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Remodeling Guide: Decking

How to choose the material for your style and budget

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Photo 4 of 6Pine is one of the least expensive decking options.

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Wood

Description Pressure-treated pine, which is processed with chemicals to make it moisture- and pest-resistant, is most popular. Costlier alternatives include cedar, redwood, and exotic hardwoods like ipe.

Options Cedar, redwood, and exotic species offer the greatest number of color and grain variations.

Pros Do-it-yourself refinishing can repair scratches, remove soils, and give a wood deck a whole new look.

Cons Prone to weathering, bending, splitting, and decay.

Care Keep deck free of debris. Scrub once a year using a deck wash. Apply a protective sealer every two to three years.

Cost $2 to $2.20 per square foot for pressure-treated pine; $3.50 to $5 for cedar or redwood; $8 and up for exotic hardwoods

Shown Above Red Cedar in Architect Clear. From $3.39/lineal foot (depending on size). Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, wrcla.org.

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