We are graced with magnificent views and glorious sunsets here in California. Watching the setting sun from the deck of your Sacramento home is one of life’s special moments. When you look down at your deck, however, are you thrilled to see natural, beautiful redwood, or a lesser material? If you are considering a new deck, think for a moment about the pros and cons of California redwood decking. 

Redwood Advantages

Redwood is neither imported nor a hardwood, so is less expensive than native hardwoods or Ipe (Brazilian Walnut), a very hard, imported wood sometimes used for a new deck. Redwood is usually available for a lower price than composites. Other positives about this beautiful, natural product:

  • Redwood is better for the environment than than composites (which are made in part from petroleum)
  • Redwood is naturally water repellent
  • Redwood is harvested within California, reducing your home’s carbon footprint
  • Redwood is a renewable resource
  • Heartwood from redwood has superior resistance to insect damage and rot
  • A new deck in redwood seldom warps, cups or twists

Redwood Challenges

Redwood, like any material, is not without a few downsides for a new deck. First, redwood is a commodity, so pricing fluctuates more than human-made alternative decking materials. Additionally:

  • Redwood can crack and split like any long-grain, softwood, leaving splinters to watch for
  • Redwood does scratch and dent, unlike hardwoods such as Ipe
  • Your best efforts at maintaining and refinishing will still lead to replacement in two decades or so
  • If newer wood (sapwood) is used, a deck may only last a decade to 15 years

Comparison to Other Choices

Though Straight Line Construction prefers not to work with pressure-treated lumber, we offer several decking options. Compare these to redwood:

  • TimberTech—A composite material, TimberTech will present a more uniform appearance than naturally variegated redwood, since it is a human-made blend of ingredients protected with a polymer shell. Redwood’s color and grain will be wholly natural, while TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolution is available in four colors
  • Trex—Another composite material, Trex is available in rich earth tones, with a total of 12 colors. Redwood will show a warm, pale color to a deep, red tone

The choices are difficult because redwood gives a beautiful, natural harmony and serenity, while composites allow for closer color matching to existing decor and less maintenance in your new deck. For more information about redwood decking, contact us at Straight Line Construction.