decking ideas

Best Decking Materials for the Pacific Northwest

Whether it’s a venue for intimate family gatherings or large social events, decks are a great way to enjoy nature while sharing food and drink or just hanging out. Your deck must be sturdy, durable, and safe, as well as complement your home’s decor. In the Pacific Northwest, decks are traditionally built with either lumber or composite materials. The best decking material for you will depend on the expected life of the deck, color selection, and maintenance requirements.

Parr carries a selection of decking materials, all built and engineered to withstand the Pacific Northwest climate.

Wood

Natural wood lumber is affordable, renewable, and natural. It provides a beautiful aesthetic for any deck design. Lumber is a natural resource that renews itself, ensuring that it will be available for generations to come. It is also a durable material, providing over 20 years of service in outdoor applications when properly installed and maintained.

In the Pacific Northwest, we recommend Western Red Cedar or pressure-treated Douglas Fir.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar makes a good decking material because of its natural resistance to decay and rot. Natural preservatives within the wood protect it without the need for chemicals. It also resists splintering, ensuring a long-lasting deck that is safe for children and bare feet.

Other benefits include its rich, earthy color, which weathers to a soft gray, and its ability to remain cool to the touch even in the heat. With regular maintenance, your deck will look and feel good, well into the future.

Cedar trees are a sustainable resource that help remove carbon and other pollutants from the air, providing us with fresh, clean air to breathe. Cedar heartwood is cut from the center of the tree and is more resistant to environmental decay.

Pressure treated (Elite decking)

In the Northwest we use pressure-treated Douglas Fir, or Elite decking, for its structural integrity and durability. The lumber is stained and treated with wolmanized CAC, which helps it last 10 times longer than nontreated lumber. The treatment protects the wood from rotting and termites and is safe for the environment and wildlife.

Our Elite decking provides a lifetime guarantee against fungal decay and termites. This ensures that you never have to worry about your deck’s structural integrity. The product is easy to cut and work with and can be stained to more closely match your decor. Regular maintenance, including power washing, sanding, and re-staining, will help maintain the look of your deck.

Composite lumber

Composite lumber is made up of wood pulp and recycled plastic that is mixed and molded to create a material that looks and feels like real lumber. Capped decking includes an additional polymer shell that provides additional protection.

Composite is available in a wide variety of colors and multiple sizes to fit your design needs. It requires little to no maintenance and is a durable material, offering protection for up to 50 years.

TimberTech

TimberTech composite wood mimics the look of real lumber with the durability of plastic. However, unlike lumber, it resists fading, scratches, or stains. It provides a consistent look and feels, ensuring that your deck will last for years to come. Its 25-to-50-year warranties ensure that you have the protection you need.

The composite lumber manufacturing process helps save trees by using waste wood. It diverts waste from landfills and helps keep our world green.

Azek PVC composite lumber is a capped cellular product. It has an additional layer of protection that helps protect it from weather, UV light, scratching, and color fading. This additional protection allows us to provide a 50-year limited warranty against fading and staining. It is available in a variety of color options to help match your décor.

Trex

Trex is the original and leading brand for composite lumber. It’s made up of 95% post-consumer plastic film and reclaimed sawdust. The product is made without harvesting any additional trees. Plastic from plastic bags and other sources is used to protect the wood product. A 500-square-foot deck built from Trex recycles approximately 140,000 plastic bags.

The plastic protects the product from damage and moisture, ensuring that you don’t have to paint, stain, or seal your deck again.

Here to help

With our mild weather pattern, decks provide a great way to enjoy nature for most of the year. Materials like wood and composite lumber provide durable products that resist wear and tear and will keep your deck looking nice for years to come.

If you need expert advice on the best material for your deck, find your local Parr store and we’ll help you make a selection. You can also use our deck design planner to help you create a plan for your build.

 

decking

Deck Planning Checklist

Deck planning list

It’s never too early to begin planning for summer entertaining and fun. If adding a deck is on your list of things to do, Parr Lumber has the supplies you need.  Here’s a planning list to help you get started.

Choose a size

A quick rule of thumb for deck sizing is to allow five square feet for each person who will be on the deck. So, if you have a family of five, you should allow at least 25 square feet for your deck. You’ll want to add additional room for parties and cooking space. The size of your house and yard will also help determine the size of deck you can have. Make sure you leave enough open space in your yard for other outdoor activities. Also, consider if you want the deck elevated or at ground level.

Choose a style

There are a wide variety of options for the height of your deck. Your deck design should be customized to meet the specific needs of your home and your family.

1. Ground level

This is a good option for families with young children or single-level homes.

2. Elevated

This option works for multilevel homes where access to the deck will be upstairs. It requires proper safety planning and handrails.

3. Tiered

Use multiple levels of the deck to create separate areas for each activity.

There are many features that can be built into your deck design, including built-in seating, planters, outdoor kitchen appliances, and decking patterns.

Make a plan

After you have decided the size of your deck, the style, and the features you want, it’s time to make a plan. Decide where you want to access the deck from your home if there will be stairs and where you need utility hookups, and what your budget is for the project. Now you’re ready to create a rough drawing on graph paper or you can go to parr.com to start building your deck with their deck planning software.

Construction considerations

Before you begin construction, here are some considerations:

1. Check your property lines to ensure you aren’t crossing any with your proposed deck.

2. Diagnose any drainage or grading problems that need to be corrected before you begin the project.

3. Decide what type of foundation you’ll use. Things to consider:

  • Type of soil
  • Will the deck be anchored to the home or freestanding?
  • Do you need to do major excavation work?

Foundation types include concrete piers with or without sills, prefabricated deck blocks, or foundation piles or screws.

4. Decide what type of decking materials you’ll use.

Now that you have completed your deck plan, it’s time to choose and order your building materials. The professionals at Parr Lumber can help you select just the right amount of materials you need to complete your project. And if you aren’t sure what material is best, they can help with that too.

Good luck building your new deck. You’ll be happy you did when summer comes around — this year and for years to come.

Author: Dawn Killough – Inventory Specialist at Parr Lumber

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/at-home/building-a-diy-deck-its-easy-once-you-make-a-few-decisions/

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