Traditional stick framing is still a safe option if you use lumber treated with a fire retardant. Available from the same companies that pressure-treat wood to prevent decay and termite infestation, FRX fire-retardant lumber holds a Class A rating, and is an affordable alternative to other noncombustible framing materials. FRX is also good for eaves and the underside of decks, which are particularly vulnerable to windblown embers. FRX lumber costs between 20 and 25 percent more than untreated. A 12-foot southern yellow pine 2x4, for instance, runs about $3.05. Arch Wood Protection Inc.,
Smyrna, GA; 770-805-3280.