I used hand-picked 5\4 x 6 PT pine decking to resurface my deck and I wasn't
too happy with how much the decking shrunk - I guess I should have stacked
it outside to air dry for a while (week or two?) before screwing it onto the
deck joists - my mistake, I guess, live and learn. The other problem I saw
was that even though I oriented the wood correctly based on the direction or
the ring pattern visible at the end of the board, I saw a fair amount of
cupping (ends turning up) - maybe that's due to the 5\4 thickness versus the
thickness of a traditional 2 x 6. And, I found that I should have bought
16' lengths versus trying to save a few bucks using shorter lengths and
butting them together - with the shrinkage, there's a fair bit of space
between ends where they butted together - yeah, in the middle of the deck
surface - looks terrible.
LOL, I learned a lot.
As to replacing the decking - composite or plastic decking is out of my
price range - I was going to use 16' 2 x 6s - and I'm trying to decide
between PT pine or cedar - cedar prices out at 2X PT pine.
Will I expreience the same amount of shrinkage with smooth sided cedar
versus PT pine? Would I need to let either of them dry before screwing them
to the joists? Any special type of screw to use with cedar, versus the
DeckScrews I used on the PT pine, if I go with cedar?
On Sun, 5 May 2013 07:47:58 -0500, "AngryOldWhiteGuy"
Several months, perhaps.
Most of the PT we see in these parts is Southern Yellow Pine. It's
strength is that it is somewhat resistant to rot already, and if
fairly stiff. But it cracks, splinters, cups, and twists to beat the
band. It just ain't pretty after a year outside.
My objection to cedar [and redwood] for decking is it's softness. If
it is a pool deck that will be mostly trod on with bare feet, then
cedar would be fine. Even a deck off the LR that will get light
use will probably not suffer too much. But if it is an entranceway,
or will enjoy a lot of traffic with shoes and clod hoppers from the
garden-- then I'd pass on those 2.
Cedar won't shrink as much and is less likely to split. but it will
need annual cleaning, sealing, and occasional sanding.
You might want to look into the composite stuff some more. Last
time I looked it was getting down to the price of good cedar-- and
takes a whole lot less maintenance.
How long will you be there?
And then there's Ipe, or mahogany. . . .
The problem with MOST pressure treated wood is it is FAR from dry.
I've had it actually spray water out of it when cutting with a
circular say. GUARANTEED to shrink, warp, and split when you nail it
down in the sun.
Right. If you, for example, buy a mess of PT fencing and put it up right
away, you might as well go ahead and paint it white because it will look
like Ozzie and Harriet's picket fence! That is, there will be 1/2" gaps
between the planks.
With wet PT, you've got to give it plenty of air circulation for an extended
period before using it.
But what's an "extended period?" you may ask.
I don't know. Several months - with periodic re-stacking - should be
sufficient, but here's an idea off the top of my head. Find a PT fence in
your neighborhood that's been up for a while. Measure the width, precisely
(down to 1/32"), of several boards. When YOUR stacked boards shrink to that
width, you should be pretty close.
I don't have a deck and don't know squat about them, but I know a little
Wood shrinks as it dries. But, it's important to know that the reason
is because it's the wood cell WALLS that get thinner and stiffer as the
wood dries. The diameter of the hollow space inside the cells doesn't
change; it's just the cell walls getting thinner that results in the
The heavier and stronger hardwoods are heavier and stronger because they
have smaller diameter wood cells, and that means they have more cell
walls to add weight, increase strength and shrink as the dries. So,
heavier and stronger woods would be expected to shrink more as they dry
than lighter and weaker woods.
So, you'd expect less shrinkage from cedar than pine.
I suspect part of problem is that the wood was cut when wet or not fully
dried. You will get differential shrinkage depending on the orientation
of the grain so percent shrinkage in width will be different than length
and if not all oriented in the same direction you will get warpage.
Guess the best thing to do is buy pt lumber stored indoors that has
dried enough to show defects. Don't buy the stuff sitting in the
On 5/5/2013 1:46 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I'm thinking that pressure treating would add back in moisture but if
the wood was dry and warped before treatment, the treatment should not
make it warp when dried again. I'm also assuming that you do not
pressure treat wet wood.
how many times does the OP want to replace their deck?
Composites appear to last near forever, but cost more:(
However replace your deck now and sell in 8 to years and the buyer
will expect its replaced again.
So if you plan on selling within 10 years double the costs:(
Or be prepared that your home will be classified a low cost fixer upper
90% of all home buyers want a ready to move in home with no repairs
home with worn decks, and anything else elminates 90% of the
that leaves 10% possible buyers who will all want a cheap home.
hey if you want to get little for your home go right ahead:)
Right now we are in a strong buyers market. You want your house to be
perfect when you sell it.
In a strong sellers market you can get away without fixing stuff up.
When my eldest bought his house, it needed repairs but he had to pay
list price and the seller had offers above list price but took my sons
because there were no contingencies.
Maybe in Pittsburgh. It certainly seems to be turning here. They're
starting to build like crazy. I just counted eight lots sold in our
subdivision (of 24, I think). A neighbor just told us that the house
being built at the end of the street is going for $400K. I paid $210K
a year ago (for a house that sold for $370K in '07).
Sure. I did a lot of work to my AL house last year, including having
the inside professionally painted. It "sold" for asking but I had to
least it to them for a year until they can get financing.
Very seldom will the difference between a 10 year old deck and a new
cedar deck raise the price of the house by the cost of the deck. If
the deck is decent, solid, and safe - and good looking - it doesn't
affect the price much - in 5 or more years the new owner will likely
have an idea for a different deck arrangement anyway.
PT is soaking wet when you buy it, takes months to dry. During that time it
may turn into a pretzel; well, not quite but it frequently warps a lot. I
avoid it whenever I can and I sure wouldn't use it for a deck.
Don't know much about cedar except it is soft. That and that it will stain
badly from iron/non-stainless steel fastenings. Same with oak. I wouldn't
use cedar for a deck.
Southern yellow pine (not pressure treated SYP) is decent...hard and strong.
Someone mentioned ipe; I've never had occasion to use it but I have a credit
card sized one about 3/4" thick on my desk that I use as a paper weight.
IOW, hard, strong (VERY) and very durable.
Ipe gets my vote.
I had cedar on my front porch/deck for over 20 years - replaced it
with trex 2 summers ago - Rear deck is SYP -almost 15 years old now
and showing SOME deterioration.. Just replaced a 46 year old cedar
deck for an old friend last summer - over 80% of it was still in very
good shape, but the 20% that was bad required replacing the whole
deck. Of coarse it was replaced with - cedar. (Western Red Cedar, to
Deck specialists recommend 3/8" air space between the butt ends of
deck boards to speed drying after rain and prevent early rot.
Cedar is widely preferred to PTL for deck boards: of course there are
distinct types of cedar (white and red to start.) Besides, "PTL" can
be any tree type. The OP sees pine, hereabouts we see spruce.
All timber should be dried on site (covered from rain, sides open to
permit wind through the stack) for as long as possible before use,
months if possible.
Any deck screw fastens cedar as well as PTL. The critical difference
is the driver. Impact drivers do not need pilot holes beforehand.
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