Picnic Panic


Old 06-21-14, 12:41 PM
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Picnic Panic

Want to build a new deck so we can have the family over for picnics. Don't know what wood I should use. Live in PA and weather is all seasons, want something that will last. Also want to know if I should coat the deck before or after building. Thanks, Gene.
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Old 06-21-14, 12:45 PM
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Pressure treated lumber should be used for the main framing. The decking and railing can be anything from pressure treated to man made composite depending on your budget. Pressure treated and ceder does not need any coating but will turn gray and weather faster. Composite only requires a washing off now and then.
Old 06-21-14, 12:52 PM
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Outdoor use will require either pressure treated or if you want to spend more money, cedar or redwood. You'll still need to use PT for all the framing. If you have bottomless pockets you could consider IPE or mahogany.

I know some people have applied coatings after the framing is done (if the wood is dry enough) and coated the underside of the decking before cutting and installing, then did the exposed surfaces after it was complete.

If you want it to last, DO NOT skimp on quality framing lumber and sizes. Build it above code using the correct post stand offs and bolts as needed. Go cheap on the framing and it may need major repair after only a few years.

The decking is the easiest thing to replace, structure is not.
Old 06-21-14, 01:17 PM
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PT for the framing and composite for the deckboards is my preference.

Yes, you should stain the wood if you use actual wood for the decking but that maintenance task is why I would go with composite instead.
Old 06-21-14, 04:13 PM
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I agree with Mitch that any wood decking should be stained BUT you need to make sure it's dry first, especially if you are using PT decking!
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