1. Choose Quality Lumber
When using natural wood decking products, you must carefully choose the lumber for your deck to avoid problems with decay, twisting, warping, cupping, or splitting. For decks made with pressure-treated lumber, it’s important to first choose the appropriate chemical concentration for the application. Boards used for the deck or floor can have lower chemical concentrations because they will only be exposed to intermittent moisture. For posts or other lumber in constant contact with the ground, a medium concentration will be necessary. For wood that is submerged in water, high concentrations are needed. The exact concentrations will depend on the type of wood used and the specific chemical treatment.
Second, you must check each board or post for defects, such as crowning, warping, splitting, scalping, or twisting. As a natural product, each piece of lumber will have some defects, but by inspecting each piece you can obtain the best quality lumber. Lesser-quality lumber can be used in places where it is hidden, such as joists in the center of the deck or where short lumber is used and bad sections can be cut off.