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Need help deciding what material to use to build a deck.
mikehansma
December 26, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We are going to build a house in April and cannot decide what type of material to build our deck from. We want something that is low maintainance and does not crack or split
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Margaret Phillips
I put in a deck using Trek decking system three years ago. It looks fabulous and I love the piece of mind that comes from maintenance free deck life.
1 Like   December 27, 2012 at 4:27PM
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mikehansma
Thanks for ur advice. Does ur deck made from trex not split over time from rain and sun?? I know someone that had that issue but maybe there is different qualities??
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Margaret Phillips
No the deck is still perfect. The dirt, leaves and soil come but they all wash away. I have a PVC/vinyl railing which I'm glad to have used with it as well. It has been more than three years. I had not heard about splitting. I suppose there are all different types. I know several people with Trek or similar product theirs are all older than mine, no one has had any trouble. I was able to get mine at a discount retailer that carries discontinued colors. The colors unless outlandish never vary too much, tan, beige, reddish. Mine is a heavy tan beige.
1 Like   December 27, 2012 at 6:12PM
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mikehansma
Well thanks so much! That helps a lot in our decision. Hopefully we can find a discount retailer as well!
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 6:43PM
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PRO
Architectural Elements
I like Ipe (ironwood) and tiger wood. I am not a fan of wood and plastic composites.
ArchEle.com
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 6:47PM
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PRO
Metro Interiors
This house is deffinintly calling for a ceder gizabo!
1 Like   December 27, 2012 at 6:48PM
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mikehansma
I know nothing about ironwood other than it burns awesome in our fireplace. It's not commonly used around here for anything. Is it pricey?
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 6:57PM
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broccoli10
I would use wood to make the deck because your house is made of wood:)
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 7:51PM
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PRO
Wood Railing
Ipe/ironwood is expensive. It is imported from South America.
Cedar is a good alternative that is from North America, so the price, even for premium quality lumber, will be much more reasonable. Composite is also a good alternative and there are many good manufacturers.
AND...
This house is a perfect match for Mountain Laurel Handrails http://awoodrailing.com
2 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 9:34PM
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PRO
AFC inc
Ipe , Mahogany , Tigar Wood , Jarah are expensive .These woods looks impressive and can last many decades but all of them need maintenance as well as the cedar. Composite materials maintenance free but has own disadvantages .
0 Likes   December 27, 2012 at 10:00PM
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mikehansma
If you mix and match composite with cedar will it blend together? Can u find a wide array of colors in composite? eg... Composite deck with cedar gazebo
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 5:48AM
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PRO
Wood Railing
When using different products like composite and cedar, I would try to contrast them as opposed to trying to blend them together.
1 Like   December 28, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Margaret Phillips
If you look at Trek's website they have some amazing colors.
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 11:49AM
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michigammemom
Please google Trex and research some product problems prior to making your decision. We used it for our deck and within a year it was spotted with unsightly black mold/mildew. It is hardly the low maintenance product we were hoping for.
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 11:56AM
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PRO
RNW Construction
From our experience with Trex, it seems to weather well. Just keep in mind that it will still have certain characterics in common with wood. The one issue that we have seen happen is from having the boards transition from one substrate to another. As an example, if you were to have a length of board mounted to both wood framing and concrete just be aware that the Trex will move differently over each of them. This is due to normal expansion and contraction conditions of each substrate. This would happen whether you use Trex or regular lumber.
2 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 7:15PM
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mikehansma
Thanks for your input:)
0 Likes   December 28, 2012 at 7:19PM
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PRO
Joseph I. Mycyk Architects, Inc.
Just curious, but where you are planning to locate the deck, does the grade slope down? If not, and your first floor is not too high off of finish grade as your front elevation indicates, would you consider a stone or paver patio instead? Less maintenance, no fading of color, etc.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 4:30AM
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apennameandthata
Why would you not use the same materials the house is going to be built from? By definition, decks are made of wood. Wood in sunlight will last about 10 minutes, but. Wood under cover will last well.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 4:33AM
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apennameandthata
Is that really your house? I bet $10 it aint. So, why post it and have people respond as if it is? The reason I ask is that if that is your house, then what to make your deck out of will be pretty obvious. No vinyl for you.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 4:35AM
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mikehansma
Well u can send 10$ via PayPal. I am picking up blueprints today. I smell jealousy!
2 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 4:40AM
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mikehansma
The proposed deck is on the back side of the house. We will have a walk out basement. Deck will b about 9-10 feet off the ground.
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 4:46AM
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mikehansma
Here is floor plan
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 4:48AM
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mikehansma
Here is front elev. will post rear elev later today
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 4:50AM
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creeser
I would go with the trex. We used wood for the deck at our lake house and have fought it since. It cups and warps. Wish we had invested in the trex to begin with, but will definitely replace with it.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 5:17AM
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apennameandthata
I didn't read the top of the post. That isn't your house, that is a photo of a house with the same design.... If that was your ACTUAL house, and you had manicured it to infinity, then it would be clear which materials to use: either the wood that the house was made from or the stone that surrounds the house. My point: you don't have your house manicured THAT much without an intense sense of what is aesthetic. If your actual house looked like that then touching vinyl or (choke) aluminium would give your a rash. If your house ACUTALLY looked like the one in the photo, then you would have a covered deck because someone so obsessive about the appearance of a house would be careful to have a deck in the same architectual style as the house: that might be why someone suggested a cedar gazebo. But, if you had mentioned that the deck would be 8' off the ground you would not have wasted their time.


So, you actually owe me $10, but I'll forgive your debt because I should have read the start of the post! If you want to have the last laugh, then post in 2 years with your house looking just like the one in the photo! If I were jealous, then I would have stopped looking at Houzz a long time ago. Most of the houses on here are owned by people with real money, the 0.1% ers.

The house in the plans is not the same house as in the photo. Sigh. It's bigger. But you already knew that. The reason for the rant is that people are all the time posting questions with photos off the net that they imply are from their house. The surrounds of a house and the colours and textures of the house inform the readers about the big picture. If your ACTUAL house was in a more industrial area, or had more industrial colours, then you might be more happy with steel, for example. If you had concrete driveway, then you might be more happy with concrete columns.

People who ask questions seem to forget this or not realise that people need lots of info to help. When you put misleading photos, you mislead the people who reply and wast their time. A classic example is when people ask what colours to paint their walls but don't say what colour their floor is - but people who ask this question usually post ACTUAL photos of the space. You also didn't say (not that I saw) whether or not the deck was to be covered. If wood is covered it will not rot. If wood is not covered, it will rot. See: you cave too little information, and the information you did give was misleading.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 2:41AM
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michigammemom
Take a look at this quick review of Trex from Ehow. It describes the mold/mildew problem I experienced. http://www.ehow.com/about_5544772_problems-trex-decking.html
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 3:58AM
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mikehansma
This is the same house other than a couple of slight changes. Colors are exactly what I'm using and so on! By the way, this house will be built with real money. Thanks
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 4:30AM
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Peter Maguire
beautiful future home, congrats. As a pro exotic wood dealer, who buys and sells millions of bd.ft. of Teak, Mahogany, purpleheart, ironwood, zebrawood.., trust me., while these woods are the ultimate, they are serious overkill and expensive beyond words (Phillipine Mahogany the possible exception). My advice, your house, use the best grade local to your area ?? redwood, cedar, etc. just maintain it every couple of years and it will last longer than you, with real beauty of age. Something that composites can never duplicate. It's your house, but in my view, composite decking is great for high end condo developments, not a home of this character. If you can afford this home, you can afford $200 every 2 or 3 years for upkeep.
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 4:46AM
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mikehansma
I'm leaning towards cedar. Thanks for your honest input!
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 4:48AM
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mikehansma
If you have so much doubt on this house then why waste your time posting negative comments? After all you are the last person I would ever take advice from!! Put your time and effort into something someone actually cares about
1 Like   January 4, 2013 at 5:17AM
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PRO
Wood Railing
I see the trolls have come to Houzz.
0 Likes   January 4, 2013 at 7:11AM
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