What about Green and Cost Effective Decks?

Here’s my thoughts Answering : What about Green and Cost Effective Decks?  Asked by: BentonPark West

 When I build anything my goals are that the Project will be:

  • Low Maintenance
  • User Friendly
  • Meet any Must Have conditions for the Client
  • Green, Eco Friendly, and Sustainable

As far as Lumber and materials used in Deck Building here are my thoughts in re:

  • Plastic Lumber: All though it will not: Rot, Decay, and is Impervious to Insects.  The costs for building a Deck from this materials is very very expensive.
  • Redwood: I would never build anything out of this kind of wood.  It takes too long for these trees to develop and what is still growing has its own ecosystem of hundreds of various species all living in and around the tree.
  • Cedar Lumber-Would be my top choice of Lumber Used-When Building a New Deck

    • Cedar trees grow locally and could be sourced from local sawmills.  Keeping $Money$ in our Local Communities! Some of the benefits of this type of wood is the natural pest fighting aspects of the Cedar Oil:
    • It is used as an insect repellent. (which is why Cedar Chests are still being made and still used when building closets)
    • a)   It is resistant to decay and hence is suitable to build outdoor furniture.
      b)   In ancient times, it was used to preserve dead bodies.
      c)   It is used as incense in temples.
      d)   It is used as aromatic oil, because its woody odor works as a sedative and effectively treats stress and anxiety in people.
      e)   Due to its aroma, it is used as an ingredient in perfumes.
      f)   It is used for preservation of spices.
      g)   It is used as an antibacterial.
      h)   Its health benefits include effectively treating respiratory infections.
      i)    It is beneficial to hair, as it helps eliminate dandruff and protects the hair against hair fall and graying.
      j)    It also effectively treats skin infections such as acne.
      k)   It is also used in treating arthritis, especially rheumatoid.
      l)    It is also used for its antiseptic property.

    • Uses Of Cedar Wood

      The cedar wood is lightweight and used for construction of homes and furniture. It is eco-friendly. The wood from various kinds of cedar trees is used for different purposes.

      a)   It is resistant to decay and hence is suitable to build outdoor furniture.
      b)   It produces aesthetically beautiful furniture.
      c)   It is easy to work with as it is lightweight and doesn’t crack or split easily.
      d)   It is highly durable.
      e)   It can absorb sound effectively, so are used in building roof shingles.
      f)   It is a good insulator; hence, when a home is built using cedar wood, it helps keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer.
      g)   Though its color fades after a while, it can easily be restored.
      h)   It doesn’t spread fire easily hence it is suited for building purposes.
      i)    It is a natural anti-termite, which is it prevents furniture from rotting.
      j)    Due to its lightweight and strength, western red cedar is used to make guitars.

                  • Source: http://cedartrees.net/uses-of-cedar

Lumber is not the only product used in building a deck.  There is also Concrete used when support poles are set in or on the ground.  See Example: Porch Footing and Foundation CADD Drawings by Scotts Contracting …stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com

Metal Bracing and Fasteners– (as required by:St Louis Building Codes) is used in places where the different building components are connected.   One of the benefits of this type of metal is that the metal is recyclable when the project has reached its lifetime usefulness.

  • My Top Choice for Metal Bracing is Simpson Strong Tie.  This type of bracing is Specifically mentioned on St Louis Building Codes.  YouTube Video: Saving a Deck from the Landfill at this link.
    • Simpson Strong Tie Stair Bracing
      Simpson Strong Tie Stair Bracing- Required by St Louis Building Codes
    • Post to Beam Simpson Strong Tie Connection
      Simpson Strong Tie- Post Beam Connection also required by St Louis Building Codes
    • CAD Deck Design by Scotts Contracting
      CAD Deck Design by Scotts Contracting-annotating crucial areas for bring the deck to current building codes
    • Proper CAD Footing Detail for Deck Building-with Post Beam Connection
      Proper CAD Footing Detail for Deck Building-with Post Beam Connection
Care and Maintenance of Decks:
  • Paints, Stains, and Varnishes are normally used in Deck Building.  Each has its own benefits. I suggest High Quality Paints for Low Care Situations such as Behr Paints which were used in this project: Saving a Deck from the Landfill.  

The property in the photos is an investment property Clifton Heights Neighborhood.  This building had some great features with: 2 Sun Porches-one for each apartment, Hardwood Floors throughout the 2-3 Bedroom Apartments, Garages for Each Apartment, Basement and Fenced in Yard with Plenty of Space.  For rental Information contact: Tempel Appraisals, Inc


Scotts Contracting is available for all your Buildings needs and offers- Cost Effective: Maintenance, Repairs, and Building Improvement Projects.  For a full list of services offered in the St Louis MO area see the website at: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com/services

or use the following contact form to schedule your next building project


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