Re: Deck Decision Help


    I have too little experience with IPE to comment intellegently on it. I have built several wood and trex decks, one with cedar rails. It looks and works well. The clients are happy with it.
    Trex does have low maintenance and looks good. Make sure it has enough support. Joists need to be 12 inches apart rather than the 16 or 24 inches you can use for wood. Same with the steps.
    Also note that you would not want to put anything heavy on the deck. If the planters you spoke of are larger than a couple of gallons, put put a layer of wooden decking under the trex in those spots to avoid sags. Don't expect to put anything on the deck for any length of time of the mass and weight of a piano, freezer, or lawn tractor. You don't usually have to worry about weighing it down with too many people; they don't usually stay long enough to create sags.
    Enjoy your new deck.
            Peter
    
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With the small difference in price between the cheapest and the most expensive, I would strongly suggest Ipe on top and PT on the bottom side. IMHO none of the other products comes close to the beauty and rich look if Ipe. You seem to have all the specs before you about maintenance, go with what looks good.
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<snippage>

David,
I built exactly the same deck. Used 1x4 and 1x6 Ipe for the decking, PT for the structure, and WRC for the rail. I also had some of the 1x6 Ipe resawn for skirting of the PT.
What is your contractor using for fasteners? Ask him if the quote includes Eb-Ty clips.
BTW, I love the way the Ipe looks. It weathers well, or you can use Penofin to help keep the Ipe looking new. It will outlast your deck structure too.
Good luck, Rick
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If you live in the Northwest or any area where deck maintenance is a must, Ipe is the only way to go. The Ipe will outlast the cedar hands down, especially if you have to pressure wash every year or so.. Rick is right about the penofin finish, it lightens, but keeps the Ipe looking really nice. I built benches and a table out of Ipe, used the Penofin for exotic woods and it looks like a million bucks.
Ed Angell
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Fellas (and ladies where applicable) please excuse my ignorance, but why would you make the structure of your deck with pressure treated wood and then use Ipe for the rest of the deck? Wouldn't this mean that in a few years, you'll have to remove the deck to replace the pressure-treated structure? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'd like to know before I re-do my deck next year. Thanks in advance.
Ed

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Good luck,

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snipped-for-privacy@nbnet.nb.ca says...

Price. Treated wood will last a good 15-20 years. Ipe should last longer. My deck is 9 feet off the ground, and my only concern is replacing the 6x6 PT posts. I've considered going with an adjustable steel column and fabbing a bracket so I can sandwich the 2x12 beams inside of the bracket. I would then wrap the posts in ipe or cedar.
I have seen some splitting of the 6x6s, and with the columns at a reasonable price, I may try this out next year if I don't have any *other* projects around the house!
Price is also the reason why I decided to use WRC for the rail system. Ipe would have cost an extra $1200 for the rail system, plus it probably would have taken me another month to finish the rail the way I designed them. The cedar turned out quite nicely, and complements the decking well.
Rick
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Since most PT-SYP has a warranty that exceeds 40 years, I wouldn't worry about who is gonna outlive the deck.... IPE is probably going to last 50 years, soooo you will have a deck that outlives the house...
The other reason is that IPE doesn't come in the larger framing sizes as a general rule. The structure requires much larger framing members by most regulations.
Ed G wrote:

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Most framing members are vertically oriented and are somewhat sheltered from direct weathering by the decking and skirting, so treated SYP will last much longer in a framing application than as decking. In this area (VA/MD), treated 2x SYP decking lasts 15-20 years and 10-15 years on southfacing decks which really get cooked. Pairing Ipe (durable 40-50 year decking) with SYP framing (30-40 year life when somewhat protected) is a reasonable match. If you have the presence of mind to end-seal all cut treated lumber ends, you'll probably get at least 40 years of life out of the frame.
FYI - Advantage and most other wholesalers carry Ipe in framing sizes, and most retail vendors sell at least the rail components (4x4, 2x4 etc.) - only problem is cost and weight - a 2x10x16 is a two man carry - I went with SYP.
Pat Barber wrote:

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I have a 2,000 sq ft 5/4 v.g. cedar deck that has been in place for about 12 years. All posts and railings are also cedar. The only maintenance is to wash it down and restain (Cabots) every 2 to 3 years. It still looks good even though it sees a fair amount of salt spray.
Phil
David L wrote:

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