We are building a deck in the spring. It is a two level deck. One level will be roughly 20x15 with two sets of steps. Each set will be 3 steps to the ground. Their will also be a set of 4 stairs to another level which will be roughly 8x10 and abutt an above ground pool. In the future there will also be a hot tub intalled either on the lower level or on a slab next to it. We had planned on using PT framing with Trex decking and railings but after much research we are finding a lot of negative about Trex and composites in general. Therefore we are now leaning toward ipe or mahogany decking and are undecided on the railings. We live in Vt and the deck will have much sunlight as we have unobstructed southern exposure. I found this chatroom last night and there seems to be some informed posters here. Any comments, suggestions, etc will be appreciated.
my opinion on composite=crap. I really dont like it. Composite will discolor and swell. Its tough to clean. I just dont like the look of it.
Mahogany= i like this the most. Its about the same price as composite. Its real wood not plastic. it does take regular maintainence but only every 2 years.
Ipe= expensive.tough to work with. will turn silver over time which could be good or could be bad.
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Ipe is by far my favorite. Very very dense and requires pre drilling before being screwed down. You can finish it with whatever you like. I posted a link under the TREX thread showing a strip and refinish Ipe deck. It was finished with Sikkens DEK finish. Not my work, but a really good job on it.