When it comes to outdoor structures including decks, gazebos, pergolas, playscapes, benches, tables, and many others, the most popular building material in use today is wood because of its durability, affordability, and range of available styles. For many of the same reasons, wood railings never fall out of style and are the most recognizable feature of any deck, whether it’s ground level or multi-tiered.
To make your wood railings and other outdoor structures last, you want a company like M.E. Contracting, whose experienced designers and installers have served hundreds of satisfied customers in the Greater Toronto Area for more than a decade.
Besides excellent customer service, attention to detail, and a staff that keeps up with trends in outdoor landscaping and construction, M.E. Contracting excels at educating customers on the benefits of certain designs, structures, and building materials to use for their project. Many of the homeowners we work with often ask about wood railings and how they compare to those made from wrought iron, steel, or other materials, and the answer is always the same – “Very well.”
Here is a quick rundown on the types of wood used for wood railings, and what you need to know about their different features:
- Redwood: High quality redwood has a deep red color and is an ideal choice for wood railings because it’s resistant to rot and insect damage.
- Cedar: Cedar is another good choice for wood railings, but we mostly recommend that customers go with a premium grade variety. Mostly golden brown in color, it’s a much softer wood than other varieties and is most often used for decorative features.
- Cypress: Cypress is the near equal to Redwood thanks to its natural resistance to insect damage and rot caused by long term exposure to the elements. This type of wood, however, is known to twist and warp unless properly treated.
- Pressure-treated: Pressure-treated wood is made mostly of pine and sometimes fir, and is treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), which is an insecticide-preservative. This type of wood may also be treated with water repellent. When it comes to wood railings, make sure your contractor selects what is known as “Grade 1” pressure-treated wood.
- IPE: Tropical wood like Ipe or other species native to South and Central America are extremely hard and durable. Ipe, for instance, is known to last for 40 years or more – without being stained, painted, or otherwise treated with wood preservatives. Keep in mind, however, that many tropic wood species are expensive – Ipe can cost up to $50 a linear foot!
- Composite Wood: plastic-wood composites are another option for wood railings. As the name implies, these are made from a blend of 30 to 50 percent recycled wood fibers and plastic materials and are well known for their durability. A major drawback, however, is that composites will fade over time – mostly to a shade of gray.
M.E. Contracting has been the premier outdoors landscaping contractor in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 10 years, proudly serving hundreds of customers in Ontario and the surrounding communities of Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Vaughan, Maples, Markham and many others. Please contact us today for a free consultation or visit us online.