Timber decks are a great investment for your home … but only if you use the right timber. Discover why

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When it comes to timber decking, many timbers are unsuitable for the Adelaide climate. If you want a deck that stands the test of time and will continue to look good with regular maintenance, you need to read on.

It’s all about moisture content

If you love gardening, you’ll know some plants need more water than others. Obviously it’s the same with trees. For example, trees growing in tropical rainforests require more moisture to thrive than trees found in arid regions. When trees become timber, that need for moisture remains. So when you use imported timber from places like Asia, it won’t survive for long in a more arid area like Adelaide.

But there’s more, the severe cold and scorching heat of Adelaide’s weather will also affect imported timbers more than Aussie grown timbers. That’s because most places in Asia have consistent weather patterns. Whereas Adelaide’s average temperatures vary widely between winter and summer. For your decking, it means imported timbers will be more prone to warping, bowing and twisting than locally produced timbers.

There’s a reason some timber is cheaper than others

There are a few timbers that are extremely popular for decking because they are cheaper and the timber is in plentiful supply. But they aren’t sustainably sourced and that means once the forest is chopped down, it won’t be replaced. In fact, many commonly used timbers available in Australia are illegally sourced and that’s bad news for the environment and the communities that rely on these forests.

That’s why they are cheaper than other timbers.

Always look for PEFC Certification on any timber you purchase – even furniture. PEFC stands for Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. It’s an international, not-for-profit organisation which promotes sustainable forest management.

Reputable forest owners sign up to be part of the certification process. That’s a huge step because the forest owners are committing to grow trees used for timber production in a sustainable way. As a result, they may grow an area of forest for 20-25 years. Then, when the trees are mature, they cut them down and replant new ones.

This long cycle of growth, harvest and replanting is expensive. But it means the world will continue to have good quality timber for decades to come.

Another reason why some timbers are more expensive than others is the seasoning process. Cheaper timbers aren’t usually seasoned (or dried) which removes some of the moisture content from the timber. Seasoned timber lasts longer and requires less maintenance to retain its good looks. But again, the seasoning process is time consuming and adds additional costs to produce the timber. That’s why cheaper timbers are cheaper.

What we do

At Mid Coast Pergolas & Decks, we only use high quality, sustainably sourced Australian timbers that are suitable for our South Australian climate. For a more rustic look, we can source properly finished recycled hardwood decking. We also recommend composite decking. It’s a man-made cladding that’s usually manufactured from recycled plastics and timber bi-products. Learn more about the advantages of composite decking here.

When we come to your home to discuss your pergola or decking requirements, we’ll look at your neighbourhood and chat to you about how you wish to use your deck. We do this because some timbers are more resilient to factors such as exposure to the elements, sea spray or foot traffic and we’ll ensure we recommend the right timber for your home.

A brilliantly designed pergola or deck can transform your home by expanding your entertaining and living areas as well as increase the value of your home.

The team at Mid Coast Pergolas & Decks will look after you from initial design and council approvals right through to completion. To see some examples of our work, visit our Projects page. To obtain a quote, click here or call 08 8556 3906.

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