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What you need to know
Redwood and cedar are naturally resistant to insects and decay. Apply mildewcide and ultraviolet inhibitor to boost durability.
Redwood is fire-resistant and takes stains or paints well. It can be expensive. Cedar weathers to a silvery gray. The surfaces of both woods are soft, making them prone to marring and denting.
Can last 20 years or more, if maintained. Wash at least once a year using deck wash or a power washer, and seal with a preservative sealer. To prevent rot, position board ends so they can dry if they become soaked with water.
$2-$4 per square foot, uninstalled. Prices vary by grade, region, and season.