Office: 1-317-770-6527
Fax: 1-317-770-3665

Located in Noblesville, Indiana
Serving Indianapolis & Surrounding Areas

Serving Fishers, Indy & Surrounding Areas Since 1996.


Angie's List Super Service Award in Decks & Porches in Indianapolis

120 Pine Tree LN
Noblesville, IN 46060

Office: 1-317-770-6527
Fax: 1-317-770-3665

Product Information & Tips

Types Of Materials
Pressure Treated Lumber
Composite Materials

Cleaning & Restoration

Finishing & Sealing


Types Of Materials

Pressure Treated Lumber is the strongest and least expensive choice for deck lumber. Pressure- treated Pine resists rot, decay, and insects and is an excellent building material for outdoor use. Treated lumber is created by forcing chemical preservatives into it under high pressure. The preservative usually gives the wood a green color, which fades with time. Or, you can stain pressure treated wood in a variety of colors.

There is no substitute for the look and feel of real wood. Pine decking provides a warm, natural look that blends beautifully with the landscape. Pressure-treated Pine is safe for people, pets and the environment. Pine pressure-treated lumber conforms to uniform quality controls established by the American Softwood Lumber Standard and the American Wood-Preservers' Association. Pine wood is one softwood lumber that is in plentiful supply and is therefore commonly used for home decks. It is easy to nail into and has a soft feel to the foot compared to harder composites and concrete. Warping, spitting, cracking and shrinkage are all common characteristics for pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated lumber takes stain very well and will last against rot & decay for many years. We recommended Pressure-treated pine for a deck. It is most common for decks and is used about 95% of the time versus cedar.

Cedar is a wood of exceptional beauty, however is more expensive than the common pressure- treated decks. It can costs anywhere from 20%- 40% more than a similar pressure treated deck. Cedar has a light brown appearance, with an attractive grain. Because it ages to a uniform silver- gray, cedar is often used where a weathered appearance is desired. As a natural product, cedar is fully biodegradable. Cedar does not readily absorb moisture and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar decking tends to lie flatter and straighter compared to pressure treated lumber. Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage. Its unique "grown-in-the-wood" preservative oil means that no further chemical treatment is needed, unless the lumber is in direct contact with the ground. Nature favors Cedar. With less than half the swelling and shrinking tendency of other domestic softwoods, cedar provides a firm base for paints and stains. Cedar projects age gracefully through decades of Western weather. Cedar will not absorb stain as well as pine pressure-treated due to the naturally oily nature of the wood. Cedar also has about half the life span as pine pressure-treated wood when it comes to rot & decay.

A deck built with cedar will have the structural parts (ex. the post, beams and joists) built with pressure- treated lumber. The visible surfaces like the decking boards, railings, and borders will use the cedar wood. We recommended cedar for a fence. Cedar is used on a fence about 50% of the time versus pressure-treated pine. Since fence boards are not supported from 2 sides like most deck boards, it will warp and twist more than a deck. Cedar will help keep the fence straighter and looking better. The posts are recommended to be pressure-treated pine to better resist rot & decay due to ground contact.

Composite Decking features the beauty of a real wood appearance without the fading and warping that can ruin wood over time. And unlike wood, Composite Decking is a low-maintenance decking surface that never requires staining or sealing, giving you more time to enjoy your deck patio. As a result, you can enjoy the beauty of a wood look without all the hassles. And, you can rest assured you are adding beauty, durability and real value to your home. You have different color choices also. Composite decking however is more expensive than a pressure treated or a cedar deck. It can costs anywhere from 1.5 times (top boards only) to 2.5 times (all visible parts) more than a similar pressure treated deck depending on style and type of composite chosen. Click Here to see a cost comparison chart of Composite vs Wood.

We can use any Composite Decking, however we commonly and most often use TREX. Trex brings together some of the best properties of wood and plastic. Compared to conventional decking lumber, Trex decking offers so much more: outstanding durability without preservatives or sealants, workability that wood can't match, and an elegant natural coloring that stays looking great year after year. No rotting, cracking or splintering. No need for sealants. No water, sun or insect damage. All backed by a 25 year limited warranty. The Trex warranty also has a 25 year guarantee against fading & stains.

We are an approved Trex Pro installer. This means you can be assured that your Trex deck will be installed correctly and as a Trex Pro installer, you can be assured that all your warranties from Trex will be honored. We will automatically register your warranties with Trex for you giving you more time to just enjoy you deck.

Trex Composite Upgrade Information

To educate yourself and learn more about Trex, visit

Cleaning & Restoration

You should start out by sweeping the deck and steps clean of dirt, leaves and debris.  There are many brand name cleaners on the market today.  If you want to try what the pros use, you could try one of these two cleaners.

Oxalic Acid Solution:  You can spray this on your deck with a garden sprayer. This product should only be left on for about 30 minuets before washing off with a 3000 lbs - high pressure washer

Tri Sodium Phosphate ( Sophistic acid ) which you mix with water and spray on your deck with a garden sprayer.   This product should only be left on for about 20 minutes before washing off with a 3000 lbs - high pressure washer.  This product works great on grease stains.

Both are acid based cleaners and you should always wear eye and hand protection.   These products will not harm your plants or lawn.  The 3000 lbs - high pressure washer can be rented for about $40 a day at your local rental center.   Be careful not to get the nozzle of the washer too close to the deck because it could cut into the wood.

Tip:  When pressure washing; lift the wand up and away when you pass back and forth over the deck . This will keep the wand from making cleaner spots in the wood.  You want an even cleaning for a professional job.

Note: Do not use bleach or fungicides on your deck. They will harm the wood and inhibit a sealer from absorbing and holding to the lumber.  Just keep you deck free from leaves and dirt and you will have to clean it less often.

Wait 48 hours of good weather before applying a stain or sealer.

Finishing & Sealing

We recommend you stain your deck or fence 1-6 months after it has been built. We then recommend that you re-stain your deck or fence according to the manufactures recommendations (usually about every 2-4 years). The product that we use and recommend is Olympic Semi Transparent or Woodland Oil Stain (From Lowe's). It comes in many different colors (link to color chart below).

Start out by covering the surrounding landscaping with old cloth sheets.  Plastic will create a green house effect and burn the plant life. Tape off the windows with newspaper so you wont get any over spray on the glass.  If your worried about the siding then go ahead and tape off the bottom 2-3 feet along the deck.

We do not offer staining of decks or fences directly from Decks By Design, however if you have a deck or fence and want to have it stained, our Crew Leader (Job Foreman) does all of our staining as a side business. He has been with us for many years and has stained hundreds of decks & fences. If you would like to get his information or send him a staining estimate request, click here.

Sealing: If you are using a clear sealer you will most certainly expect  to repeat this process every two or three years.  You can easily apply the sealer with a garden pump sprayer (1-2 Gallon).   Fill the sprayer over a garbage bag so you don't get any spill over on the ground. 

Tip: The trick to using a sprayer and not wasting your sealer is to do the railing first from on top of the deck.  Spray to the side on a 45 degree angle LIGHTLY UP AND DOWN.  Then do the outside of the rail that you didn't cover.  All the over spray from spraying the rail will almost cover 2-3 feet of the floor behind the rail. 

Note: Always back roll the floor with a roller to stop puddles of the sealer from forming. If you let the puddles of sealer dry, they will tend to have a milky color or even crystallize.  


Stains are either "tinted" ( they just enhance the wood color ) or "semitransparent" ( These are to mask over the wood grain and have a more bold look).  Most deck stains are sealers mixed with a stain and can be applied in one step. If your stain is not a sealer you will have to seal also.  The longest lasting stains are the most opaque "semitransparent"; They tend to last for two to four years.  

Note: The same rule applies for Staining. Always back roll the floor with a roller to stop puddles of the sealer from forming. If you let the puddles of sealer dry, they will tend to have a milky color or even crystallize.  

Tip:  A rag or sponge works well for applying stain to the railings.


Specializing in Custom Built Decks!
Home | About Our Decks | Photo Gallery | Deck Designs | Request Estimate | Information & Articles | Testimonials | FAQ's | Links | Email Us
Copyright  2010 by Decks By Design of Indiana, Inc..  All Rights Reserved.