Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

We recently worked with a local contractor to install wood fencing on top of an already existing brick wall and build a swinging gate. They provided a number of different wood options and we decided on redwood based on cost, performance and appearance. Our local Home Depot has all of the major lumber options as well as variations based on quality.

Here’s a walk-through of redwood, cedar, douglas fir and pine species and how they are best used.

redwood fence Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

Redwood is a wood like no other and decks built of Redwood are unique in their beauty and long-lasting service. Known for its natural beauty and ability to hold up under the sun, rain and snow, redwood remains a top choice among builders. In most areas you can purchase Redwood that is FSC certified and it’s always recyclable.

redwood deck Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

There is a grade of redwood lumber for any deck – economical decks, luxury decks, simple deck and decks that push the limits of creativity.

 

Cedar boards are versatile, and just plain attractive to look at. Cedar is renowned for its appearance, stability, durability, and weather resistance. Ideal for a variety of applications and outdoor projects where lumber is exposed to the elements.

Cedars natural oils and preservatives fight off weather, bugs, fungi and algae; and if desired, allow excellent absorption stains and paint. Tannish brown in color, the grain pattern is tight with few knots.

cedar deck Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck cedar fence Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

 

Pound for pound, Douglas Fir is one of the strongest western soft woods. This wood is used in the manufacturing of more products than any other lumber species. This strong, reliable and workable wood is perfect for use in many projects.

It’s lightweight and easy cutting properties make Douglas Fir great for home improvement. Douglas Fir also has great screw and nail holding properties. This wood can be left untreated and kiln dried and ready for use indoors or out.

douglas fir deck Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

 

Pine boards come in many varieties and the highest grade make them ideal for any interior application. The best of these boards have no knots, so every part of the board is useable with no need for wasteful, annoying cutting, meaning great value for money.

The knot-free surface allows for easy finishing, whether painting, staining or varnishing your project. Radiata Pine is well known for its excellent workability, easy nailing/screwing, glue holding and superb paint finish.

Originally from Monterey, California, Radiata Pine is today sourced from commercially grown tree farms in New Zealand. These forests are FSC certified, meaning they are managed on a completely renewable basis.

white pine fencing Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

 

Visit Home Depot and speak to a lumber associate who can help point you in the right direction when choosing the ideal lumber for your deck or fence.

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timothy dahl profile Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence or Deck

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
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  • http://youjustgetme.com/index.php?page=view_profile&id=87713 Robin Nelson

    Just wanted to say what a great web-site you have. I’m just starting out in this hobby and your site has been a great resource.

  • http://ottawageneralcontractors.com/ Zachary Logan

    My personal favorite is Cedar. It’s great to look at, and great to work with. Nice post!

  • Karissa Javier

    Great post. I bet our Outlook screws would make a perfect match with those wooden deck and fence.