Cedar Decking Cost and Installation with Pros and Cons

To consider a new deck on the building property, composite decking can be one of the options to choose from the popular list. This lead most of the homeowners to search for information about cedar decking cost and installation for their next project.

In fact, cedar wood has been the top alternative that most homeowners take into consideration, leading everyone to check the decking cost and installation.

In this article, we would like to focus on discussing the decking cost and installation. In detail, the content includes the pros and cons of cedar decking, cedar decking vs pressure treated wood, factors of cedar decking costs, cedar decking installation cost and some frequently asked questions about cedar deck.

Let’s check out each of the details in the following review sections below:

The Pros and Cons of Cedar Decking

There are a handful of woods that are designed with natural insect resistance. Cedar is one of the choices.

Cedar decking will have no problem with termites and rot, making the deck be the excellent option of all around places to withstand Mother Nature.

Naturally, cedar woods also bring natural distinctive look to your home sweet home. No treatment and only little maintenance needed over the years.

Cedar offers fragrance and eco-friendly feature. For example, Western Red Cedar is grown locally and there is no treated lumber added in the manufacturing process.

Unfortunately, while there are some great benefits, there are also some drawbacks to use cedar decking. In this case, the cost is considered as the biggest drawback according to most of the consumers. Compared to a pressure treated deck, cedar wood decking costs twice.

Apart from sealing, cedar deck is featuring low maintenance. Based on the Janka scale, Western Red Cedar is rated 320 on the Janka scale. It is just below the Red Oak which has 1290 Janka scale or even Southern Yellow Pine that ranks 870.

Though cedar decking is not recommended for residential use, it is an excellent option for deck because of its weather resistance.

The Pros of Cedar Decking

Before we arrive at the cedar decking cost, let’s check with the pros that will lead you to whether or not you will finally purchase the deck.

This way, there are 5 pros of cedar decking as follows:

  • Cedar decking is resistant to rot, decay and moisture.
  • Cedar decking is environmentally friendly as a building material.
  • Cedar decking is less prone to warping because of their hygroscopic nature.
  • Cedar decking is easier to maintain than the other type of wood decking.
  • Cedar decking offers unique color and style.

The Cons of Cedar Decking

There are only two drawbacks of cedar decking.

Firstly, it is more expensive than the other similar alternatives.

Secondly, it is more susceptible to damage due to the fact that it is a softer wood.

Cedar Decking Vs. Pressure Treated Wood

Now that you clearly understand the pros and cons of cedar decking, it would be better now to make a comparison of cedar decking with the pressure treated wood.

In this comparison, the pressure treated wood is best described to be the most effective form of natural decking which is able to withstand the elements. And of course, it is costly.

Pressure treated wood is a type of building material designed with preservatives. The process of treating the wood is done by pressurizing the chemicals deeply into the wood core. This makes the wood highly resistant to rain, rot and decay.

Further, the pressure gives also the wood a great protection against the weather. However, it doesn’t provide the similar style of a natural cedar plank.

You may find the pressure treated lumber cheaper but the best options is always the deck. Pine is also commonly and widely used though it is considerably harder than cedar.

When it is about longevity, cedar shows to stand longer though it is just common to see a pressure treated lumber with 20 years lifespan.

Believe it or not, cedar decking can even last for over 40 years as long as you seal the deck as necessary and maintain the deck properly.

In short, if it is needed compare cedar decking to the pressure treated wood, cedar offers the longer lifespan.

Now you may start considering picking up cedar for your next project, won’t you?

The Factors of Cedar Decking Cost

Now it is the time to the main point of the article. As we have mentioned, cedar decking comes with the expensive price. However, there are some factors that influence the high cost.

In general, the most significant factor of cedar decking cost is the deck boards’ price. There a number of elements that affect the low or high cost of this natural building material.

Those elements include the cedar decking dimension, the location where you reside and the environment issues such as the weather.

The average cedar decking cost starts at $4 to $9 per linear foot for a clear deck board. However, this cots depends on where you reside. Western Red is the most expensive while Eastern Read comes not far behind. Northern White Cedar has actually the cheapest price but you cannot expect it to be as durable as the red cedar decking.

Other factor to take into concern is the availability. It seems that you cannot find cedar decking in your local Home Depot or Lowes.

This means you are required to find a deck store or special retailer in your location. Further, delivery charges and other fees also play important roles in affecting the cost of cedar decking.

It doesn’t stop there. The cost of cedar decking materials do not include the installation cost. This means, you have several kinds of cost that must be taken into account. Those are the cost of the materials, shipping or delivery and the installation service.

The Installation Cost of cedar Decking

In addition to cedar decking cost, here we include the information about the installation cost that you may really want to know.

This section will lead you to think about preparing your budget and planning the installation.

If you tend to hire a professional installer, then the installation cost is the main point. However, if you want to install the deck yourself which means you prefer the DIY installation, the prior thing to consider is to pick up a few bundles of boards.

DIY Deck Building

DIY deck building means that cedar decking provides you with the DIY installation options. Thanks to the cedar wood that is easier to work with than the other types of deck such as PVC decking and composite materials.

Later, prepare lumber for the frame and railing. These are the acquired materials to build your deck by yourself. For many homeowners, there are a number of ways to handle the handrails and the spindles. Of course, they are costly.

Further, there are also some other things to consider in DIY deck building including whether your deck have stairs or not and whether you want to keep animals and children from the raised cedar deck.

Deck Building Tools

To complete your project, handy tools must be ready with you. In this case, most of homeowners are not comfortable in using power tools. They don’t even want to spend money on additional supplies.

Some tools you can purchase or rent to help you complete the project are a circular saw, miter saw, jig saw or oscillating multi-tool. A miter saw is good to help you cut lots of angles while the jigsaw will be handy to reach the difficult areas.

Circular saw, miter saw and jigsaw are the tools that are mainly functioning to cut cedar deck boards.

If you plan to use nails, don’t forget to prepare hammer as the most effective option yet it cannot work with the large deck. For the large decks, you can use a compressor or air cartridge.

You can also use cordless which is more affordable and easier to handle though it is little bit slower.

Other essential tools to prepare are a tape measure, speed square, framing square and the chalk line.

All of these tools are relatively cheap but you need to properly prepare them if you want to install cedar deck. There are also two optional and useful tools; router and orbital sander.

Professional Cedar Deck Installation

Remember, hiring a professional can also affect the cedar decking cost. However, most of the homeowners prefer hiring a professional to take DIY installation because they don’t want to buy the tools and break a sweat.

Depending on where you are going to place the boards, cedar deck installation cost can be very expensive dealing with the labor, clean up and site preparation.

One more cost to consider is the building permits cost in your area along with the taxes if any heavy landscaping involved. Considering that installing cedar decks take a long time, so they’ll cost more.

Further, finishing and sealing the cedar deck are also necessary and costly. Therefore, hiring a pro is thought to be a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cedar Deck

How Sun will cause cedar decking to fade?

Overtime, the sunlight and elements exposure will cause cedar deck turn to grey. You can prevent it through the seasonal maintenance and finishing treatment with UV protection for deck.

Can cedar last for 30 to 40 years?

Based on the review, it is stated that cedar deck with proper installation and maintenance will be able to last for over 40 years.

Can I paint a cedar deck?

Yes, you can. There are special paint formulated for outdoor cedar deck but most homeowners like to enjoy the natural look of cedar deck with finishing and staining.

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