Creating the Perfect Deck for Your Outdoor Living Space.

If your home improvement project is to create the perfect outdoor living space and you are considering a deck, patio or arbor in that space here are some factors to consider.

  • Type Of Deck Material – Hardwood or Softwood
  • Natural Durability
  • Color of Material
  • Wear ability
  • Cost
  • Landscape surrounding area
  • There’s a huge range of wood species and composition wood products available for building wood decks, so how do you decide what’s best?


The best way is start is to consider the factors that are most important to you, your particular circumstances and the proposed deck location and then give a weighting to each factor to come up with the best option. Everyone’s situation is slightly different, so what’s best for you, may not be appropriate for someone else.

Most softwood with the notable exception of western red cedar, some cypress species and a few species of pine and larch are not naturally durable and will decay quite rapidly if left totally exposed to the weather. Fortunately softwood species readily accept chemical preservatives so when treated, their durability can equal or exceed most of the naturally durable hardwood species. If you want a deck that is less maintenance then you should be looking at a composition material.

Durability refers to a combination of properties. The actual life of a deck will last is dependent on many factors including degree of exposure of the deck to the elements, prevailing weather conditions, the air circulation around the decking etc. Various charts and tables are available which list the relative durability of wood species based on their actual in service so can be used to provide a useful broad comparison between species. Note should also be taken of termite resistance if this is important in your region as this will vary greatly between species.


Wood offers a large selection of color variation within a wood species.  Some wood may be very consistent in color while others may offer a wide variety of color variations.  So if your plans call for a natural look then you are going to want to consider a wood deck with either a hardwood deck or a softwood deck.  Since many homeowners are looking for decking colors outside of the natural wood colors composition decking comes in a large selection of colors and styles. 

The wear ability of a deck is important.  The weather affects a natural wood deck and you should consider the area you are in to determine what the best wood or composition material is for your deck.  Do you get a lot of sun? Do you have a lot of rain?  Does it snow at your home in the winter?  These are all important things to consider when thinking about wear ability.  The weather will affect your deck as it becomes older.  

The cost must be a consideration.  If this is a do it yourself home improvement decking project then make sure to consult the experts at Southern Lumber  to make sure you are getting the best product for your needs and your budget.   They will help you choose the best softwood decking material, hardwood decking material or composition decking material. 


Visit Southern Lumber for all your patio needs. You can find more information via their website.


Sources for this article: How To Choose The Right Wood To Use For Your Deck – Main Factors To Consider by Malcolm D Kay    

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