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Replacing a Deck
Old 06-26-2010, 04:42 PM   #1
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Replacing a Deck

We need to replace a 600 sq ft deck on the rear of our house. The current deck is made of pressure treated wood. We are considering Ipe, which we would not stain but leave to grey naturally. We are told it is low maintenance, but it would cost nearly twice as much as a pressure treated wood deck in terms of both material and labor. Has anyone had any experience (good or bad) with Ipe?
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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No experience, but I've read about it in a number of woodworking magazines. Your description is pretty much what they say, low maintenance, but expensive. I think I remember $3-4 per linear foot. Also it can be hard to find. Supposed to be quite beautiful as a deck.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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I built my deck with pressure treated under pinnings and cedar decking and rails. It has weathered to a nice soft gray and is handling North Dakota winters very well. It was built about 10 years ago; I think cedar is cheaper then Ipe.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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There are several threads from last year with some input on Ipe (which I'm not familiar with). Sound like neat stuff. Here's one link:
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/brazilian-hardwoods-36606.html
Just put Ipe in the Powered by Google search area up top and click the Earlyretirement.org button. Assuming you haven't already and are running Firefox of course....
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #5
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What's the status of plastic decking these days (like this)?
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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What's the status of plastic decking these days (like this)?
I have a fiend that just built a deck using recycled plastic decking and it looks great. If I were doing mine today I would use that. Price is not bad either.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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I just spent most of my Sunday pressure washing the mold off my builder special composite deck. I have to do this once or twice a year. Maintenance free my eye.

When I redo (in a few years), I plan to do ipe.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:43 PM   #8
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What's the status of plastic decking these days (like this)?
I have no personal experience but I've heard complaints about the surface getting uncomfortably hot underfoot when in direct sunlight during the heat of Texas and Arizona summers.

Consumer Reports rated deck material in their latest issue and said this:

Quote:
Composite planks and railings, which blend ground-up wood and plastic, free you from the usual refinishing and look more woodlike than earlier versions. But complaints about deterioration and mildew have spurred class-action lawsuits against big brands such as ChoiceDek and Trex. Another major player, Louisiana-Pacific, recalled its ABTCo, Veranda, and WeatherBest decking after breakage resulted in injuries.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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I have to tell my friend to look out for those problems, his deck is only a week old.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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I built my dock in 2005 with treated joists and Trex decking. I've done no maintenance, but moss/mold/mildew needs to be pressure washed off.

I resurfaced my 15 year old cedar deck with Trex last year. Holding up great so far.

And yes they can get hot under foot after hours of direct sunlight.

IPE is a great material for decks. Heres a link to a series of IPE projects on the woodworking forum I frequent.

Search Results @ LumberJocks.com ~ woodworking community
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:15 AM   #11
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Thank you very much for the link, Ronstar. Most of my questions/concerns are discussed in those threads.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #12
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That's good to know. The heat would not ever be an issue here (in fact it would be a plus), but the mold problem would rule it out immediately.

Our redwood deck is 14 years old now, and is still in good shape.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #13
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I got a question for the group relating to this....


What can you put on a deck to make it last longer... I have no idea what mine is made from.... but looks a little worn... I would like to put something on it to make it last if I can... not sure if I want to put water seal every year... any suggestions
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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interesting reading some of the comments at lumberjocks - this is from one of them:


"Full story: Tabebuia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cost analysis, enviornmental impact, and retail price comparisons to the end-use consumer, installed
A cedar deck costs $17.75 per square foot, installed.
Enviornmental impact: Decking cedar is cut and replanted on tree farms, in approximately 30 year cycles. Old growth cedar is not used for tiny decking boards, but is typically sawn into large beams, and sold over seas for top dollar.

A Trex composite deck will cost $23-$26 per square foot, installed, depending on choice of materials.
Environmental impact: Composites are made from recycled materials. Trex is made almost wholly from lumber by products (sawdust) and recycled plastic grocery bags.
  • An Ipe deck costs $28-$32 per square foot, installed. Environmental impact: These trees are rarely replanted. But what’s worse, only two Ipe trees grow in an average rain forest acre, yet the entire acre is cut to harvest the two-tree average. When the rain forest is gone, it’s gone. Forever. The violence created by these harvests is hurting real families, real children, real people. The loss of rain forest is contributing to global warming and climate change".
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
I built my deck with pressure treated under pinnings and cedar decking and rails. It has weathered to a nice soft gray and is handling North Dakota winters very well. It was built about 10 years ago; I think cedar is cheaper then Ipe.
My deck was built the same way 24 years ago and is still going strong. I clean it every spring and put a sealer over it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I got a question for the group relating to this....


What can you put on a deck to make it last longer... I have no idea what mine is made from.... but looks a little worn... I would like to put something on it to make it last if I can... not sure if I want to put water seal every year... any suggestions
When my current deck was cedar, I stained it every few years. At first it was whites, then I stained it gray in the later years. The stain was ok, But I had a peeling problem that restaining wouldnt fix. So I replaced the deck. I would not recommend stain as a sealer because of the pealing

I used to seal the cedar deck on my first house and it held up very well. I think I used this:
Quality Exterior Waterproofers, Stains and Cleaners from Thompson's® WaterSeal®
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:57 PM   #17
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Ronstar, we used the same stuff, Thompson's Waterseal. Have to redo every couple of years. Both our porches have good overhang so sun is not as tough on them as on the stairs. Everything pressure treated pine here.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #18
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Consumer Reports just did a decking study. I think it was in last months edition, tho not quite sure. SOme of that stuff is expensive! My old pressure treated deck is splintering quite a bit, so I'll have to do something so DD doesn't get splinters in her feet.
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