Keys to Building a Wood Deck

If you want to increase the value of your home, adding a nice deck can help.  Purchasing the right materials for the project is a very important factor in this process.  If you want to get the most for your money, take a look at the below checklist of questions before selecting the kind of wood you use to build your new deck.


  • Consider the extreme climates of where you are.  Will the wood stand up to that?
  • Will the wood potentially fade in the sunlight?
  • What kind of fire rating does the wood have?
  • What type of maintenance and treatment will be required for the deck?
  • Is the wood mold-resistant?
  • Will the wood remain resistant to cracking, splintering, and infestation?

Another consideration is the architectural style of your home.  For example, does your home have a Victorian or traditional appearance?  If so, although pine or cedar woods are beautiful, they may not be the right fit for your residence.



Materials for the Deck:

Pressure-Treated Pine

Once pine is pressure-treated, chemicals are applied to help prevent infestation and reduce deterioration. Pressure-treated pine has the benefit of being less costly than cedar or redwood.  However, it has the tendency to discolor or split over time.  Due to this it is best to have pine cleaned and sealed to keep the wood’s original look and integrity.


Cedar needs to have a sealed coating to prevent the outdoor elements from affecting the wood.  Cedar is soft and is unsusceptible to infestation.  It can, however, become spotted after a heavy rain or snow.  This condition may continue for about three years or until the wood becomes acclimated to the environment it is in.

Ipe Wood

Ipe wood is a very durable decking material.  The common woods used for decking materials like redwood, cedar, and pine are all softwoods.  Ipe wood is harvested in Central and South America and is ideal for outdoor building.  This wood is good for the extremes in many climates.  Ipe Wood is walnut-colored and naturally resists insect attacks and does not give way to the cracks, splinters, or molds that are brought on by the northern elements.  This wood is also sun and fire resistant.


Redwood has a very similar look to cedar but contains a reddish hue.  Like cedar, it needs to be treated to prevent water damage and the resulting effects.  Redwood is also susceptible to cupping or cracking.

Keeping Building Cost Down

Keep in mind that the average per-square-foot cost for a deck is currently estimated around $5.00.  Ensure that the installation process is done properly and at a fair cost by verifying the builder of your deck is both licensed and bonded.


As an alternative, you may want to consider securing a roofing contractor who has an excellent background in installing wood decks.

How to Save on Installation Costs

Cost estimates include pricing on the deck foundation, frame, fastenings, and UV surface finishing.

If you’re looking to save money on the project, speak with several vendors and secure bids.  Have each contractor provide the details of the project and make comparisons. If you schedule to have the work done during a slow period of a contractor you can save even further on the job.


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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.