April 4 – Should you build your own deck?

How to build a deck – We just added 1,300 sq ft to our house – by building the deck – and this may be the most used room in the house. We could have opted to have Blue Ridge Log Cabins build our deck and porches, but this is something Mike really likes to have control of. Each of the decks on our 3 log homes are unique.

When making a decision about your log railing, there are numerous factors to consider. Style, size, and type of wood- just to name a few. And whether you’re hiring an experienced builder or a DIY builder. It all starts with wood selection. We prefer a deck that fits in the surroundings of the natural elements so we use Eastern Red White Cedar and Black Locust when possible for all of our support posts, rails and spindles. Another popular selection is Eastern White Cedar. All have a high resistance to moisture storage and is naturally resistant to decay and rot. Cedar also adjusts well to all environments. This is why it has been a popular choice by builders for years.

Recently composite decking has become very popular. Whether to use composite decking for the porches and decks of our new log home was not an option. Our first thought…It’s a log home. Why in the world would we want to use non-log products in our all-log dream home?

True composite decking uses recycled materials, is longer lasting then pine, and requires less maintenance & upkeep. But of course the biggest drawback to using composite decking is that “fake”. But by using Cedar and Locust we can expect the railings to have a lifespan of 50 years+ with good maintenance.

At High Rock Haven we bought Cedar for the first time. This was a big deck also, and the post are Eastern Red Cedar and the railings are local Black Locust. This really gives the house a grand entrance. The posts are raised on stone footers.


High Rock Haven has a deck with railings of Cedar Posts and Black Locust Handrailings.

railing-_0000_Cedar Locust

Each post is stained to protect the natural color of the wood.


The random knots, curves and coloration almost make the railings a piece of art.

Creekside at High Rock also has the natural elements deck, but the entire rail system is locally sourced Black Locust.


Creekside Cabin has posts and railings of Black Locust.

Mitchellview at High Rock has a double deck over looking the Blue Ridge Mountains. In order to meet budget on this house we opted for the traditional pine posts.


Mitchell View has a double deck made of traditional Pine posts.


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