Originally Posted by new_to_this
Like I said, depends on where you live. IPE is the cheaper alternative in California since it is suppose to be a renewable hardwood from Brazil
. It does look nice. I'm a DIY'er and $11k for a small 300sq ft. deck is expensive to me. Personally, I'll stick with PTP (since I'm a white pine tree farmer
) I don't think much of composites, making decking out of bio-degradable material just doesn't sound right to me.
Understood. But your original point was that it was neither expensive nor exotic. And my point is that it is generally classified as an exotic (like teak), and that it is indeed expensive compared to budget-level decking materials (PTP being the most common).
Here are some links where IPE is referred to as an exotic. Please understand, I'm not saying I think it's exotic, whatever that would imply. I'm saying that many suppliers classify it as an exotic, along with other tropical hardwoods.http://www.eastteak.com/selectnews.p...CTURAL+DECKINGhttp://www.ipedepot.com/compare.htm
And since you said you're a DIY guy, here's a reference to IPE being an exotic on the DIY Website:http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&cd=27
That 11K price-tag includes the thicker 5/4 planks (because the thinner planks sometimes cup), the hidden fastening system, the 10 foot elevation support on 6x6 piers, stairs, Azek vinyl wrap, vinyl railing, vinyl wrap around every post, etc. The deck is built stronger than it has to be. For example, the thicker IPE planks are cleared to span 32 inches, but I have 16 inch joist spacing. That's just one example. I also have an extra support post under the stair case and extra tie-ins between the stairs and the deck because the contractor is just as retentive as I am, and that's saying something.
IPE requires special tools and is generally very labor intensive. It's very heavy (sinks in water) and every hole has to be countersunk. On my deck, I paid a bit extra for the Eb-Ty hidden fastening system, so the deck looks like a hardwood floor. By the way, this guy that I ended up hiring actually charged quite a bit less for labor than the other guys I took bids from, despite the fact that his work was the best of those I previewed. So I got a good deal on the labor too.
The only reason that I mentioned the terms "exotic" and "expensive" was so people wouldn't think I was paying 11K for a deck made out of PTP, which would have been counter to my point that contracting seems to be less expensive here in the Midwest than in the Northeast. Using the same dimensions as my existing deck, I can get a deck professionally made out of PTP for 3 to 4 K, cedar for 7K. I can get vinyl, redwood, or IPE for 11K, although my understanding is that redwood is cheaper in California.