Which wood should you use for your deck?

Feb 5, 2020

Forget the white picket fence, the real New Zealand dream is to have a spacious deck at home for barbeques, drinks, and soaking up the sunshine.

Whether you’re looking to replace existing decking or build one from scratch, one of the biggest considerations is around which timber to use.

There are several popular options, and several ways to go about choosing. For example, a tight budget might rule out some dearer hardwoods, but allow for a treated pine. You may also have to consider the amount of upkeep you are willing to do, and the geographical location, as different woods function better in different environments.

There are three key types of decking in New Zealand, and it will help to get a feel for each of them before you make your final decision.

 

Hardwoods

Hardwoods are some of the most popular decking materials in New Zealand, largely due to the fact that they are extremely resilient – and therefore can handle the highs and lows of New Zealand weather – and durable, but also look, feel, and smell fantastic.

Kwila is often used around the country, as it is low-maintenance, hard-wearing, and has a beautiful red tinge that offers an eye-catching contrast to a lush green backyard.

Vitex is also a popular choice, and with its lighter hues that range from pale yellow to creamy grey, it can offer something a little more modern in terms of appearance.

The final common hardwood is that of tropical hardwoods, such as Fijian mahogany. These timbers are excellent at resisting moisture, insects, decay, and splintering, and offer a wide range of hues suited for any backyard.

Treated pine

Treated pine is quite popular throughout New Zealand homes. Radiata Pine is the timber of choice, and it is treated to resist fungi and decay.

Pine is naturally fairly light in colour, but the benefit of this pale hue is that you can choose your own paint or wood stain to create the look you’re aiming for. It’s also a cost effective timber, and is relatively easy to work with, making it a good choice for those on a budget and DIYers.

Pine will need a little more maintenance than other woods – an annual oil is ideal – but any at-home handyperson can tackle this job with ease.

Composites

Wood composites are an option that combines wood fibres and recycled plastic bottles for an environmentally friendly, durable, and maintenance-free deck.

Maintenance-wise, they only need the occasional wash with soapy water, so will not need to be oiled, repainted, or restained over the years. These products don’t tend to warp, splinter, or fade, and even though up close you can tell it’s not 100% timber, it still looks beautiful as a finished product.

Wood composite materials are currently seen as the future of decking, and will undoubtedly become more popular as more people become aware of this option and its array of benefits.

The only real downsides of composite decking is that it is a more expensive option, and there are varying degrees of quality on the market, so it’s best to do some research on the exact type you’re getting before making the investment.

Whether you’ve already made your decision and are ready to build your deck, or if you’re still choosing which wood to use for your deck, Maintain Your Property is here to help. We offer handyman services, building work, exterior care, and more, making us an easy option for getting your deck up and ready to go in time for the first barbeque of the summer.

 

Get in touch for a free quote to get started.