When comparing Cedar board to other decking materials, you have to consider other costs besides the cost of the wood. This is a common mistake most people make whenever they are shopping for deck boards. While Cedar is often less expensive than certain Brazilian hardwoods, it does require regular and routine maintenance. It is important you consider your annual maintenance costs, along with the costs of the wood to get a more accurate cost comparison between decking materials.
Western Red Cedar wood is a durable wood according to the building codes across the United States. As a result, the heartwood is allowed to be used in exterior applications without any additional preservative treatments. Further, the heartwood contains extracts that are toxic to decay-causing fungi. However, in order to gain a longer life span from cedar board, it is in your best interest to use an appropriate protectant. The costs of protectants also need to be included in your cost comparison.
Annual maintenance costs you want to include when doing a cost comparison of Cedar to other woods are costs to rent or purchase a pressure washer, brushes, protectants, and stains. An average timeframe for which to calculate these costs is around 25 years. Once you have your estimated maintenance costs, add them to the cost of everything required to build your new deck. Now divide this amount by 25 years, and you will have you annual deck costs. Follow this same procedure for all of the other woods you are considering. After you finish analyzing each one, you are able to quickly see which wood would be your best investment.