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Question DetailsAsked on 7/1/2014

should buying a new deck include the builder staining the wood? I.e. I purchased demolishing old deck & rebuild.

The wood is good quality but not stained or coated in any way. Should the builder incluse this with purchase of a $7,250 deck on back of townhouse?

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3 Answers


It definitely should be protected with a penetrating protectant - a chemical preservative, penetrating stain, or penetrating sealer - or you will cut its lie by about half or more - but if that was not specified in the contract, then not in the scope of work. A LOT of people plan on sealing/staining themselves, so not at all unusual to bid bare wood. And of course, a LOT of decks do not ever get finished, or only the top of the boards and not the supporting framing.

You give no idea on how big the deck is, so can't say if $7250 sounds reasonable or not - check out typical pricing in the Home >Deck and Porches link in Browse Projects, at lower left, for an idea of whether your cost is in the normal range or not. Of course, type of wood makes a lot of difference too.

BTW - staining or sealing or applying preservative is not a tough DIY job - just be careful what it is dripping on and protect siding for about 3' above deck and totally below with poly sheeting, and be careful what else is under the deck it can drip on. And do not wear your shoes into house when nworking on it as there WILL be sticky spots on your shoes, and keep of it for several gooddrying says before walking on it - and if at all sticky feelignin sock feet or leaves any color on socks, then is not dry.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


As LCD said if it is not in the contract you should figure it is not. Many deck builders do not stain the deck and one of the reasons is that the new wood especially treated lumber must dry out before the first staining and drying out opens up the pores in the wood to give you a better and longer lasting job. If done right away I have seen some where the stain will peel off the wood in sheets especially if a solid stain is used. That brings up a point I would stain with a transparent stain possibly a semi transparent stain for longes life of the wood. If your builder uses kiln dried after treatment you may be able to stain sooner but many areas this is not available and even so the weathering will even open up this for better penetration.


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


Don talked about kiln dried - these days that does not necessarily mean much, because even if it was kiln dried, may have sat out in a lumberyard for months getting wet - so before staining or sealing you should leave about a month of weathering on normal wood - and at least 5 dry, warm and at least partly sunny days without evening dew even with kiln dried to treated wood products before finishing them. In some parts of the country this means tarping it (leave room for air to flow underneath by propping up on lawn furniture or such) to let it mostly dry, then a full day of warm sunlight to finish it off before coating.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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