Softwood decking has a lot going for it – it’s cheaper, easier to work with and when it’s treated well it can last for many years. So why would anyone choose anything else? It’s simple really – each type of decking material comes with its own set of pros and cons, and therefore different materials are better suited to different garden decks.
Before you take the leap and buy softwood decking though, here’s a few things you should consider.
Softwood decking doesn’t usually last as long as hardwood or composite materials.
Softwood decking is made from trees that grow very quickly, which produces a wood that is ‘softer’ because its structure is less dense than a hardwood. The most common softwoods come from evergreen conifers like pine or spruce.
Because the wood is less dense to begin with, it can degrade faster than a hardwood so some people choose hardwood over softwood for decking simply as it will be exposed to the elements and may not last as long. However, if you choose a pressure treated wood and maintain your deck well with appropriate decking oils and protective treatments, a softwood deck can last an incredibly long time too – up to 40 years in some cases.
Maintenance is important for softwood decking
If you want your softwood deck to last, you need to maintain it properly. Softwood should be thoroughly cleaned twice a year to ensure it lasts, applying proper cleaning solutions, wood preservative and decking oils as needed (usually annually, but dependant on weather and traffic conditions for your deck). If you’d like extra protection for your deck, you can easily build roofing over your deck using polycarbonate sheets to prevent water damage.
It’s cheaper than other materials
Softwood tends to be much cheaper than hardwood, simply because it grows much faster and so is much cheaper to produce. That being said, if you would prefer a lower maintenance option, hardwood can be a cheaper option over time. Hardwood decking has known to last over 40 years, although pressure treated softwood can last just as long if it’s treated well. Left untreated, softwood decking can last between 10 to 15 years, so over time hardwood can be a more economical material.
It’s much easier to build with
A huge advantage of softwood vs. hardwood is that it’s a lot easier to build with. Hardwood isn’t impossible to work with – just harder than softwood, so some less confident DIYers prefer to work with softwood. If you want to use hardwood but are a bit nervous – you can always call us for expert advice on how to install it on 0844 474 4444.
Check the colour before you buy (but don’t panic if you can’t find it)
Softwood tends to come in a light yellow colour and fades to grey after weathering if it’s left untreated. If you prefer a darker wood colour though, don’t be completely put off softwood – you can use a wood stain or paint during treatment to get the colour you want without having to compromise on price.
They can be a bit more environmentally friendly
Hardwood trees take many years to grow, and as softwood are quickly replaceable, some people view it as more environmentally friendly to choose softwoods for building these days. However, if you’d like a hardwood deck but don’t want to harm the environment, don’t panic – simply check that your supplier is offering wood that has been FSC certified (Forestry Stewardship Council) to ensure it has come from a sustainable source. Luckily, all of the woods offered at eDecks are FSC certified – so you can rest assured you’ve made an eco-friendly purchase.
Before you buy your softwood decking from just anywhere online, you might be interested to know that here at eDecks you can expect:
Super fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*
48 Hour delivery on many products
ONLY FSC certified sustainable wood products
Handy FREE installation guides (and even instructional videos!)
Incredible prices on all of our decking materials
*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge unfortunately – please check the eDecks website for more details.