Best Materials for Building a Back Porch or New Deck

building a back porchIf you’re building a back porch or deck, the materials you choose can make a huge difference on both the aesthetic and the cost. Here at Structurally Speaking, we offer a wide selection of material options. We specialize in designing custom porches and decks that perfectly suit any style and budget.

Simple Wood Options for Your Porch or Deck

First and foremost, many customers choose a simple pressure-treated pine wood for their back porch or deck. It’s a popular option for many reasons:


  • Cost-effective – this is one of the least expensive materials you can choose for a porch or deck
  • Natural wood look – you get that lovely wood grain that you don’t get with some other materials
  • Easy to stain or paint – you can choose almost any color of the rainbow, and it is also easy to match any existing part of your home if you desire
  • Readily available – we can get your deck done pretty quickly, since we won’t have to wait for a special order

However, the downside to pressure-treated lumber for a wood deck or porch is the maintenance. This lumber will need fresh stain or paint every few years, and you’ll need to scrub it seasonally to prevent rot.

Exotic Hardwoods and Cedar for Your Deck or Porch

Instead of pressure-treated pine, you might instead choose a different type of wood when you are building a back porch or deck. Exotic hardwoods and cedar are both options that are a bit pricier but give you a unique look.

Exotic hardwoods include the most popular option, Ipe. Pronounced EE-pay, Ipe hardwood is one of the hardest woods available for decking. This makes it incredibly long-lasting. It’s also resistant to rot, insects, and even fire, which makes it the perfect option for a porch with a fireplace. It doesn’t expand and contract nearly as much as other woods, which help it remain durable throughout the seasons. Although it has a higher upfront cost, it can last five times longer than pine, which means the investment is well worth the cost for most homeowners.

Ipe and other exotic hardwoods such as tigerwood and cumaru look best when the natural colors and qualities of the wood shine through. Each board is completely different. It does need to be oiled and sealed occasionally, but it is less time-consuming to maintain than pine.

Cedar is another option if you want a wood deck or porch. In terms of cost, it is typically middle of the road. While it does typically last longer and require less overall maintenance than pine, it is a softer wood that isn’t as durable as hardwoods. Cedar decking has a very distinctive look, which many people love.

Is Composite Decking the Best Choice?

Wood isn’t your only porch building material option. When you work with our team, we’ll show you all the materials that could work with your new porch or deck, based on the style you want. We have long-standing relationships with vendors to get you the best prices possible.

Composite is also a popular option. This material is a combination of plastic and wood fiber, pressed to create the look of lumber. It’s more expensive than pressure-treated pine, but also typically lasts longer and is very easy to maintain. It’s especially resistant to rot and the color lasts a long time, so you don’t have to re-paint or re-stain it every few years.

The best choice for you is going to depend on a huge number of factors. Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through the entire process to make it easy! We start with a no-obligation initial consultation to get to know your style and budget. Then, we’ll design some options for you based on how you intend to use your new porch and how you want it to look. Our customers agree: you’re in good hands with Structurally Speaking!

FAQs About Building a Back Porch or Deck You’ll Love

We’d love to answer any questions you have not only about porch and decking material, but about any aspect of the designing and building process. Here are a few frequently asked questions we get from new clients:

Do I need a permit or planning paperwork to build a porch?

In most cases, yes. Every city/county is different, but in almost all cases you will need a permit to build a deck or porch. Here’s the good news: we take care of that process for you! We are experienced porch builders who know how to properly build structures that are up to code. When you work with our team, we handle any paperwork that is part of the process. It’s part of the reason why it makes sense to hire professionals for this job.

Isn’t it cheaper to just build it myself?

It might seem cheaper at first, but unless you have experience building a back porch, you will typically save money hiring professionals. Remember, if you build it yourself, you not only need the materials, but also the proper tools. If you plan to run electricity or plumbing to your new porch, this is another layer of difficulty.

Every mistake you make will cost more money, and you might not be happy with the final look anyway. Do yourself a favor and choose the hassle-free option of hiring a professional!

Will a back porch add value to my home?

Yes! Outdoor living spaces, if properly built and maintained, add enormous value to homes. Buyers look for these spaces when purchasing a new home, so it can also help you sell your home more quickly.

What kind of porches do you build?

We build a wide variety of porches and other outdoor living structures. This includes:

Our team would love to speak to you about what you envision for your home. If you can dream it, we can build it! Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.