For homeowners, architects, and remodeling companies, the redwood deck has long represented an attractive materials choice to consider.
First, this material has passed the time-tested standard as a beautiful, long-standing, cost-effective option.
For those in the midst of selecting what material to use for a new or remodeled deck, here are things to consider:
- Material sustainability
- Material availability
Because this material is a tree, it places at the top of the list for sustainability. Redwood trees can be raised and harvested. Management of the many remarkable redwood forests is important. According to Humboldt Redwood*, “Best practices for redwood sustainable forestry protect these resources, to maintain a healthy society for growing populations worldwide.”
Redwood is a much stronger material than its plastic-composite counterpart (up to five times the shear strength!) and doesn’t need as much framing to support it. Redwood strength is not reduced by high temperatures, as is the case with a number of plastic composite materials.
In the United States, redwood is readily available in most standard dimensions at a majority of lumber stores. Boards exceeding standard thicknesses and widths may need to be special-ordered.
Redwood is one of few wood species that can be allowed to weather naturally without rot or decay. This no-maintenance option results in a look often preferred for a rustic weathered appearance. Years of testing by the U.S.D.A. Forest Products Laboratory have shown that redwood is among a group of woods that erode at only 1/4 inch of wood fiber per century in unfinished exterior applications.
Allowing redwood to weather normally creates an appealing natural look. It can also be stained.
It is hard finding anything more beautiful than a well-designed, well-crafted redwood deck.
While not ranked low on the price list, redwood is a cost-competitive building material. According to the folks over at Humboldt Redwood, the average cost per square foot to build a deck using redwood is $30 per square foot, while the cost of using a plastic-composite material can range from $32-$48 per square foot. The average cost of adding a deck made of redwood to your home will total around $10,000 compared to plastic-composite material which runs closer to $15,000.
Unlike the horrendous examples of clear-cutting that can be spotted in many mountain areas, the issue of forest management remains critical for companies like Humboldt Redwood in preserving this sustainable resource.
*This post was generously sponsored by Humboldt Redwood.