Remodeler: Danny Feig-Sandoval

Company: Small Carpenters At Large, Atlanta

Product: Ipe.

When remodeling the exteriors of older houses, Danny Feig-Sandoval and his colleagues at Small Carpenters At Large (SCAL) in Atlanta found that the newer composite woods just didn't work for them. They didn't look right against the older woods of the homes, which made it impossible to create a smooth transition from the original home to the deck, porch, or other renovation. Four years ago, Feig-Sandoval began using Ipe (ee-pay), a Brazilian hardwood, and he's never looked back. Ipe is a strong, dense wood harvested from sustainable forests, which makes it an environmentally responsible choice. “That is a real concern for me,” says Feig-Sandoval, who tries to use sustainable materials whenever he can.

Ipe naturally resists rot, decay, and insects, so it's perfect for outdoor projects like decks and porches. It has a Class A fire rating from the NFPA. Ipe can be left untreated (which means no chemicals are required in its application). As it ages, it takes on a soft, silvery patina.

SCAL used Ipe on a renovation of an 1890 home that involved a complete teardown and rebuild of the front porch. This project won them a Regional and National Exterior Renovation award from NARI in 2000.

courtesy Ipe