Nothing matches the joy of living in a beach house, watching the sunrise while the waves are lapping on the shore. However, beach houses have specific requirements for the kind of wood used in their construction. This article looks at what kind of wood is perfect for beach houses that can withstand harsh coastal conditions.
Building a beach house is everyone’s dream. Finding the best wood perfect for beach houses that can deal with the moisture of the coast can be challenging. Beach houses require durable wood with unique characteristics like Redwood, Cedar, Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa, and Machiche and composite decking.
When building a beach house, wood is an excellent design option. But which wood is best to use for a beach house? We explore all the wood options for beach house construction. Read on to find out!
Types of Wood Perfect for Beach Homes
Beach houses are constantly exposed to harsh elements like humidity, moisture, saltwater corrosion, sunlight, and high winds. Coastal air is always heavy with humidity and moisture on the coast, and the damp climate will quickly degrade wood and materials not suitable for coastal areas.
Saltwater corrosion is another threat to any beach house and should be considered when deciding what kind of wood to use for a beach house.
Salt will cause severe damage to wood and building materials, always use materials that are incredibly resistant to corrosion when building a beach house.
The sun’s constant glare with the high reflection from the ocean will dry and bleach surfaces and warp them.
There are several types of wood available suitable for use in coastal areas. The kind of wood used for beach houses that can withstand harsh conditions are hardwoods like Cedar, Redwood, Ipe, Garapa, Machiche, and Cumaru.
Eco-friendly composite decking like Azek, Capstock, ASA wood, and Trex is another favorite natural wood-alternative perfect for beach houses that can withstand coastal conditions while requiring less maintenance and care. It is always an innovative idea to use sustainable renewable materials instead of using natural wood for your beach house.
Redwood is a popular choice for beach houses and outdoor structures. Redwood is resistant to moisture and is commonly used for decks, fences, sidings, shingles, and outdoor furniture and is an ideal wood for the coast.
With the proper pre-treatment, redwood will admirably withstand the effects of corrosion and easily last 15 to 20 years.
Redwood is exceptionally hardy, harvested from mature old-growth trees, giving it durability and strength. Unfortunately, redwood is expensive to install and difficult to maintain.
Cedar is the most preferred wood for coastline homes. It weathers the elements far better than other types of hardwood and can withstand high winds, heavy storms, heat, and hail damage that can quickly damage a beach house. Cedar has a high oil content that offers a natural resistance to moisture and humidity, perfect for a seaside home.
However, Cedar struggles with UV rays and can be prone to splintering if untreated; it must be sealed with a wood preservative every few years.
If Cedar is appropriately sealed and stained, it will remain in excellent condition for years. You should consider the environmental impact of cedarwood; if it is not sourced from sustainable plantations, it will have a notable ecological implication.
Cedar can last for years, but the need for replacement at around 15 years will significantly increase the carbon footprint.
The natural weather resistance, easy to repair, and high receptiveness to oil-based treatments make Cedar excellent for beach houses. This increases its appeal to be used for beach houses.
Ipe is a hardwood that naturally stands up to the harsh UV rays. Ipe is also known as ironwood. This Amazonian hardwood is one of the best natural decking materials because of its natural resistance to moisture.
Ipe is a remarkably dense and solid wood. Beach houses and decks built from Ipe wood still stands strong after 20 years. The biggest attraction of Ipe is its deep reddish-brown rich color.
Ipe should be sealed with a wood preservative to help it withstand direct sunlight. If left untreated, Ipe can fade quickly. Ipe is expensive to install and needs maintenance every few years.
Garapa wood is a robust and dense wood with a subtle satiny grain that is heavier, stronger, and harder than oak. It has a lower density than other hardwoods like Cumaru and Ipe.
Garapa wood offers lots of character, soft grain, and color variations. Garapa ages into a delicate silver shade if left natural. Garapa wood is exceptionally resistant to warping, splintering, shrinking, twisting, or cupping. Garapa wood is highly durable, rugged, dense, and decay-resistant, making it perfect for beach houses.
Machiche wood is exceptionally durable and weather resistant. Machiche wood is a high-density hardwood that is sustainably harvested and economically priced. Machiche is commonly used for outdoor furniture, trim, decking, siding, and beach houses.
Machiche is a beautiful and dense hardwood with many characteristics that are like Ipe. Machiche should be sealed to prolong life in harsh coastal regions. If left natural, Machiche will age gracefully to a soft silvery patina.
Cumaru wood is a familiar sight in the coastal region of Narragansett, Rhode Island. The exotic beauty and versatility of Cumaru hardwood is a preferred wood for most beach homeowners.
Cumaru’s high density is one of its best attributes and incredible durability and strength. Its impenetrable surface creates resistance to anything beach living can throw its way.
Cumaru is incredibly dense and naturally resistant to moisture, insects, and fire. The South American wood is perfect for coastline construction and will endure the coastline’s harsh weather conditions for decades.
Marine plywood is manufactured from tropical hardwood and is naturally water-resistant. And just like standard plywood, marine plywood consists of thin sheets of wood veneers that are placed perpendicularly to make the boards extra strong.
Marine plywood is a waterproof version of standard plywood. When exposed to moisture, humidity, or water, marine plywood does not warp, shrink or rot due to its enhanced composition.
The cross-lamination method is applied to line the plies perpendicular to each other to add strength both ways. Marine plywood is produced to withstand total immersion in salt water and can handle even the harshest coastal weather conditions and humidity without absorbing moisture.
Marine plywood is produced from several layers of wood veneers bonded with water-resistant adhesives under high heat and extreme pressure. The glue (phenolic resin) used to create marine plywood is also incredibly weatherproof and can withstand fluctuations in temperature and prevent delaminating.
Besides being strong, weatherproof, and durable, marine plywood can withstand high-pressure levels and is an excellent material to use for a beach house.
Composite Wood Materials for Beach Houses
There are several options available when it comes to a composite material. Composite wood is manufactured from recycled plastic, sawdust, or bamboo flour. High-quality composite boards are incredibly moisture resistant and ideal for coastal conditions.
Composite boards are sealed with an advanced resin capping that supplements the moisture resistance and forms a strong layer of UV protection.
Composite boards are perfect for beach houses because they do not fade, offer excellent traction, durability, and strength, and withstand wear and tear without breaking down. Composite boards look almost identical to Ipe but require less maintenance and care.
The enhanced resin capping that seals composite boards is colorfast, splinter-free, rugged, and protects the boards from the elements.
Composite decking and boards are the least expensive option and have several benefits over natural wood, making them perfect for beach houses.
Azek is a composite material manufactured from 95 percent recycled materials and recycled sawdust and is the most eco-friendly material on the market, with a stunning wood-like appearance. It features a 25-year limited stain and fade warranty.
Azek is available in assorted colors and board widths that provide an eco-friendly, economical, and long-lasting solution to homeowners living in coastal areas.
Famous for its warm colors and realistic grains, Azek will elevate your beach house to another level of style. The downside of Azek is that it expands and contracts, making it prone to cracking, specifically in areas where there are temperature fluctuations.
Azek is highly resistant to fading, scratches, stains, moisture, mildew, and mold and requires no annual staining or sealing. Composite material increased in popularity, specifically in high traffic, high visibility areas like beach homes and decks.
This composite material is made from recycled plastic, wood chips, and pressed sawdust. Trex is produced using 95% recycled materials, like plastic from everyday household items, plastic overwrap on the packaging, shopping bags, dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, and grocery bags, including reclaimed wood and sawdust.
Trex composite boards offer a natural wood appearance; therefore, many beach house owners choose composite boards for their beach homes. Trex composite boards are durable and economical as well as environmentally friendly.
Capstock is another composite material ideal for beach homes because it is long-lasting. The plastic and wood fiber core is covered with a durable layer of PVC on the outside. Capstock composite is typically more expensive than other types of composite material because it is more durable and looks more realistic.
Capstock has a natural wood appearance and offers a variety of textures, grains, styles, and finishes. Capstock is resistant to all types of problems that plague wood. This composite material is easy to maintain and resistant to splinters, mold, scratches, and stains.
Unfortunately, this material is pricier than wood, but it lasts much longer than natural wood. Capstock can withstand harsh weather conditions and dissipates heat well with high resistance to mildew, mold, and moisture, requiring no annual staining or sealing. Capstock is the composite material perfect for your beach house if your budget allows it.
ASA is the best synthetic material available that looks like natural wood; it looks more like natural wood than any other synthetic material. ASA is of higher quality than composite, PVC, and Capstock.
ASA is UV and fade resistant. This material is often used for car dashboards to experience direct sunlight and extreme heat. ASA is also resistant to moisture, rot, mold, mildew, and other weather-related problems.
ASA is one of the newest synthetic materials on the market today. It is durable, easy to clean, and maintain. It only needs a power wash now and then to keep it looking good for years.
ASA decking is the most expensive option, but this product is worth every penny if you have the budget to spare. Because ASA has a high moisture resistance, contractors building beach houses favor this product. ASA is non-porous, scratch, and stain-resistant, which is excellent for beach houses.
When choosing composite material for a beach house, these factors are vital.
- It must be durable and long-lasting.
- It must be economical.
- It should be certified by the EPA.
- It must be sustainable and environmentally friendly.
- If the material has hidden fasteners, it should be rustproof.
- It should resemble natural wood.
- It should be easy to clean and low maintenance.
- It should have a 25-year minimum warranty.
Beach houses endure harsh weather conditions; when selecting wood for a beach house, you should consider its weather resistance. The kind of wood perfect for beach houses are hardwoods like Redwood, Cedar, Machiche, Garapa, Cumaru, and Ipe. Typically, wood has a limited lifespan in coastal conditions and requires sealants and yearly maintenance to prolong its life.
Most beach house owners choose green and renewable materials like composite boards these days. Composite materials like Capstock, Azek, Trex, and ASA are all excellent materials for beach houses that look just like the real deal.
Composite boards’ longevity and eco-friendly attributes make them ideal products for coastal regions. Composite boards are low maintenance and last forever, thereby lowering your costs in the long term.
Choosing the suitable material that can withstand harsh weather conditions for your beach house is not difficult if you choose any of the above products.