The 7 Deadly Sins of Deck Building: #7 Pride

Listening to advice leads you down the right path when you build your brand new deck.
Listening to good advice leads you down the right path when you build your dream deck.

Dear Future Deck Owner,

You’re looking to build a new deck, and you probably have a lot of questions on what the entire process entails. I used to boast to my neighbors about how my deck was the best on the block, that was until it started falling apart. It turns out that composite decking, doesn’t look pretty after a few years. I had to save a lot of money to redo the damage. Now, after a lot of money and a lot of hard work, I can look back at my new deck and feel the journey was worth it. Hopefully, this letter helps you learn from the mistakes I made. So, here are some tips I’d like to share with you to make the entire process a little less intimidating.

What I thought to be easy, was actually the most challenging part of my experience, finding the right contractor. Since I’m a little handy around the house, I always thought I knew best, and every contractor was beneath me. This was a difficult pill for me to swallow. It’s hard to find a person who is knowledgeable and trustworthy with your money. If you think about it, you’re handing over money to someone you probably aren’t familiar with, and are trusting them to safely build a deck for your family to enjoy. If you do your research, and even a background check, you’ll find the right guy. If you’re lucky, he can be a contractor you can continue to go back to and build a professional relationship with.

The decking market has been introducing new materials, each promising to be better than the next. What can you believe in an over saturated industry? Composites claim to be “green” and “no maintenance,” but I’ll tell you, this is far from the truth. The plastic material used to construct each individual board is made with chemicals that can be toxic. As far as “no maintenance,” nothing worth having is “no maintenance”. Every deck needs to be cleaned and cared for if you want it to last.

Soft materials like pine and cedar look great right after installation, but after a few years the weather can take a toll and cause the material to be nothing more than an eyesore.

I have found in my research, after I was burned with a composite deck, that exotic hardwoods have the best qualities. They are dense, strong, and have a natural resistance to pesky mold and bacteria. Teak used to be the top notch decking material, but what if I told you there is a better material out there than teak? Ipe decking is stunning, and outperforms teak. It’s strength and density contribute to its structural integrity. If you allow your decking to mature to a patina gray and you decide you want to bring the color back, you can! A pressure washer and a little Ipe Oil™ will bring back its rich colors. Try doing that with composite!

What I am trying to share with you is my experience. If you’re anything like me, you have a big head and you know everything about everything. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your sense of good judgement. Learn from my arrogance, and create the best deck in your neighborhood.


A Happy Deck Owner

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