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Old 08-29-2018, 12:15 AM   #1
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Wood deck lumber

I'm looking at building a wood deck on some ground I own at a lake in SW Missouri. I'll be using 6" lumber for the joists and probably frame on 16" centers. The deck will set right off a tiny cabin I currently have on the property and in most areas will be about 6-12"off the ground. On one end I might end up 24-26" off the ground do to slope.

If the joists are up off the ground, is it necessary to use treated lumber? Most likely I'll use treated 4x4 posts set on concrete deck blocks to keep the deck levelled and get it up off the ground. I plan to cover the deck with 5/4 cedar decking and I'll weatherproof everything.

The main reason I ask is twofold. First I'm trying to keep costs down as this current structure is really not my end game for the property, but I'll probably keep it for a guest structure or storage so I do want it to stay decent. The 2nd part is that I am setting on a bunch of 2x hemfir lumber, so if that'll hold up then I can save a few bucks. Granted not a bunch but a few and it's money I can stand elsewhere on the project. My understanding is both weather decently. I'm not necessarily trying to build a deck that lasts a lifetime, but I don't want to regret in a few years either. I'm heading up in a few weeks to work on this and for now I'm just planning on a small 4'x7' deck off the front to help keep dirt out. Later I'll increase the size to probably 140 sqft and I plan on tearing out an old deck at our house and I'll probably recycle the good framing for the expansion. That is treated lumber I believe.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:48 AM   #2
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Re: Wood deck lumber

Yep, has to be treated or some kind of lumber which is rot resistant, like cedar or redwood. Regular spruce/pine/fir building lumber rots quickly outside.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:14 AM   #3
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Re: Wood deck lumber

You have to remember decks see more weather than any other wood on a house. Besides more exposure, rain/snow will lay on the decking longer. PT pine is the lowest cost option. Untreated pine/spruce is subject to start deteriorating within a few yrs.
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