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Ipe screened porch -- gap between boards?

14 years ago

I live in North Carolina and am in the process of turning a covered deck into a screened porch -- the porch is about 10 feet off the ground. I am replacing the old deck boards with 1x6 ipe. This is only the second time my contractor has built a porch or deck from ipe. About half of the deck boards are down and I'm concerned that he's placing the boards too close together. In most cases the boards have very little or no gap between them. From everything I've read here, I thought the gap was supposed to be 1/16" - 1/8" (although most folks here are building ipe decks rather than screened porches, and I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes). We're using SS screws. The contractor talked with someone at the local lumber company who supplied the ipe and this person said that leaving little to no gap was fine, and the contractor wants to keep the boards close together so that bugs won't enter the porch from the underside. What do you think -- should I be concerned? Thanks very much to everyone here who has offered such helpful advice in the past -- this is a great forum!

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