Having moved to Oregon from California 48 years ago, the statute of limitations, non-native variety, seems to have absolved me of criticism for where I came from before living in what obviously is the best state in the nation.
So now when I hear that those damn Californians are to blame for some Oregon problem, I feel totally comfortable chiming in with criticism of those misguided neighbors to our south.
Today Laurel, my wife, and I headed off to Parr Lumber in Salem to check out samples of composite decking from Trex and TimberTech.
Our large cedar deck needs work, which all wood decks do. As someone knowledgeable about decks recently told me, "Wood decks look great after you stain them. For about six months."
Having stained our deck every few years since we bought our house in 1990, I agree with that sentiment.
The last time I stained it was in the fall of 2017, and it definitely is looking poorly. That's one reason Laurel and I are looking into the cost of replacing the deck with composite boards and metal/wire railings.
While Laurel was comparing color samples of composite decking material, I talked with a Parr Lumber guy about various subjects, including why the cost of lumber has increased so much.
I told him that I was clueless about this happening, not having needed to buy any boards or plywood for quite a while, until I started seeing Facebook posts similar to this:
I thought that was kind of a stupid joke until a friend said that they'd bought a few boards to make some steps for their yard, and it cost them $70.
Anyway, the Parr Lumber guy had a few interesting observations.
He said that California builders are driving to Oregon and bidding up the price of lumber here, then taking their priceless (almost) cargo down south where million dollar homes are in the moderate price range.
A bit of Googling I did couldn't confirm this, but it seems entirely reasonable to me.
The guy added that whereas local mills used to supply most of the lumber sold in Oregon, now it's more difficult to buy from them, since so much of their product is going out of state to people willing to pay a high price.
I said that the Trex web site says composite deck boards cost more than wood boards, but have various advantages over wood. I asked if this was still true, or if wood was more expensive than composite.
He gave me a Parr Lumber Decking Price sheet.
It shows 1 x 6 cedar decking at $4.43 per foot. The top of the line Trex Transcend 1 x 6 composite decking is $4.29 per foot. So it does appear that wood and composite are now roughly equal in cost.