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Like all material choices, selecting lumber means striking a balance between beauty and budget. This job is made somewhat easier by the fact that aesthetic concerns can take a back seat when choosing structural lumber for posts, beams, and joists.
BUYER’S GUIDE: SAPWOOD AND HEARTWOOD
Redwood and cedar look better than PT lumber, but only the heartwood naturally resists rot. The light-colored sapwood may rot in a few years unless treated regularly with preservative.
CLOSER LOOK: NOMINAL LUMBER SIZES
Lumber is identified by its nominal size, which is its rough dimension before it is trimmed to finished size at the lumber mill. Actual sizes are approximate lumber dimensions after trimming.
The information on this page is taken directly from our printed book, Decks 1-2-3, which shows you how to design, construct and maintain your own outdoor deck. Like all our 1-2-3 series books, this handy volume contains all the knowledge you need to do the job quickly...and get it right the first time. Detailed photos and diagrams, helpful tips from the pros, and step-by-step instructions let you learn and work at your own pace—and help you avoid common mistakes in do-it-yourself projects. Pick up your own copy at your local Home Depot store or order it online.
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