Choosing The Right Timber For Your Deck

Outdoor decks are a beautiful addition to any house, and if you have the space, time, and know-how to build one, then there's no reason you shouldn't. But the first question you need to answer after deciding to go through with it is what type of timber to use for your deck. There are several viable timbers that can be put together to build a fine deck, and to the average layman, you might assume the only difference between them is colour. There are actually a few factors you should consider when choosing your timber.

Types: Softwood, Hardwood, Composite

Decking timbers are divided into three types: softwood, hardwood, and composite. Generally, composites are man-made mixtures of plastics and organic materials, softwoods are cut from coniferous trees, and hardwoods are broad-leaved trees (the difference between these two is whether the tree protects its seed with a thicker shell).


These are generally the most popular choice of the three, because they are cheaper and more malleable, making them easier to work with. They're resistant to harsh weather conditions, termites, and rotting, and require minimal maintenance after installation.


These are typically much more durable than the other options, however with a much costlier price. The color of hardwoods is also naturally more vibrant and rich, but installation is more difficult, and it also requires more upkeep and maintenance after installation than softwood timber.


The composite timber is best used when a larger project is required, as composite boards can be mass-produced through manufacturing, making them much cheaper in bulk, and are available in a variety of lengths, widths, colors, and textures. However, due to the synthetic material, they are much more susceptible to weathering damage, such as expanding under the hot sun and absorbing the rain, which makes them the worst material for outdoor decks.

Seasoned vs New

You should also consider whether you want seasoned timber or new timber. While it may be more tempting to opt for new timber, seasoned timber is actually much better, assuming it has been treated properly during the seasoning. This is because new timber still has much of the original moisture content, meaning the wood might still shrink, warp, and twist, thus ruining the timber and the deck. When finding your timber, be sure that it has been seasoned correctly. Hardwoods take more time and effort because of their denser material, one of the reasons for their higher cost.

H Level Treatment

When prepared, specific levels of treatment are introduced to the wood to protect them against certain hazards, or H, and what H level you need is important in picking your wood. The H levels consist of the following:

  • H1 – Indoors and above ground, protected against average insects.
  • H2 – Indoors and above ground, protected against termites.
  • H3 – Outdoors and above ground, protected against decay and termites.
  • H4 – Outdoors and on ground, protected against severe decay and termites.
  • H5 – Outdoors and on ground or freshwater, protected against very severe decay and termites.
  • H6 – Marine water, protected against marine wood borers and sever decay.

The type of timber decking you need is highly dependent on the location of your decking, your budget, and how long you wish your decking to last, so choose wisely.

About Me

Tips For Organising Your Child's Room

Kids aren't known for their love of tidying their toys away, and my kids are no different. I used to struggle to keep their toys and clothes organised without limiting their ability to play and enjoy their bedroom, but not being able to find anything is no fun for them or me. I changed the layout of their room and started building a short organising routine into my weekly schedule. I started this blog to share what's worked for my family, and I post about a range of topics, such as making use of dead space, paring down toys, safe storage solutions and managing the influx of holiday and birthday gifts. I hope you find this blog useful and enjoyable.




Latest Posts

31 October 2016
Many of us start to feel a little down during winter, as the nights get longer and the mornings feel colder and darker. Winter blues can develop into

11 October 2016
If you run a childcare centre, you'll need to do everything in your power to keep the children protected in the event of any emergency, including a fi

21 September 2016
Some people feel at ease when they pack their belongings on their own before a removal. Such people may not be comfortable about letting strangers pac