John asks: My local lumberyard stocks mahogany decking at a good price. How durable is this compared to other hardwoods? How would you recommend finishing? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Most wood decking sold in the U.S. as “mahogany” is actually dark red meranti. Meranti is in the same family as lauan, also called Philippine mahogany. Think of meranti … [Read more...] about How Durable is Mahogany Decking?
Insects & Wood Decay
Jonathan writes: I have been finding little piles of wood shavings on my backyard deck, along the bottom of the exterior wall of the house (see photo). Does this look like a sign of carpenter ants or termites? I suspect ants as I sometimes see large, black ants in the house. What's the best way to get rid of carpenter ants? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: … [Read more...] about Do I Have Carpenter Ants?
T.M. writes : I bought an older home described as “move-in-ready”. It was built in the early 1920's with green lumberyard wood over a crawlspace, and heated with a coal stove. A poured Michigan basement was added after the fact. A room with a bath and bedroom was added later with a dirt crawlspace floor. The addition had no insulation and no venting. The soil around the house … [Read more...] about Repairing Termite and Water Damage