A deck is a fantastic way to improve the function and beauty of your backyard. Ideally, when you get a new deck, it will be around for ten years or more. It’s a long-term decision, so you want to choose a material that will meet your expectations and give you the deck that you’re dreaming of. Here’s how you can make the best choice for decking material for you.
Understand Your Options
If you’re thinking of just choosing between different species of wood for your deck, you may be surprised that you have other options. There are composite and synthetic materials meant to mimic wood in texture and looks too. Here is a comprehensive look at the options you have for your decking material:
- Pressure-treated wood: Pressure-treated wood has a chemical treatment that keeps it from rotting out and from being eaten by insects.
- Hardwood options: Many species of hardwood are durable and beautiful options for decks. They need to be treated and they will scratch over time.
- Naturally rot-resistant: A select few species of wood don’t need to be sealed or finished as they naturally resist rot. This includes redwood, cypress, batu, ipe, Brazilian teak, and more.
- Composite decking: This material is made from waste wood and recycled plastic products joined together and given a wood-like texture.
- PVC and other synthetics: Made completely from new plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene and others, synthetic materials are a durable option.
Reclaimed and recycled materials are another great option for your deck. Sometimes you can get high-end wood for less when you’re reclaiming it, and with the right treatments and careful installation, it can last as long as new woods.
The more durable the material, the better it will stand up to the weather and the longer the deck will last overall. Usually, you will have to pay a bit more for a material that is more durable.
However, it’s important to note that price doesn’t always reflect durability. For example, you may find composite decking that is more expensive than high-quality wood. The composite option may need less maintenance, but it may also be vulnerable to mildew. It may need to be installed with special fastenersin order to protect its durability. It’s always wise to look at the lifespan the manufacturer expects composite and synthetic products to achieve before assuming that it is more durable than a wood option.
Which material looks best to you? No composite or synthetic material can quite capture the beauty of a real wood, especially if you’re considering an unusual species. However, you may find that it is worthwhile to sacrifice some good looks for either budget or durability.
Costs & Maintenance
You have a budget in mind for your deck. When you’re assessing cost, it is also wise to include the cost of the maintenance of the deck to get a fair sense of how materials compare. For example, pressure-treated wood may be the least expensive upfront, but it requires yearly maintenance, including sanding and sealing, that add up over the years.
It’s a wise idea to find out how well your railing material can match the decking material you chose. A wide variety of woods can be used in our cable railings, but not all synthetic and composite materials. Reach out to us to discuss your options today.