WE have an old house from 1850's with a wrap around porch that has a beautiful curve(1/2 circle) but the porch floor needs replaced. Can't afford tongue/groove which would be the ideal thing (or the new non-wood wood) but do not know what wood to use?

Out of work carpenter wants to put in DECKING but we think the color and having the boards so far apart would wreck the "look"!

This "carpenter" told hubby not to use Southern pine as "Pine is soft wood and you'd never want that" but we heard that is the top wood to use.

What can we use on a "retired" budget and should it be painted on all sides (including the bottom/sides) be painted or only top? --