A.Paul Fisette responds: "Lasts longer" can mean both durable to foot traffic and durable to the weather, and finding the best balance is not a clearcut decision. When selecting a deck wood, you also have to consider some other issues, including cost, availability, and environmental concerns. Here’s a look at the choices:

Treated wood. The most popular decking is 5/4x6 southern yellow pine treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). CCA-treated lumber is still the most affordable and readily available option. Treated to a .40-pound retention (typical for decking material), it won’t rot for decades. Also, southern pine is a dense species, so it doesn’t abrade...

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