or call toll-free 888-687-3325.