Deck Costruction


I'm planing on building a new deck. I'm pondering weather to use composite deck material or pressure treated. I'm leaning towards using the composite because of the low maintenance. Has anyone run into any problems with the installation or the maintenance after construction using the composite deck material. I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the winters can get cold, the summers are hot.
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cudagtx

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Also consider mahogany, ipe, cypress for good looks and low maintenance. Just a quick coat of Penofin Oil every few years. Pressure treaded is durable, but it does not have the looks of the other woods.
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I've got composite and love it. I'm in central NJ.
The composite is easy to work with. Cut it like wood. I used stainless steel square drive screws, they worked well enough. If I was going to do it again, I might look at those things you put underneath so there are no visible fasteners.
We use the deck all summer. It's great knowing that there is no way you are going to get a splinter from the wood. It cleans up and looks like new when washed with a pressure sprayer.
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Pressure treat for all the framing , Joist should be a minimum of 16" OC for composite decking. Another thing to do is cover all the joist with a strip of 4" felt paper to protect from water. Most dry root is from water being caught under deck boards. The composite decking is the most bang for your buck, but shop around there's a lot more out there than just trex.
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Sacramento Dave Wrote:

Your reply was helpful. Thanks
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cudagtx

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cudagtx wrote:

up. I'm concerned that newer composite materials will not weather as well. Plastics usually degrade in the sun. Polyethylene is highly suspectible and I believe composites use recycled PE. Most of these new products have not been around long enough to stand the test of time. There are accelerated weathering tests but I am not sure most manufacturers use them. Frank
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On Sat, 23 Dec 2006 02:04:07 +0000, cudagtx

I live in Pa.
I wanted to look into the composit decks, only for the decking material, and I opted out. I still have pressure treated stuff, with good sealant.
Find someone you can visit, and check out their decks. I found a friend with one, and didn't like the 'waxy' feeling. It felt soft/bendy too. So feel around. :)
later,
tom @ www.MedJobSite.com
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wrote:

There is quite a bit of Trex and similar clones around here in Florida. It does seem to hold up fairly well but it gets an ashy look in the sun after a while. People complain it is hotter on your feet than wood and there is the "springy" problem. Spans between framing members is about a third less than you would use with wood. It still seems to sag. On the up side it doesn't need periodic sealing, it doesn't rot, it is non-toxic and the bugs still won't eat it. (the "green wash" PT they sell at the home places sometimes doesn't have enough CCA/Borate to keep the bugs off)
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Tom The Great wrote:

I just had a two level deck built by Archdeck (www.archadeck.com) with a new hot tub installed and we chose to use Trex for the flooring as well as the handrails. The vertical rails, the latice privacy area and the fundemental "skeleton" of the deck was all in pressure treated lumber. So far we love the Trex. We have to wait a few months to stain the rails and latice, but we understand the maintenance on that part will be minimal.
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Finding the keyboard operational cudagtx entered:

Go with he composite. I got tired of pressure washing, staininng and splinters 5 summers ago and out down Trex. Make sure your joists are the correct distance apart, it's closer then wood. The color will fade a bit the first summer but stops there. I can't see a difference between the deck and some stairs that I built the following year. I have 4 dogs that run across it and occasionaly use it rather then the grass to relieve themselves, all manner of food and drink have been spilled on it and it just takes a hose and maybe a brush to clean it up. I push the snow off it with a shovel and you can't see any scratches. I know that todays PT is safe but I feel better with the dogs and kids on the composite. This is northern NJ. Bob
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I did a Trex deck about 8 yrs ago when it was new technology, and I'm pleased with the composite. It's a fairly large deck at 800 sq ft. It's build with a Hawk rail topped with Trex as well, and it still looks pretty much like new. This is Connecticut, so we have seriously different seasons.
The decking was brown when we laid it, but it quickly turned to a gray, and has stayed that color. I like the idea of maintenance by garden hose. The framing is all pressure-treat lumber, as are all the uprights and trim, but all parts that lay flat are the Trex, and I've had no issues with it. No bounciness, no excessive heat, nothing. It was bouncy to handle going in, but once screwed down feels as solid as a rock.
We have a corner on the northwest side where the sun never touches, and it is subject to mildew, both the decking and the wall. I just spray it with bleach and soap and it goes away.
We're pleased with the choice.
keith

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