When homes were built in the early 1800’s, the majority of the timbers used for porch flooring were cut from old-growth forests. This means that the trees were grown to a ripe old age before being cut and milled.

This type of growth allowed the wood timbers to be much more dense than the young, quick-cut timber we have available on the market today. In an effort to make more profit in less time, mills today harvest wood that is far less dense and rush it from the forest to the lumber yard.

Buckling Wood T&G Balcony in the French Quarter.

In today’s world of low density wood products, using a wood product outside in a horizontal application can end up being very costly. Notice the price of wood over the years. It is increasing more and more each year. Add to this the labor cost to prepare the wood and install it in an exterior application. Most wood products must be primed and painted on all 6 sides. This can drive up the cost of the wood in many cases $.60 per linear foot. Once the product is installed, the integrity of the wood can change very rapidly.

The project on right was installed in December of 2018. Before March of 2019 the entire project had to be redone. The wood boards bucked so badly all over the porch, the property owner could not even open the door to walk out onto the balcony.

Many people think that choosing wood can offer a major cost savings. This project to the right cost $18,000 to tear up and replace in December of 2018. Within 60 days, the homeowner had to spend the same money again to have the entire floor replaced.

Lumber plays an important role in many aspects of today’s building industry. Porch flooring is just no longer one of them.