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How to Choose the Right Deck Material for Tacoma Climate

How to Choose the Right Deck Material for Tacoma Climate


Tacoma is an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors. The stunning views of the Puget Sound and the mild climate will convince anybody to build a deck and to improve their outdoor space so they can enjoy every moment outside. Building a deck in Tacoma can be different than building a deck in San Antonio, TX, for example. In Texas the weather is warmer, they have more problems with bugs in summertime and they care more about outdoor solar shades and louvered gazebos than the material their deck is built from. The difference starts with the climate. Tacoma’s unique climate, with its cool and wet winters, moderately warm and dry summers require a different consideration when it comes to choosing the right deck material. In this article we put together a breakdown of popular deck materials and how they fare in the Evergreen City of Tacoma.

Western Red Cedar: A Natural Tacoma Classic

  • Pros: A beautiful, naturally rot-resistant wood, cedar offers a warm, rustic aesthetic that blends seamlessly with Tacoma’s natural surroundings. It’s also relatively affordable and easy to maintain with regular cleaning and sealing.
  • Cons: Cedar can develop a silvery-gray patina over time, which some may find undesirable. Regular maintenance is key to prevent warping and cracking.

Pressure-Treated Lumber: A Budget-Friendly Option

  • Pros: Pressure-treated lumber is a cost-effective choice that offers good durability against rot and insect damage. It’s readily available and relatively easy to work with for DIY enthusiasts.
  • Cons: Pressure-treated lumber can leach chemicals, so staining is recommended for aesthetics and environmental concerns. It may also warp or crack over time and requires regular maintenance.

Composite Decking: Low Maintenance, High Style

  • Pros: Composite decking, a blend of wood and recycled plastic, offers the look of wood with lower maintenance needs. It resists rot, warping, and insect damage, and requires minimal cleaning. Additionally, composite decking comes in a variety of colors and styles to match your taste.
  • Cons: While durable, composite decking can be more expensive than wood options. It can also absorb heat on very sunny days and may feel less natural underfoot compared to real wood.

Tropical Hardwoods: The Ultimate in Durability

  • Pros: If you’re looking for an incredibly strong and durable deck material, look no further than tropical hardwoods like Ipe or teak. These woods are naturally resistant to rot, insects, and harsh weather conditions, making them ideal for Tacoma’s climate.
  • Cons: Tropical hardwoods are the most expensive option on this list. They also require minimal maintenance, such as occasional oiling, to maintain their beauty. Additionally, sourcing these woods can raise environmental concerns due to deforestation.

The Final Choice: Consider Your Needs and Preferences

The best deck material for your Tacoma home ultimately depends on your budget, desired aesthetics, and lifestyle. Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Maintenance Level: How much time are you willing to invest in maintaining your deck?
  • Foot Traffic: Will your deck be used frequently, and by how many people?
  • Sun Exposure: Does your deck receive full sun or mostly shade?

Consulting a Local Deck Builder

This is a list of the most climate friendly materials to build a deck in Tacoma. You have a few good options, but for expert advice to your specific needs, consider consulting with local Tacoma deck builders. They will help you choose the right material, navigate building permits, and will build you a beautiful and strong deck that will add value to your home for years to come.

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