Home and Family

A Perfect Deck Starts With Redwood

There are many good reasons that redwood decks are popular among today’s homeowners. Not only do they provide an area for enjoying the outdoors, they also add to the value of a property. In fact, research shows that owners can recoup 100 percent or more of the original investment in an outdoor deck when they sell their home.

Your redwood deck can be as simple or complex as you care to make it. Building it can be a satisfying project if you are a do-it-yourselfer. It’s also a perfect project for learning basic construction skills.

Why choose redwood? Redwood is naturally stable, which means that redwood decks maintain their appearance longer. Redwood deck boards nail down flat and stay in place, resisting warping, cupping, splitting and checking. And there’s a grade of redwood lumber for any deck — whether it is a luxury or economical deck.

Taking care in planning, choosing materials, double-checking measurements and adding personal finishing touches goes a long way in making your deck look professional. Some finishing touches, like stairs and railings, may be necessary, while others, like benches, planters, privacy screens and shade shelters, are simply a matter of taste and style.

Before you build your deck, survey your yard and decide what problems it can solve. Do you want to level a sloping yard? Create a central activity area? Upgrade a side yard? Minimize landscape maintenance?

In selecting a site, it is important to think about privacy, safety, access to the house and yard, and protection from wind, noise and weather. Also, consider factors that will affect landscaping.

Don’t forget to locate underground utility lines. In some cases, it may be wise to reposition the deck slightly to avoid interfering with utilities. In all cases, it is important to be aware of their placement.

When your redwood deck is finished, you can either leave it as is — redwood is one of the few woods that you can let weather naturally — or apply a water-repellent finish.