Building a deck is a big project, and whether you decide to take it on yourself or enlist the help of a professional, knowing what a decking project entails is essential to a successful install.

In part two of our decking series, we’re covering these questions. We’re joined by one of the greater Seattle area’s premier deck builders: former co-founder of West Coast Decks, Joel Skillingstead. Joel has been building decks in the Pacific Northwest since 1990. With more than 30 years of experience building, overseeing, and waterproofing deck projects large and small, Joel is one of the best resources out there. 

How important is using quality lumber for framing a deck? Is it worth the extra cost? What risks arise when using cheaper, lower quality lumber? In this episode, we have an open conversation about why quality lumber matters, especially when building a project like a deck. Watch the video above, or keep reading for a detailed recap. 

What is framing lumber?

Lumber is assigned different grades to help verify its quality, consistency, and denote what it’s designed for. Framing lumber (also known as structural wood) is the grade produced for framing a structure like a house or a deck. It’s known for being very strong and straight to help form a structure’s good “bones.” 

Framing lumber for decks is usually made from pressure-treated wood that is resistant to water, insects, and rot, which extends the lifespan of the structure. Due to the Pacific Northwest’s climate, treated lumber is an important material in many of our structures. Learn more about the different types of pressure-treated wood grades here

Is paying more for quality lumber worth it?

The short answer is: Yes.

Different grades of lumber also come at different price points, and as with most things, you get what you pay for. While quality lumber is more expensive than lower-quality options, it’s more reliable, better made, and will have fewer inconsistencies or natural defects. 

Though you may pay more money upfront, you’ll save time and resources in the long run, as you won’t spend nearly as much time returning or replacing poor quality material. This is particularly important in deck building, when you want the tops of your joists as flush as possible to minimize the amount of prep work before starting the installation of your deck surface. Starting with high-quality, straight boards will make your job easier and your finished product better. 

Why you can count on Dunn Lumber

At Dunn Lumber, our goal isn’t to be a low-cost supplier. Instead, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with lifelong value, not short-term gain. We’ve spent decades sourcing and refining which quality lumber we carry, only stocking the highest quality materials, so your projects can withstand the test of time. Learn more about our business ethos—and promise to you—here.

Don’t miss the rest of our Decking Series posts and videos—covering everything from how to maintain manufactured decking to whether or not you need permits for your project