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How to Buy Deck Lumber

Choosing the right kind of lumber is crucial for any new deck project. Choosing the wrong kind of lumber will only leave you with a headache for years to come. The right kind of decking material will help your deck look better, last longer, and make your project that much easier.

Below we offer our best tips on choosing the best wood decking material for your new project.


  1. Consider Pressure Treated Lumber

When you’re buying structural pieces for your deck it’s a good idea to look for pressure-treated lumber. This kind of lumber can support more weight and hold for longer distances that other kinds of woods. Plus, it’s generally less expensive.

This style of lumber is also better suited to help avoid mold and insect attacks. Pressure treated lumber is rated based upon the pounds of preservative retained per cubic foot. The higher the number on your lumber the more resistant it is.


  1. Buy Dry Wood

If you are buying treated lumber, then make sure you buy wood that’s had adequate time to dry before you buy it. Wet wood can be much heavier and harder to work with, as they’ll still be saturated with water.

Plus, there’s a chance these boards can shrink once they dry out, which could lead to a misshapen deck, and even effect how structurally sound your deck is. To figure out if a board is wet or not, compare the weight to an untreated board that’s relatively the same size.


  1. Your Wood Doesn’t Have to Be “Perfect”

Your lumber selection doesn’t have to be entirely perfect to build a beautiful deck. If you spend all your time choosing each piece of lumber to perfection, then you won’t have any time to actually build the deck!

This doesn’t mean you should rush your deck lumber selection, but it’s okay if every board you choose isn’t perfect. For example, if a deck board bows slightly you can straighten it out when you nail it into the joists. Or, if there’s a section of the board that you don’t like you can cut it off and use it for a smaller portion of your deck.


  1. Always Buy Large Wood Posts

If you’re building a supported deck it’s always a good idea to buy large posts. If you buy posts that are too small your deck will spear rickety, like it’s standing on stilts. Instead of buying smaller 4×4 posts you should aim for 6×6 posts at least.

These posts are much more solid, can hold more weight, and will improve the appearance of your weight. Another thing to keep in mind when buying posts is to avoid posts that have a twist or bow to them, this will only get worse as your deck ages.


When buying wood decking material, consider Jordan Lumber.High quality lumber that has virtually no wane, Jordan Lumber is grooved to reduce cupping and warping. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty that protects against rot, decay and wood ingesting insects, a deck built with a Jordan Lumber is a deck built to last.