If you’re looking to build a deck in your \backyard, it’s important to choose the best building materials. From wood to concrete, there are many great options.

A common choice of pro deck builders is pressure-treated lumber, which is injected with chemicals to make it resistant to rot and insects. It’s also low-cost and fairly easy to find.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

If you want to build an outdoor backyard deck that will last for years, you need to choose the best building materials. In particular, you should consider pressure-treated lumber, which is a popular option because it is incredibly durable and affordable.

This type of wood is often made from southern pine and is infused with a chemical treatment that protects it against insects, rot, and moisture damage. It is available in a wide range of grades and can be used for framing and deck boards and rails.

It is also a popular choice for deck stairs since it is treated to resist moisture and dirt build up in the boards and around the steps. It can be stained or sealed to make it look a little more attractive, and it is able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Generally, the best quality pressure-treated lumber is the premium grade, which is usually free of knots and other visible defects that can affect the strength and appearance of the board. This is the most common choice for decking and fencing material, but it is available in all of the grades that are typically used for other construction projects as well.

In addition to being a cheaper alternative than natural rot-resistant lumber, pressure-treated wood is much easier to work with. It doesn’t require special tools to cut, fasten, or assemble. It is essentially the same as regular lumber, and you should be able to find it at any home improvement store.

However, it is important to understand that there are a few differences between the different types of lumber. First, you need to know the difference between heartwood and sapwood. Heartwood is denser and may not accept the preservative treatment as readily as sapwood, so it is less likely to resist rot.

Natural Woods

Another common option is natural woods, such as cedar and redwood, both of which are naturally insect- and rot-resistant and have beautiful graining and rich colors. They also take paint well, but they can be expensive, so you may wish to consider a composite or recycled-plastic decking option instead.

Pine and standard “white wood” lumber are also good choices for a deck. Both can be painted to increase their longevity, but you may need to flatten the rough and splintered lumber prior to painting to ensure an even finish.

Some of the more exotic types of decking include mahogany, teak and ipe, which are all tropical hardwoods that have excellent resistance to moisture, insect damage, warping and decay. All of these types of woods are more expensive than other options, but they’re worth the extra expense if you want a durable, low-maintenance deck that will last for years to come.

Ipe is particularly attractive because of its dense, tight grain, which makes it difficult to splinter. It also has a high Janka score, which means it’s extremely hard and will fare well against scratches from pets and children. If you’re interested in purchasing ipe, make sure it carries the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stamp to ensure that it was harvested responsibly.


Composites are materials that are made from two or more different materials that are combined together in a special way. This synergy can result in a new material with properties that are much different from those of any single component.

Typically, composites are composed of fibers that are reinforced with a polymer matrix. These polymers can be either thermoset or thermoplastic, though both are used in the production of composites.

There are many types of composites, each with its own set of properties. The most common type of composite is fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP), also called glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP). These composites are used for a wide range of applications, including airplane wings, doors, and cowls.

Another type of composite is carbon-reinforced composites, which use pure carbon to reinforce the plastic matrix. These types of composites are much more durable than traditional composites.

The carbon atoms in these materials are organized in different crystal configurations, which makes them extremely strong. They can be made from different kinds of carbon, like graphite or carbon nanotubes.

These materials can be used in a variety of ways, including as fillers or additives in other polymers to produce stronger and stiffer structures. This can help reduce fabrication costs and improve the strength of composites, especially for applications that require increased stiffness or strength over a long length.

Some composites can even be tailored to change their properties by changing the amount of the reinforcing fibers or the orientation of these fibers. This is referred to as a “layup.”

One important aspect of designing with composites is that the physical properties of the materials are strongly anisotropic, meaning they vary depending on the direction of the load. This is exploited in the design of composite structures, where the stiffness and strength of a lamina, layer or ply is determined by the arrangement of the reinforcing fibres in that ply.

Poured Concrete

Poured concrete might be the answer if you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance deck. It’s less likely to break down over time than other types of decking, and it is also very resistant to rot and insect damage.

Poured concrete is a type of foundation construction that uses wooden wall forms to form the foundation footings and walls, surrounded by steel reinforcement rods (rebar). Then, a mix of concrete is poured into the wood forms.

The rebar strengthens the foundation walls, making them less prone to bowing from ground water or shifting in the soil. This type of foundation is a common choice for new homes, as it is more resistant to water damage and has better lateral strength.

Another advantage of poured concrete is that it has high compressive and flexural strength. This strength helps the walls resist water pressure and minimize basement flooding.

Unlike block walls, poured concrete has no weak points and joints. This reduces the likelihood of leaks, which can damage flooring and insulation.

Final thoughts

Choosing the best material for your deck comes down to a few factors. This includes your climate, surrounding landscape, home style and decor, and budget.

We shared some of the top selections when it comes to decking, but options exist. It’s not a bad idea to get guidance from a local deck builder.

Best of luck with your new deck!