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Is Douglas Fir Good for Decks?

Dec 12, 2023

What Timber to Use for Pergola?

When planning the construction of your dream deck, there are many options to choose from. The possibilities are not only for what type of wood but what those materials are able to do. When considering your decking options, there is one material in particular you should keep in mind: Douglas fir.

Douglas Fir Decking

There are many different materials to choose from when creating a new deck. Different materials require additional costs or different workloads involved. Three of the most popular choices include redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated wooden decks. One other type of wood material to consider is Douglas fir.

So why is Douglas Fir good for decking? This type of wood is known for being strong and durable while also being lightweight and easy to work with. Although it is often used for construction and furniture making, it is also a great material choice for building decks. It’s soft and easy to work with, but also strong and visually appealing.

The color of Douglas fir wood is typically white to light brown, with the heartwood having a reddish hue to it. It is coarse grain with an open and porous texture.

Douglas Fir Wood Uses

Douglas fir is a popular choice for construction projects. A lot of people gravitate to this type of wood because it is affordable and easy to work with. Common uses include:

Interior House Work

Renowned for its strength and durability, oak is a hardwood timber choice for pergolas. It boasts natural resistance to decay and adds a timeless, elegant look to outdoor spaces. However, it is important to note that oak tends to be pricier compared to other timber options.

DIY projects

Douglas Fir is inexpensive and is perfect for DIYers with limited budgets due to its relatively low price point and easy workability. It’s an affordable and easy-to-use choice for furniture and other projects.


Exterior Housework

Douglas fir also takes a long time to decay and has a natural ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. This is why this is also a popular lumber choice for outwork projects such as decks, patios, and fences. With proper care, these projects can last decades, even through harsh weather conditions.

What are the advantages of Douglas Fir Timber?

Douglas fir lumber has also received the highest softwood lumber grades for several of its structural properties, according to Northern Log. Highlighted features include its ability to bend and its strong screw and nail-holding capabilities.

Some other positive qualities of using Douglas fir as decking material are:

Visual Appeal

This type of wood is known to have few knots and displays a bright golden color. The grain patterns of the wood are also typically more uniform than other wood choices, such as maple or oak. If you choose vertical grain wood, it will also hold paint better.

Longer Board Pieces

Due to the Douglas fir’s height of about 70 feet and widths between 12 and 20 feet, board lengths are generally more extensive. The Coast Douglas Fir variant can grow up to 300 feet tall.

Durability

Douglas firs have a high strength-to-weight ratio. The material is so durable it can last hundreds of years.

Moisture Resistance

Its water-resistant features also allow it to become efficiently waterproof when adequately sealed. If the material does begin to bend when wet, it also often bounces back to its original shape once it is dry again.

Easy Maintenance

Since Douglas fir is categorized as a softwood, it is also easy to maintain and refinish. A common issue with some woods is water stains. If you get water stains on Douglas fir wood, it can easily be bleached out without causing any damage. It can also be refinished to make it look like it is brand new again.

Cost Effectiveness

According to Inman, when directly compared to redwood decking, Douglas fir is the better choice. While some extra work may go into using that material, the website claims it is much more cost-effective. The material is cheaper and also harder compared to redwood, creating a better resistance to foot traffic and damage.

Is Douglas Fir wood suitable for outdoor use?

Among Douglas Fir woods, there are many uses, such as the use of the material in an outdoor setting. Its high resistance to decay makes Douglas Fir perfect for outdoor projects. The raw material will survive well in rainy conditions. According to The Woodwork Place, a submerged piece of Douglas fir timber in the ground would take roughly three to six years before rotting away.

While Douglas fir is perfect for outdoor use, it should still be treated to maximize results and survive wear and tear over time. Pressure-treated Douglas fir should be sealed with an exterior wood sealer. The pressure treatment process will infuse Douglas fir with chemicals that help to protect it from rot, insects, and decay. It should additionally be waterproofed to help repel rainwater, moisture, and humidity. With proper treatment, sealing, and routine maintenance, a Douglas fir deck could last up to 50 years. Without this care, it could still last between 10-15 years.

Douglas Fir Wood Supplier in Tulsa, OK

If you are living in the Tulsa, OK, area and are wondering, “Is there Douglas fir timber near me?” you are in luck. There is Douglas fir timber in Tulsa, and If you are looking for a supplier to assist you with your decking needs, DeckIt has got you covered. There is a lot more information on their website about your different wood options and photos of some finished products.

Contact us today to explore all of your decking options.