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Outdoor Wooden Structures: Materials for Fences and Decks (page 3 of 4)

Learn about the different types of materials that can be used to build a wood fence or deck, plus get tips on basic fence construction.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Fence Accessories

There are a number of fence accessories that are used to aid installing and help repair these structures. The brackets and clips shown below provide a few examples of the types of systems that are available.

Post Caps
Decorative caps attached to the top of wooden posts. Also prevents water penetration into the end grain of the posts.

Gothic-Style Plastic Post Cap (Image 1)

Wooden Post Cap (Image 2)

Post Clip (Image 3)
Small clip that screws to post and fence panel, holding the panel in place.

Bolt-down post bracket (Image 4)
Socket that houses a post on concrete or other masonry surfaces.

Square plastic post cap (Image 5)

Wooden Walkways and Decks

Wood is also used underfoot in yard construction for paths and steps, as well as patio areas. Decking has become increasingly popular as an alternative to hard-landscaped areas.

Cedar Decking (Image 1)
Durable and versatile, cedar decking has a color range from light browns and tans to salmon pink. It does not transfer heat, so you can walk barefoot no matter the temperature.

Pressure-Treated Decking (Image 2)
Primarily due to cost, pressure-treated is the most popular choice of deck materials in the U.S. About 80 percent of pressure-treated wood is Southern yellow pine. It usually has a warranty against decay and termite damage.

Composite Cecking (Image 3)
Composite decking is made up of a combination of wood particles and plastic. It can be embossed with a wood-grain pattern. Typically the color will lighten over time. Consider buying one that contains preservatives.

Vinyl Decking (Image 4)
If you live in a hot climate, vinyl can get very hot underfoot. It is more expensive than wood, but it requires less maintenance. Cutting vinyl is just as easy as cutting wood. It does not absorb stains.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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