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DIYers Use Steel to Build Decks as Lumber Prices Soar

Homeowners find that steel provides a safe and cost-effective solution to create outdoor living spaces.

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Photo Credits: Fortress Building Products

Most people are spending more time at home these days. As a result, there has been a surge in do-it-yourself home improvement projects.

A recent Porch.com survey found:

  • 76% of homeowners have completed at least one home improvement project since the coronavirus shutdown occurred in the U.S.
  • 78% plan to complete a project over the next year.
  • 61% of homeowners worked on their garden or patio, or they renovated the structure of their house.

DIY Projects Lead to Wood Price Shock

Houzz reports that 1 in 8 homeowners funneled their energy into a complete deck overhaul during the past year.

According to The Garden Island, a deck addition maximizes usable square footage by extending the living area beyond the indoors. When it comes time to sell a home, deck renovations can recoup up to 90% of their cost, according to HGTV’s Top 15 Home Updates.

steel deck

This deck from Fortress Building Products is built from cold-formed steel – it is noncombustible, and resistant to rotting, warping, splitting and pesky insect damage.

But, most homeowners were in for a shock when they went to their local lumber supply store and either could not find pressure treated lumber — or were forced to pay exorbitant prices.

Jason Larabee, the owner of a building supply shop in Vermont, typically pays 80 cents per board foot for treated wood. In late summer, that cost more than doubled to $1.80, according to VTDigger. The wholesale cost hikes have forced Larabee to raise his prices.

Steel Saves the Day

At one time, lumber was the only framing product available to build decks. However, since lumber typically starts deteriorating after 10 years in service, VTDigger says builders and homeowners are turning to steel as an alternative.

Cold-formed steel (CFS) framing is now being used to create durable and sustainable outdoor living spaces. Homeowners appreciate steel’s lower cost, availability and long-term durability. It’s a win-win situation for today’s DIYers.

 

Advantages of Framing a Deck with Steel

 

Steel will outlast the deck boards – Most decks today are built with composite and PVC deck boards. Their UV and moisture-resistant properties offer protection from the weather. But, why install 25-year deck boards on a lumber frame that is subject to deterioration?

CFS framing offers commercial-grade strength and can last as long as PVC and composite deck boards — or longer. Steel does not decompose like lumber. Because steel does not warp, the sturdy frame profiles remain straight and true over time.

Structurally, steel is safer than wood – Lives are on the line if your deck structure fails. Fortunately, building with CFS framing allows you to avoid deterioration that can threaten the integrity of your deck, including rot and decay from water, fungi and pests.

Steel supports design freedom – CFS framing makes it easy to construct a dream deck to your desired aesthetic. CFS framing works with any type of decking.

Source: VTDigger

 

Handyman: How to Build a Steel Deck

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