Custom cedar decks information on building a great deck...

Cedar decks are beautiful and wear well! Using cedar wood as a choice for your deck provides important advantages over many other wood types. This kind of wood resists moisture, it does not warp and it has beautiful grain patterns and rich colors.

These characteristics make this type of wood an ideal surface to be exposed to the sun, rain, heat and cold all year around. A cedar wood deck is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. A cedar construction deck will weather to a silver gray color unless you seal it or stain it.

Deck boards made of cedar can be made of heartwood or sapwood. Most decking made of sapwood is lighter in color since sapwood is made from the softer and lighter area of the tree close to the bark.

Sapwood cedar boards need to be pressure treated to avoid rot and they will need to be treated regularly with preservatives and sealers. Repairing these boards with pressure treated preservatives and sealers is essential to the maintenance of your deck.

Cedar boards are made of heartwood which is the dense inner core of the tree that will not need to be pressure treated.

These types of board grades are often called 'architect' and they will be the most expensive option for decking because of their high quality.

Boards have one rough side and one smooth side. Cedar boards are lightweight, making them easy to transport and handle. The boards take nails and other fasteners easily without spitting or cracking.

Cedar decks are less termite resistant than redwood, but they resist moisture and warping. This kind of wood makes a beautiful deck but it does need to be treated periodically with preservatives. And, decks will need to have finishes and treatments.

When exposed to sun, snow and rain, this kind of wood requires cleaning, restoring and refinishing about every two years, depending upon the finish you used.

Make sure your wood does not start weathering before finishing - if it has turned gray, you will need to wash it with a cleaner and apply a finish the following day after it dries completely.

Red cedar is quite common in Canada and the western United States. White cedar is usually available in the eastern United States. Alaskan yellow cedar is very durable and of extreme good quality for decking lumber.

If you can use plans that have been successfully built, this means you will have plans that work. The question is - are any of them right for your home?

Perhaps the wood deck plans that you're looking for already exist, ready for you to build.

If you are searching for a contractor, find out how long he or she has been in business. Make sure you receive in writing the estimate for your job with detailed drawings and specifications.

If he or she does not like to do jobs in writing, do not hire him or her. You will need to know what kind of lumber and materials the contractor will be using in the project.

Agree upon the location in your backyard for the lumber truck to drop the materials. You want to avoid having a lot of damage to your landscape, fence or lawn.

Nor will you want the lumber to be dropped in your driveway where you can no longer park the car. Agree in advance if the contractor will be using your electrical and bathroom facilities.

Make sure you agree or find out what deposit will you be required to pay him or her at the beginning of the project. Paying more than half of the contract value as a deposit in the beginning of the construction is not a good sign of things to come.

Find out if your contractor is going to apply for the building permit. You will want your project to be built according to applicable local and state codes. And agree with the contractor that he or she is responsible for cleaning and removing all the rest of the lumber and litter at the end of the project.

Best stain for cedar deck refinishing materials and sealers...

For the best stain for cedar deck refinishing, look for a finish that includes ingredients like water repellent preservatives to retard decay, preservatives to protect the wood from mildew and insects and ultraviolet blockers that keep it from turning gray.

Applying a water repellent preservative (which prevents moisture from penetrating the wood) is an effective finish to protect it against degradation.

Besides using the best stain for cedar deck refinishing material, these kinds of decks need sealers that offer ultraviolet inhibitors and include a preservative if your boards have any sapwood.

If your deck will have a lot of sun, you may want to apply a new sealer coat each year for cedar deck care.

For refinishing, cedar deck cleaning or sealing, here's how to apply the sealer or best stain for refinishing:

• 1- If possible, choose a day where the temperature is between 40 and 90 degrees F.
• 2- Lightly sand the wood with a pole sander, then sweep it thoroughly. Later mix a batch of cleaner according to manufacturer's instructions and apply it. Scrub the deck with a brush.
• 3- After you finish the first step, use a garden hose to wash off the cleaner.
• 4- Allow the deck to dry completely and perhaps apply the best stain. Use a pump sprayer or a paint roller to spread the sealer/stain onto the deck. Avoid puddles if you can or use a six inch brush to remove any puddles. Move the brush in the direction of the grain.

The best stain for all types of wood:

Clear sealers - will need to be applied every year. These products contain oils or waxes to keep moisture from penetrating your deck. Some will have preservatives to prevent mildew.

Semi-transparent stains are stains that color the wood slightly but allow the wood grain to show through. These materials usually last two or three years before you have to apply again.

The best stain for refinishing material often claims that they block ultraviolet rays without adding color to the wood. For finishes to be reliable and block damage from the sun, they need to contain some pigment material.

Resinous finish - this type of finish is expensive and needs to be applied every year. The resin gives a wet look and provides great protection against water damage.

Solid stain and porch and deck paint - a best stain for cedar deck refinishing solid stain material completely changes the color of a board, but allows its grain to show through. Paint covers the color and texture of the wood boards. Oil-based products will last longer outside. Latex-based products will wear out faster outdoors.

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