You have several different options, when it comes to selecting the wood for your new deck. You might choose soft woods like western red cedar or cypress. However, using these woods could require additional expenses, over the long term use and care of your deck. You may have to pretreat the wood before building the deck, as well as use an approved sealant or protectant. In addition, on an annual basis, you often have to reseal the deck by first cleaning it with a high pressure washer, before applying a new coat. Just remember to include these maintenance costs into the total expenses for building a soft wood deck.
Composite decking is another option of a type of material you could use to build your new deck. One problem people have with composites is that they are not environmentally friendly. Once they wear out and you dispose of them, they end up in landfills, because they do not biodegrade. Another issue has to do with the cost for composites, and they can be much higher than your soft and hardwood decking options. While you may not have to seal composite decking, there are annual maintenance costs to consider, like pressure washing.
Your third option for building a deck is to use hardwood decking. This type of wood includes many Brazilian woods like Ipe, Cumaru, Massaranduba, and Garapa. Because these woods are hard, they have many natural resistances, such as to mold and fungus, termites, scratching, and fire, which lower maintenance costs. Additionally, you do not have to pretreat or seal Brazilian woods, as they are designed to last a long time without any added protectants. Many hardwoods have an average service life of over 50 years.