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Old 05-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #16
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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We do the entire frame out of steel (ledger, joists, beams) however people usually opt for wood posts for aesthetics and cost.

Fiberon has been a great product to work with and I've had minimal problems (manufacturing defect, the board widths vary from size to size 12,16,20) However I called my rep and had new material in 2 days. A homeowner trying to make that happen probably would not have worked, Fiberon understands that the contractors can make or break their product. I typically only order 20' length boards to minimize variations unless we are doing a small project.

You can look at my website under "package deals" that deck is a little smaller, but it will give you some ideas.

I've never gotten someone to pull the trigger on the stone products, usually due to cost, you can do a LOT more with your deck by using a composite product over the costly stone offerings.

No problem on the questions, Colorado is a unique environment and most people who haven't lived here actually understand its harsh environment.
I read that the Silca Decks were half the price of capped composite. I wrote them an email, hopefully they'll add some clarity.

Is that price I saw for the Fiberon Horizon product? Is that a typical price people pay for a deck like this to be built? I've seen much larger decks, are these costing 25-30k? Wow... I guess I was a little ignorant of the costs involved.

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Old 05-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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I read that the Silca Decks were half the price of capped composite. I wrote them an email, hopefully they'll add some clarity.

Is that price I saw for the Fiberon Horizon product? Is that a typical price people pay for a deck like this to be built? I've seen much larger decks, are these costing 25-30k? Wow... I guess I was a little ignorant of the costs involved.
The silca system is different than some of the others, but I would bet by the time you bought a quality paver and the plastic grid you'd be around the same cost as a composite material. I like the look of their system better than many of the other things, I'm going to look into it more and maybe get some samples.

To give you an idea the smallest contract we've signed in the last 6 months was for $20,000, most of the projects are in the $30,000-$60,000+ range.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #18
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


My wife actually has a best friend that imports high end stone tile. my biggest concern is how their plastic grid holds up to the Colorado weather & sun. it seems Colorado tends to break down plastic and make it brittle; in every case I've seen where some form of plastic is exposed to the elements here. I posed this question in the email I sent to Silca and it will be interesting to see what their response is.

It seems as though I'm being unrealistic about using composite for any kind of decent sized deck if I use a contractor. My good friend is a commercial GC and has said he would do the job, but I'm wondering if this is a very specialized area. He's very good at what he does, and has built some major retail stores, but probably has only done a few redwood decks in his lifetime. He is a hands on GC and still does alot of steel framing and ceiling grid himself. You would think he has the skill set to do it, right?
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #19
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


BTW, Aside from the color change, how did the Ipe hold up on that deck? I'm looking for a grey color like the Ipe in that picture. What effects will the sun have on the strength and longevity of the Ipe? Is Ipe less expensive than Fiberon Horizon?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #20
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


If not for the constant staining IPE will dry out and crack here in Colorado. IPE costs a bit more than Fiberon Horizon.

As far as building a quality deck, most people think it's easy and most carpenters feel that they can tackle it, however that is far from the case. When you're investing in your home you want someone who is BEYOND just capable, you want an experienced craftsman who knows whats going on. I've hired a few former home builders and I've had to retrain them on how to actually build a deck, it's a lot more than just joists at 16" O.C. like most assume. A deck specialist is someone who concentrates on decks and only decks, I spend a LOT of time in research of new products and techniques and I'm constantly making changes as we find new ideas and techniques (thus the reason for steel 3 years ago). Find someone who has an EXTENSIVE portfolio of similar projects and then my number one recommendation is to go and visit some projects (some finished, some in progress) so you can see first hand the quality put into the projects, as well as seeing how the guys are on the current project, are they clean?, polite?, organized?, safe?, people you want working on your property? Licensing and insurance are of course critical, and references will tell you far more than a stupid bbb grade (it's not hard to have the A+ that we have, the BBB is actually a joke, more for advertising than anything) If you want something that adds value to your home then choose quality materials and a quality craftsman to complete the project.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:37 PM   #21
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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If not for the constant staining IPE will dry out and crack here in Colorado.
Have you ever just oiled it (no stain)?
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:12 PM   #22
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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Have you ever just oiled it (no stain)?
It's not my deck, it was one of many people that I meet with that are looking for a better solution. I'd never use wood on my own deck here.

Let me put it this way. It doesn't matter what you put on it you'll need to do it twice a year at least.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:38 PM   #23
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


You know for all the cost and material decomposition from UV and temperature swings, have you ever considered a composite concrete deck.

A basic steel structure covered with corrogated metal pan topped with 3" of concrete.

It may be a tad more expensive initially, but will out last any other material. Might be worth contacting a building contractor for a quote.

Mark
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #24
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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It's not my deck, it was one of many people that I meet with that are looking for a better solution. I'd never use wood on my own deck here.

Let me put it this way. It doesn't matter what you put on it you'll need to do it twice a year at least.
It boggles my mind how much money has been spent (and wasted in many cases) and how many people have got rich on the elusion of “maintenance free” and “forever”.

It’s only been about 15 years for the decking, with some notable failures along the way and other issues with inconsistency as you noted that a homeowner just may have to live with but I would call unacceptable.

Heck, after 60 years the siding industry still doesn’t have it figured out but they sure sell like they do.

I’m really not trying to be argumentative here, it is what it is.

Btw, it takes me about as long to oil my Cedar Deck (once a year) as it does to mow my lawn.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:01 PM   #25
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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It boggles my mind how much money has been spent (and wasted in many cases) and how many people have got rich on the elusion of “maintenance free” and “forever”.

It’s only been about 15 years for the decking, with some notable failures along the way and other issues with inconsistency as you noted that a homeowner just may have to live with but I would call unacceptable.

Heck, after 60 years the siding industry still doesn’t have it figured out but the sure sell like they do.

I’m really not trying to be argumentative here it, is what it is.

Btw, it takes me about as long to oil my Cedar Deck (once a year) as it does to mow my lawn.
I don't recall mentioning maintenance FREE, lower maintenance is accurate, in fact it's been a LONG time since a manufacturer has said maintenance FREE. Now the idiot who works at home depot or lowes might SAY maintenance free but RARELY does the literature say that. If you go around believing everything the morons at the box store say then you've got issues.

You are correct that there have been many failures throughout the years but the products sold then are not the same as sold now. Just like the Model T is not the same as a ford F-150. I don't understand how it's such a hard concept to grasp that products are constantly changing. I have a number of projects that have been built with these cap layer boards and a test setup 5 years old now and in my harsh environment, 1 brand has lost 0 color the other brand lost 5-10% depending upon the color in the lineup.

I'd never tell the homeowner to live with those inconsistencies, if you'll note I had ALL new product brought in at no cost to the HO (or me). And BTW wood has width variations in it too, so stop acting like its a perfect product.

It might take a little longer to stain a deck like this (there is another 250+ sq ft on the upper deck)
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #26
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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You know for all the cost and material decomposition from UV and temperature swings, have you ever considered a composite concrete deck.

A basic steel structure covered with corrogated metal pan topped with 3" of concrete.

It may be a tad more expensive initially, but will out last any other material. Might be worth contacting a building contractor for a quote.

Mark
Concrete is an idea, I've seen it done on 5 elevated projects, 2 had BIG cracks in them (very unsightly) the other 3 I never saw past the first week. I wouldn't doubt if they develop large cracks as well.

Could be a great solution in other environments, but not a great option here.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #27
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
You know for all the cost and material decomposition from UV and temperature swings, have you ever considered a composite concrete deck.

A basic steel structure covered with corrogated metal pan topped with 3" of concrete.

It may be a tad more expensive initially, but will out last any other material. Might be worth contacting a building contractor for a quote.

Mark
I was just going to say this.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #28
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


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I don't recall mentioning maintenance FREE
I never said you did.

Quote:
If you go around believing everything the morons at the box store say then you've got issues.
Thanks for the schooling there chief.

Quote:
I don't understand how it's such a hard concept to grasp that products are constantly changing.
And sometimes things that have always worked still work great today. A wheel is still round, I doubt that will ever change.

Quote:
I'd never tell the homeowner to live with those inconsistencies, if you'll note I had ALL new product brought in at no cost to the HO (or me).
I never said you did. You said that you (as a contractor) had new stock in 2 days but a homeowner acting on their own may not be so lucky.

Quote:
And BTW wood has width variations in it too, so stop acting like its a perfect product.
Once again...I never said one was better than the other (although you did).

I do know this though, in the summer I bbq on my deck, in my bare feet, can you?

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:01 PM   #29
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


I would want to see the concrete work first before I tried it. But its along these lines that I'm very interested in that Silca system. If cracks present, at least they wont run when the stone tile is 18"-24" square. But I need to know the plastic grid underneath can hold up.

Last edited by peakcelln; 05-06-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:29 AM   #30
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What is the Best Deck material for Severe Sun and Colorado Winters?


If installed properly and the right design mix used the is NO reason for a decked pour to not to hold up.
Right now I am on a job that is probably has the worst conditions on earth,they make water softer pellets from salt brine and the conditions are brutal.
I understand that Colorado may have harsh conditions in the weather,every place on earth has specific conditions.
To the OP,take a look around your area and when you see something ask questions it is like having a car,then you notice everyone has a car like yours.


Last edited by Ravenworks; 05-07-2012 at 04:31 AM.
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