Building a Durable and Long-Lasting Deck: Materials and Construction Techniques

A deck is a valuable addition to any home. It provides a great place to relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors. However, building a deck that will last for many years requires careful planning and attention to detail. In this article, we will discuss the materials and construction techniques that can help you build a durable and long-lasting deck.


Materials for a Durable Deck

The first step in building a durable deck is selecting the right materials. There are several options available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most popular materials for building a durable deck:

  1. Pressure-Treated Lumber: Pressure-treated lumber is the most common material used for building decks. It is treated with chemicals to make it resistant to rot, insects, and decay. Pressure-treated lumber is affordable and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for DIYers. However, it can warp, twist, and crack over time. In recent years the price of lumber in Canada has increased, so be sure to check prices closely before deciding on material.
  2. Composite Decking: Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibres and recycled plastic. It’s a durable and low-maintenance option that’s resistant to rot, insects, and decay. Although it’s more expensive than pressure-treated lumber, it can last for many years with minimal maintenance.
  3. PVC Decking: PVC decking is another durable option that’s low-maintenance and resistant to rot, insects, and decay. It’s made from 100% synthetic materials, making it an eco-friendly choice. While PVC decking is more expensive than pressure-treated lumber, it’s an excellent option for homeowners who want a deck that requires very little maintenance.


Construction Techniques for a Durable Deck

In addition to selecting the right materials, using the right construction techniques is essential for building a durable deck. Here are some tips to help you build a deck that will last for many years:

  1. Use Proper Footings: The footings are the foundation of your deck, and they must be strong enough to support the weight of the deck and its occupants. Use concrete footings that are deep enough to extend below the frost line in your area.
  2. Use Galvanized Hardware: Use galvanized hardware to attach the deck to the house and to secure the joists and beams. Galvanized hardware is resistant to rust and corrosion, which can weaken the deck over time.
  3. Install Proper Flashing: Proper flashing is essential to prevent water damage and rot. Install flashing where the deck meets the house and around any posts that penetrate the deck surface.
  4. Provide Adequate Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is essential to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to rot and decay. Leave a gap between deck boards to allow for ventilation, and ensure that the deck is properly sloped to allow for water runoff.
  5. Apply a Protective Finish:  Applying a protective finish to your deck can help to extend its life. Choose a finish that is designed for the type of material you are using, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.


Building a durable and long-lasting deck requires careful planning, attention to detail, and the use of high-quality materials and construction techniques. By selecting the right materials and using proper construction techniques, you can build a deck that will provide years of enjoyment and add value to your home. If you want a high-quality deck that is built to last, it’s best to work with a professional deck builder. At Bright Habitats, we build custom decks for clients in and around Edmonton, Alberta. Contact us for a quote on new deck construction near you.