3 Key Considerations When Choosing A Timber Variety For Your New Deck

Posted on: 17 November 2017

A beautiful timber deck makes a stunning addition to any style of home. They're a quintessentially Australian feature and they are popular choices for outdoor living spaces all across the country. If you're planning to have a timber deck built, then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the different timber varieties there are to choose from.

There isn't simply one single timber decking material that is the best choice and the one which will work best for your home depends on a few different factors. Here are the three key considerations that will influence which timber you should choose for your new deck.

1. The location of your deck 

This consideration involves both the geographical location you live in and the location of your deck on your property. If you live in a part of the country that gets very hot summers or very cold winters, you'll need to choose a decking timber variety that is designed to withstand these harsh climate conditions.

The location of your deck on your property will dictate how much exposure to the elements it gets. For example, a north facing deck will get a lot of sun all year round and will need to be hardier than a deck facing another direction. If you're in a coastal location, decks facing the ocean will also need to stand up to salt-laden air and strong, drying winds.

2. How much maintenance you're prepared to do

All timber decks need maintaining but there is a big difference between how much is required from timber variety to timber variety. Maintenance usually involves oiling or waxing timber if you're opting for a natural look or revarnishing if you're going for a sealed look. Oiling and waxing will need to be done more regularly than varnishing, usually twice a year for the best results.

In general, hardwood timbers need less maintenance than softwoods. Hardwoods such as Red Gum and Blackbutt are dense timber with a high oil content which makes them hardier and naturally resistant to weathering. Softwoods, like pine, will need a lot more regular care to prevent them from becoming warped, cracked or faded by weathering.

3. How much you can afford to spend

Essentially, your budget will be the biggest influence on the timber you decide to choose. Hardwood decks may be the ultimate as far as looks and being low maintenance go but they're also the most expensive option. Softwoods are the budget choice but the payoff for the reduced initial cost is extra maintenance and a shorter lifespan.

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