First Time Deck Builder


Old 06-09-18, 12:07 PM
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First Time Deck Builder

Hey All,

So, I'm getting ready to build my first deck and in search of some advice. Like most, I want to do it as inexpensively as possible but I want it to be sturdy and well constructed also. The deck is going to be 16' x 24'.

I'm just wondering if there is enough savings to justify buying untreated lumber and treating it myself?
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Old 06-09-18, 12:49 PM
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buying untreated lumber and treating it myself?

There is no such thing, please, do not try to take shortcuts in the construction. It;s possible you can cut corners, save a few dollars, but I guarantee it will come back to bite, or harm, someone in the future!
Old 06-09-18, 01:28 PM
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I buy the large majority of lumber in general and literally all treated lumber from local independent lumberyards, rather than a big box, and that would be my first advice as far as savings. Granted, I happen to be lucky in having several high volume yards to choose from, and yes the big boxes are typically going to be a little less per board, but my experiences have been that that I have less waste with a better quality to start with. Secondly, get your help lined up, pick the days that you're going to work, and pick up or have your material delivered as right on time as possible and practical. Treated lumber in particular will twist and roll pretty quickly when not stored properly and can leave you with a lot of scrap to start with. Other than that it's going to take as much material as is required to build a good and proper deck, and there is no place to scrimp, except for certain details like sticking to the minimum requirements for now and save adding gingerbread like lighting, copper cap posts, or whatever for a later time.
Old 06-09-18, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the feedback aka pedro, appreciate your input. We do have a local lumber yard, I'll check them out.
Old 06-09-18, 03:46 PM
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Hey Marq1,
What part of "I want it to be sturdy and well constructed" didn't you get? Who said anything about taking shortcuts? There is no such thing as untreated lumber?

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 06-10-18 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Unneccessary remarks.
Old 06-10-18, 03:33 AM
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Pressure treated wood is called pressure treated because the treatment is done under pressure. There is no way to replicate that yourself. The best you can do is apply a topical treatment which isn't as effective or long lasting.

Last edited by marksr; 06-10-18 at 05:53 AM. Reason: fix typo
Old 06-10-18, 05:14 AM
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I think marq's meaning was there was no such thing as DIY treated lumber. I would have worded it differently, but I had no problem getting his meaning on first reading.
Old 06-10-18, 09:28 PM
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Your deck will be exposed to the elements, which are usually harsh. Your deck needs to meet minimum standards to pass code. Assuming that a permit will be pulled prior to starting. If that is the case and the local inspectors are involved, it will be approved and be sturdy and reliable.

Suggest you do some reading up on local codes to deck building. Unfortunately, your initial question about using untreated lumber tells us that your skill level is DIY. Just need to read up on some things before proceeding. Here is an excellent start -

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