Clippings by SouthernCanuck

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Decking material: is Garapa ok for my space?

posted by: rgb42 on 05.31.2013 at 12:53 pm in Porches & Decks Forum

I'm building a deck that will be approximately 16'x14' and 16" high (from top of deck to the ground) in an area that does not get much exposure to sunlight due to shade from trees and the house, so moisture may be an issue. The ground in this space is currently more moss than grass.
To help prevent cupping/warping, I will likley be using 5/4x4" boards that will be fastened through the face with stainless steel screws, or fastened at an angle with a deck jig. I'm planning on leaving 1/4" between boards for drainage/expansion.

I would like to go with Garapa for the color, price, and workability. It would help brighten the exterior space quite a bit, though I'm not sure how it would hold up in the space planned for the deck. I live in Philadelphia, PA. True, the deck space will not get that much sunlight, so there is potential for mold/moss, cupping/warping, but the space does get decent drainage. I've seen hardwoods such as ipe used for docks and they seem to do just fine so I'm wondering if I should expect issues with Garapa where I live and with the deck being so close to the ground.

On a related point, my original plan was to leave the deck open on three sides for air circulation, but I have seen many pictures of beautiful decks close to the ground that are completely closed in. Is there a way to build for drainage, etc that allows this which would eliminate cupping/warping. Or perhaps the decks I've seen like this were in arid climates. I would much rather close off access underneath the deck if possible.

My second choice would be Cumaru, mostly for the price. Ipe would be third.

Any assistance on this would be highly appreciated.


clipped on: 06.08.2013 at 12:10 am    last updated on: 06.08.2013 at 12:11 am