Can Fence Boards Be Used for Decking?


If you just removed fence boards that are in decent shape and you are looking to use them elsewhere, you may come up with possible places to use them to enhance your home. Since you have been wanting to add a deck to your house and now you have similar material to that you would need, you might think to use the fence boards there.

Fence boards cannot be used for decking. Though fence and deck boards are both sturdy in their own way, fence boards are not as sturdy as deck boards. It is advised, instead, to use redwood or wood of similar strength when building a deck to ensure it stands through diverse weather.

Since fence boards cannot be used for decking, let’s see what different types of wood we can use that would make a better fit for decking.

Can You Use Fence Boards For Decking?

This question can be taken in such a way that you are trying to see if you can hit someone with a fence board. In response to this, I would personally say no. I do not think hitting someone with a fence board is a good idea, though you still could if that was something you truly desired. It will most likely get you in trouble with law enforcement so it is not advised.

Regarding enhancing the outside of your home, you should not use fence boards for decking in this way either. If you are planning on putting in a deck, fence boards will just not cut it concerning how they are not very strong and sturdy. Fence boards will crack, bend, and break, and soon enough, you will be forced to replace the decking, which will cost more money in the long run.

What Makes Fence And Deck Boards Different?

Fence boards are much different from deck boards. Fence boards are often much thinner than deck boards, allowing them to bend much easier. Deck boards are often thicker slabs of wood that are harder to bend, providing enough support for multiple people and some furniture.

When looking at a deck, you may notice they are often off of the ground, meaning there is some space between the bottom of the deck boards and the ground. When decking, it is important to make sure the wood you use is sturdy and can be braced easily, opposed to having to overbrace the underside of the wood because it bends too much.

When You Can Use Fence Posts For Decking

In the case that the fence panels you have are sturdy enough and do not bend, you can entertain the thought of using them for your deck. This can be cost-effective. Deck boards are not always cheap, so being able to use boards that you have free access to is smart regarding saving money.

The main requirement in size for deck boards is that the wood is at least 2″ thick. Having thick boards is crucial in having a sturdy deck. Without thick boards, the wood will begin to bend and sag.

If you are unable to use the fence boards you currently have, you may use them elsewhere to ensure they get used. You may even connect them through the back and use them that way, but they will not be as sturdy as true deck boards.

The Type Of Wood Decks Require

The most common types of wood that are used for a deck are redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated wood. All three of these woods are much stronger than other types of wood. They also can better withstand the elements. They are sold in ways to buy them for decking, so finding them in a way that you can use them for decking is common and simple.

Redwood

Redwood is probably the most expensive type of wood when it comes to installing a deck. The minimum cost of redwood is around $5 per square foot of decking, while the maximum cost can be up to $35 per square foot. Redwood is one of the best types of wood to have since it lasts longer than most other types of wood used for decking.

Cedar

To make a deck out of cedar wood is relatively cheap concerning redwood and pressure-treated wood. The minimum cost of cedar wood decking is $3.89, while the maximum is $5.39 per linear foot. An entire board of the best type of cedar wood decking will cost, on average, around $13.18.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is the most common type of wood used for decking in the United States today. Around 75% of people who have decks in the U.S. use or have used pressure treated wood for their deck. One reason for this is that it is cheaper than redwood. On average, pressure-treated wood costs around $6 per square foot of decking. The highest cost for pressure treated wood is between $12 and $18 per square foot of decking.

Why Fence Boards Cannot Be Used For Decking

Fence boards cannot be used for decking because they do not provide enough support. Imagine if you had used fence boards in place of decking boards, and it is going well until you decide to invite friends or family over for a get-together. You are all on the deck, having a grand time, when all of a sudden, Aunt Patty steps on a fence board that just is not as sturdy as you thought it was, and the board breaks underneath her feet.

You probably would never hear the end of it from Aunt Patty. On top of that, you now have a deck to repair, which will cost money, possibly additional money if Aunt Patty got seriously hurt.

Fence boards are just not strong enough. I have experienced this with the fence that used to be in my backyard. Our next-door neighbor’s dog broke through the fence. Fence boards will not have the support necessary to keep a deck standing.

Using proper decking boards is the best solution in terms of what to use for a deck. Though this may cost more upfront, the cost overall is much less than if you use fence boards.

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