Many homeowners are unaware that some simple changes to your deck design can save you upwards of 30 to 40 percent on your decking materials cost. When building a hardwood deck with Ipe wood or other exotic hardwoods many homeowners want to specify long length decking that will run the full length of their deck. We offer decking in lengths up to 22 feet long and those cost a premium mainly due to supply and demand.
As a sustainable lumber company we utilize every piece of a tree that we can and we can only get so many 22 foot boards out of a tree that are free from defect so when cutting slight defects out of these boards we are often left with shorter length boards that we sell for a discount.
Here is an Ipe wood deck that utilizes a design with shorter deck boards that will save you money. Using shorter length boards will also generally be easier to install since many long length boards have a tendency to bow leaving you or your contractor to try and force them into place using special tools like the Hardwood Wrench which is specifically designed to help straighten long hardwood deck boards that are bowed. Shorter length boards are more stable and less likely to contain any bow to them.
Another deck design that can save you money is using narrower deck boards opposed to the most sought after 6 inch wide deck boards. Using 4 inch wide deck boards are generally sold cheaper again mainly due to supply and demand and also yield from milling logs. You can obviously only get so many 6 inch wide deck boards out of a log and since we utilize every part of a log we often have a great amount of 4 inch decking that we sell at a discount. Of course you will need more fasteners with narrower decking however our discounts on narrow deck boards will make up for that added cost.
The other major benefit to using 4 inch deck boards is that narrower boards are more stable and less likely to cup or see movement. We recommend the use of 4 inch deck boards for applications that will see a lot of moisture, decreased air flow underneath the deck and harsh environments. In the project below our customer used our 4 inch Ipe wood decking and we pre-grooved it for them so they could fasten the decking with hidden deck fasteners. If you look closely this deck is close to the ground and does not allow for our minimum air flow recommendation so we advised them they would be better off using the 4 inch decking and their deck has had no movement,