How Do You Choose Between Available Building Materials for Outdoor DIY Projects?

| 6/29/2009 11:40:59 AM

Tags: DIY, question to readers,

Purchasing the materials for a DIY project can involve making a number of decisions. For instance, if you’re building a backyard deck, you can choose from a range of materials that are inexpensive, but may last for only a couple of years, to expensive composite wood that can last a decade or more.

Decks can be constructed from high-end composite lumber, soft pine, durable cedar or redwood, or inexpensive slab lumber from a local sawmill. And the wood doesn’t have to be new; you might find it at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore or tear down an old building for the lumber. Each type of wood has advantages and disadvantages — price and durability are the key factors to weigh in your decision.

When you’re deciding on the materials for an outdoor wooden project, are you more apt to be swayed by cost or durability? Share your experiences in the comments section, below.


5/22/2018 8:20:12 PM

I use the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own DIY projects – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

9/15/2013 11:08:38 AM

I built my deck from treated wood. The 2x8's came from the local lumberyard, and the decking was also treated, but I used dunnage. I ripped the dunnage to a thickness of a true 1" thickness, so it took longer to work with. I collected dunnage over time, and ripped them before build day. Also, the dunnage comes in various widths, so I laid them on edge on the picnic table, chose boards of the same width to go the full length of the deck. This made it so I didn't have jogs here and there. I found it worked best to have one drill with a combo pilot/countersink bit, and one to drive screws. I built a 10 x 25 foot deck for under $350. My daughter built a 12 x 14 foot deck from cedar, but hers cost $4200.

Deek D_3
3/12/2010 10:25:04 AM

Even more important (as long as fitting and appropriate) is to choose whatever is FREE/recycled, etc! (for those of us low-dough-ers). Here's part-freebies micro-shed/sauna/single sleeper I built with a good deal of found materials.... -Derek Diedricksen

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