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This hardy exterior building product is an ideal material for places with high moisture or for installations that are in ground contact.
-- It's rot and insect defiant
-- Lumber will not swell, check, split or warp if treated properly
-- Should be treated with a preservative to minimize shrinkage
-- Needs to be washed once a year and finished with a preservative sealer
-- Lasts up to 30 years with proper upkeep
-- Cost: $1.20-$2 per square foot, uninstalled.
Redwood and cedar are known for their durability. These two types of wood naturally resist insects and decay.
-- Redwood is simple to stain and paint
-- Lumber is fire resistant
-- Soft surfaces make both woods prone to marring and denting
-- Wash at least once a year
-- Lasts 20 to 30 years
-- Cost: $2-$3 per square foot, uninstalled
Composite woods have the look and style of real wood, but don't rot, shrink, or splinter like the real thing.
-- Available in a variety of colors and textures
-- Can be cleaned with soap and water
-- Does not need to be stained or painted yearly
-- Dark colors may show weathering
-- Warranties range from 10 years to life
-- Cost: $1.75-$4.75 per square foot, uninstalled