Paint comes in thousands of colors; coffee shops have billboard-size menus; even buying laundry detergent is challenging. Evidently, we are living in a time of abundant choice. The options for wood decking for rental properties haven’t been left behind in this regard as well. Over the past couple of years, the options have exponentially grown. There is Hem-Fir, Recycled Pallet Wood, Red Cedar, Redwood, Ipe, Pressure Treated Wood, and more. Whether you’re still sketching out the blueprints or breaking ground, knowing your options is a good idea.
Getting to know the advantages and disadvantages and choosing the right wood decking for rental properties will pay off in the long run. It will save you some time and money on maintenance, especially when preparing your property for winter.
In this article, we explain 6 best wood deck materials for your rental property.
Hem-Fir Decking for Rental Properties
Oftentimes, dimensional lumber that is untreated isn’t used as decking boards. This is because other wood materials hold up well against decay and are cheap and readily available. Nevertheless, if you take all the necessary precautions against deterioration and insects, Hem-Fir can certainly be a good option. Because Amabilis Fir and Western Hemlock look identical and grow in the same forests, lumber mills treat them interchangeably and process them together. It is good to know that Hem-Fir isn’t a cross-breed of species.
- Choose a wood like Hem-Fir if you desire to have a deck that is painted a solid color.
- Due to its strength, it has a great joist distance span.
- Except for pallet wood, untreated Hem-Fir is the lowest costing wood decking board.
- Hem-fir needs constant maintenance.
Red Cedar Decking for Rental Properties
Red cedar is most often used for fence boards. If so desired, it can be left untreated because it is an oily wood. It is a preferred wood for nearly all purposes where attractive appearance or resistance to weather is important.
- It’s sustainable. Red cedar is superior to synthetic products in every way when it comes to environmental performance.
- It’s versatile. Red Cedar is ideal for accepting and holding a wide variety of beautiful finishes. Including, naturally beautiful semi-transparent, traditional solid colors, shabby chic bleaches, and elegant dark stains.
- It’s beautiful. Aesthetically, the natural beauty of Red Cedar has no substitute. It can inspire innovative interiors, provoke cutting-edge architecture, embolden traditional home décor, and create sublime outdoor sanctuaries.
- At the onset, Red Cedar looks great. However, after a while, it begins to turn silvery-gray.
Redwood Decking for Rental Properties
Redwood was once commonly-used for decks, play structures, and fences. However, it’s increasingly becoming harder to find. It has a chemical inside the pores that makes it weather, insect and rot-resistant. When exposed to the elements, redwood will last far longer than any other wood type.
- It weathers to an attractive deep red color.
- Maintaining the wood requires no preservatives.
- Over time, redwood will begin to get splintery.
- It’s a less desirable choice for decks due to its slim availability.
Ipe Decking for Rental Properties
This is also known as Bethabara, Ipe Tabaco, Pau D’Arco, Tabebuia, or Brazilian Walnut. Whichever of these names you call it, this hard, exotic wood is the premium wood to use for decking. Ipe wood structures are hard, strong, and naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, weather, and insects.
- Ipe wood naturally retains less heat than its composite and plastic counterparts.
- It’s uniquely dense surface creates a potentially very low-maintenance surface.
- It’s one of the world’s densest wood species. In fact, it’s for this reason that made Wall Street Journal call it “tough as nails.”
- High shipping prices can add to the overall product costs.
- Clips will be needed to fasten the boards to the joists, which drives up the cost.
- It can be difficult to work with due to its sheer hardness.
CAC or Pressure Treated Wood Decking for Rental Properties
Typically, southern yellow pine, pressure-treated wood is softwood lumber that’s been chemically treated to resist insects or moisture. PT wood can work as an effective deck board in longer lengths and wider widths.
Soft woods like Ponderosa, Southern Yellow Pine, Hemlock, and Douglas Fir easily decay and get damaged by insects. Chemical treatment is, therefore, necessary to help in warding off fungi and bugs.
- Lasts far longer in any environment where it’s exposed to consistent moisture or the elements.
- It’s available in a wide array of sizes for different applications.
- The chemicals in PT wood provides protection from insect damage.
- If not regularly maintained, PT deck boards will eventually splinter and crack.
- PT wood is more expensive compared to natural wood.
Pallet Wood Decking for Rental Properties
Trendy pallet wood can now be found in most stores such as offices, restaurants, coffee shops, brewpubs, and even in residences. Gone are the days when it was only confined to shipping bays.
- Pallet wood is free.
- It’s uncomfortable and unsafe to walk on due to the inevitable protrusions, splinters, and holes.
Wood remains the most cost-effective and efficient material for decking for rental properties. While composite decking such as TimberTech, Fortress, and Trex have strong advantages, both options don’t come cheap. Even the least expensive off-the-shelf composite decking costs more than most woods. Besides, it has a paltry 16-inch joist span and barely looks like wood. On the contrary, wood looks and feels like wood, and spans greater distances.