Decks, Materials, Pros & Cons

Decks, Materials, Pros & Cons

One of the first questions to ask your self is: What type of material do you want to use? There is a couple obvious choices, wood or composite lumber.  Below we will go through the materials and the pros and cons of each. Always make a well-informed decision!

Wood
Cedar and pressure-treated woods are your options in this local region. Cedar, with its deep red, looks the most natural and proves rot resistant. It also doesn’t absorb moisture. Good to know!  Another wood type for building decks is pressure-treated woods, such as green-treat.  If you should choose pressure-treated wood, choose from the higher grades, which often are kiln-dried before and after being pressure treated which gives you the weather-beating durability you are looking for.

Composite Lumber
This material most often features a composite of recycled plastic and bamboo fibers, wood chips or sawdust. It also resists rotting and warping due to moisture. You will find it having various nick-names such as; Tech Decking or Maintenance-Free Decking.  The most common manufacturers are:

AZEK, CaliBamboo, DuraLife, EverGrain, Fiberon, Guardeck, Latitudes, TimberTech and Trex

Cost (the BIG question that most people have)
Pressure-treated wood costs the least, with cedar just above it, with how much above it depending on the grade of pressure-treated wood purchased. Composite lumber costs the most, however, it lasts the longest and many consider it well worth the money!  Consider where you live, the climate and weather variances.

Maintenance (REALLY important)
Cedar requires maintenance of pressure washing, resealing, will fade and gets easily dinged. Pressure-treated wood cleans easily and holds up well to abuse. Again, higher-grade pressure-treated woods give the best results. Composite decking requires the least amount of maintenance due to it can be cleaned with a regular hose/sprayer, you can stain it and less apt to be damaged

Lifetime of your deck species…
A cedar deck will last 15 to 20 years

Pressure-treated decking products come with a limited lifetime warranty

Composite decking usually offers a limited 20-year warranty

Again, when choosing a decking material:

  • keep in mind the climate in your area
  • how much maintenance you will have time and resources for
  • the desired look

A professional will offer an opinion to help you make the right decision.

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