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Thread: Cedar Decks

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Thanks for that Brian.

    Your fence sounds similar to my own which is 20 plus. I used PT 6x6 for posts set in concrete. That's all we could get from the post installers. $75.00 per post, installed, if I remember right. 2x6 Spruce for rails and 1x6 rough sawn Cedar for board and batten.
    "Do it Right!"

  2. #22
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    Bill

    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    I thought setting any type of wood into concrete was now considered a no-no because it holds moisture continuously against the wood.

    As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.

    Current deck is PT framing and Trex. Love it.

    billh

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post

    As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.
    A lot of the problems people have with decks is in the design. If there is good airflow and the decking can dry out they last longer. Most people want the deck boards too tight together and then let the spaces fill with dirt and vegetation that holds moisture and inhibits air flow. I have a double door going into my shop with a cedar deck built in 1992 leading up to the door. I had to replace the deck last year, it rotted in front of the passive leaf of the double door. The active side was fine, the passive side always had scraps, garbage cans and debris on top of it so it was always damp and couldn't dry out.

    My opinion on decks, as well as kitchens is that a 20 year life is just about the time you're tired of it and ready to try something new.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    I thought setting any type of wood into concrete was now considered a no-no because it holds moisture continuously against the wood.

    As far as life of decks goes, the big factor is water and sun. If it can't dry it will rot and wet cedar is not rot-proof. Vertical cedar lasts forever but so does most vertically hung wood; horizontal depends on how many moisture pockets you have and a pocket can be nothing more than a sunk nail or screw head. Hot sun contributes to cracking and coating failure.

    Current deck is PT framing and Trex. Love it.

    billh
    Y'all are welcome to come out west and try to kick over my old DSCN0874 (Small).JPGDSCN0873 (Small).JPGDSCN0875 (Small).JPGDSCN0855 (Small).JPGfence posts. Same offer. I'll buy the plane ticket and if you can't kick it over you can pay me back and we'll sit on my old Cedar chairs on my old Cedar deck in the sun and drink some cool ones.
    "Do it Right!"

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    While Rusty is bang on with his observations in his very dry climate, the sames rules don't apply here in Ontario where moisture and humidity never really allow exposed wooden structures to ever dry out. I've lived in both areas and the difference is huge. You couldn't even eat a sandwich outdoors in Calgary, the moisture in the bread would evaporate start to turn it crusty before you finished it.
    Paul

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaP View Post
    While Rusty is bang on with his observations in his very dry climate, the sames rules don't apply here in Ontario where moisture and humidity never really allow exposed wooden structures to ever dry out. I've lived in both areas and the difference is huge. You couldn't even eat a sandwich outdoors in Calgary, the moisture in the bread would evaporate start to turn it crusty before you finished it.
    Paul is dead right. I've lived in both places too and for the reasons he states, when I built decks and nothing but decks i never left any gaps between the deck boards in the West because I knew the wood shrinkage over a summer would give me the gap I needed for air movement . In Ontario I always used a 1/4 inch spacer.
    "Do it Right!"

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    I use new cedar every day and i don,t leave any space . I did this fence exactly 1 year ago in my yard and these boards where all tight when i screwed them down . Some of them shrunk at least a 1/4 of an inch just in 1 year . Cedar shrinks here in Ontario just like anywhere else . My entire fence now has gaps in it everywhere .

    1-DSC00867.jpg
    1-DSC00869.jpg

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    No disagreement here John. The only difference I can think of between the two locations that could bear on shrinkage is my wood will start out already drier than yours but that's only a guess. The other thing is the material in terms of size. 1x6 versus 2x6. One may be more stable than the other. Whatever, the results are inarguable. I know a friend here who used 2x6 Spruce for decking and started out with 1/4 inch space and ended up with over 1/2 an inch an an irritated wife. She or her girlfriends couldn't walk on the deck with high heels on. After the first BBQ party he had to buy a couple of pairs of heels for the ladies and if you've ever bought or paid for shoes for the wife you'll know they generally start at a couple hun a pair........LMAO.
    "Do it Right!"

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
    my experience with cedar is obviously different than some. I am having a set of plans drawn at this time for a deck that is on a house that is 18 years old. No idea when the deck was built but the people were unable to use the deck last summer as the cedar decking is full of rot.I have yet to see a cedar deck that was any older than 20 years. The client that I did the hardwood floor for last week has a PT deck that I built 29 years ago and it is as solid today as when I built it. I am not a big fan of the 5/4 decking as with the thinner deck boards as they are really prone to checking. I find that a full 2x6 stands up a lot better and the cost difference is within a couple of cents and that disappears when you got to 24 inch centers on a full blown 2x6 for decking. I have built decks using cedar and in fact built one in Ottawa for a client last summer. They are a nice deck but my experience is that the ones I have had experience with they do not last as long as PT.

    brian
    I've had a similar experience Brian. The house we bought 5 years ago had a cedar deck. The house would have been 15 years old when we bought it, no idea when the deck was installed. Within a year we had to remove the railing as the posts were rotting quite badly, the deck was finally ripped up last year and replaced with a concrete pad. I was very surprised how bad this cedar was being only 15 years old.

    That said I think a big part of why this deck didn't last was because it was only 12 above grade (to the top) and the rim joists were almost at grade preventing air flow. When I ripped up the deck I discovered that he installers had put down 6mil poly with thin layer of screeding on top, this I believe made it even worse as the water that wet though the deck had no where to go.

    I'm no expert but I think for any deck to last you NEED good air flow and drainage. Water and wood don't mix well no matter what species.

  10. #30
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    Nelson

    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Also guys what do you guys think about tongue and groove cedar for the deck fence as i have a high elevation deck and since im in the middle of the city im planning on building a 5 ft privacy fence along the sides and aluminum railings along the front and down the stairs.

  11. #31
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    One thing to consider is the new pressure treated lumber isn't the same product that was around 25 years ago. The really good toxins that made it rot resistant have been remove. Average life for a post in the ground was reduced from 30 + years to 13 years. A possible alternative product that is real wood is roasted wood products that have been basically cooked to impart rot resistance. Check with the boys at Exotic Woods in Burlington they should be able to help with both cedar and roasted woods. Normal disclaimer, I have no connection to Exotic Woods, just a customer.

    John

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Cedar Decks

    Quote Originally Posted by crazytalon View Post
    Also guys what do you guys think about tongue and groove cedar for the deck fence as i have a high elevation deck and since im in the middle of the city im planning on building a 5 ft privacy fence along the sides and aluminum railings along the front and down the stairs.
    If you use T &G make sure the deck's sloped for drainage.

    One thing to keep in mind. Wood structures left exposed to the elements aren't going to last through the ages. Especially these days, todays material won't have nearly the longevity of the old growth material we used in the past.

    I'm presently finishing some outdoor furniture I built with an epoxy primer designed for yachts that actually seals wood watertight. It's expensive to buy and apply and that's just for the primer let alone the topcoat. I wouldn't put it on a deck, mainly because like I said earlier, I figure a deck's life is about 20 at best. If I want something that lasts longer I'll build it out of masonry, concrete and steel

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