If you're thinking of building a deck outside your home, note that there are many different types of timber from which to choose for the decking itself. Each has their own pros and cons, and understanding their differences can ensure you choose the best species of wood for your home's space. Note a few of those differences here, so you can determine the best choice of material and know that you'll be happy with your home's deck for many years to come.

 Pressure-treated lumber

This type of decking material may be one of the most common and most affordable. Pressure treated lumber is typically made from pine trees, which is soft enough to be cut with standard household tools, one reason that it's a favourite for the homeowner who wants to fabricate their own deck. The raw wood is treated with chemicals that make it more resistant to rot, mould, mildew, and insects.

However, even with treatment, pressure treated lumber may tend to sag, chip, get dented or get infested with termites. If you choose pressure-treated lumber, be sure you are ready for the maintenance needed; the deck will need consistent recoating with sealant or waterproof paint and regular fixes to chipped or broken areas.

Redwood and cedar

Redwood and cedar contain oils that make them naturally resistant to rot and decay, and to insects. Many homeowners prefer these woods because they're not treated with chemicals and because of their natural rich tones and colours. These species of timber may be more expensive than pressure-treated lumber, but they can also mean fewer repairs over the years, and not needing to repaint them, as they offer a natural colour that doesn't need covering.

Tropical hardwoods

Teak, bamboo, ipe and tigerwood are tropical hardwoods commonly used for decking. These may be a bit more expensive than other species of timber, but they're very dense and durable, so they're resistant to dent, chips and other damage. They're also naturally resistant to moisture and insects, so they're not typically covered in chemicals before being sold.

Their density makes these species of timber difficult to cut and fasten, so you may need to invest in heavy-duty saw blades, and be prepared to drill a pilot hole into any piece you're going to connect, rather than assuming you can simply nail boards to adjoining columns. Also, the density means that these boards don't accept paints and stains very well, so you'll want to choose a species that offers the look you want naturally and which won't need such coatings.

For more information about what kind of timber to use for your decking, contact companies like Barrenjoey Timber.