So you’ve decided to build that deck you have been dreaming about. Yay! Now you are wondering which material to choose, composite or wood. The material that is best for you will depend on two things, your budget and your lifestyle. Here are some pros and cons of both composite and wood decking.
Composite decking has been around for quite a while now but it has made leaps and bounds in the past few years. This product typically consists of a plastic material, often recycled jugs or bottles, combined with wood particles. The overall product is dense, heavy and a weather and stain-resistant deck board that won’t splinter, warp or rot. The upkeep for composite decking is quite minimal. It requires no sanding, scraping, stain or painting.
It is however, susceptible to scratches, mold, mildew and sun fading over time. To prevent or solve these issues, the deck can be scrubbed with warm, soapy water to remove mildew or mold and some products are even able to be painted.
Composite decking starts around $7 a square foot and goes up from there. The cost depends on many varying factors; manufacturer, materials used, finishes, etc. Most of the time a new composite deck will initially cost more than the conventional wood deck but pays for itself overtime with minimal upkeep.
When looking at wood decks, the options seem limitless as far as material and cost. On the low end, pressure treated southern pine is the most widely used decking material which is chemically treated to resist decay, fungus and wood-boring bugs but also tends to split and warp. Cedar is the most popular mid range material which is not only beautifully fragrant but because of the natural oil, it is more resistant to rot than some of the other mid range materials. Mahogany, a high grade, high cost, decking material is a very hard and durable wood that is also extremely attractive in appearance and ages quite well.
No matter the grade, wood decks require some upkeep such as sealing and staining every few years. Like composite decking, wood decks can be cleaned with warm soapy water to get rid of pollen and mildew.
As you can see, every type of decking material has its own set of pros, cons and installing methods which can be extremely overwhelming. So whether you decide composite or wood for your next project, the most important step is hiring a knowledgeable and skilled installer.
With over 25 years of building experience, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and family owned, we are here to answer all your questions and help to make the deck of your dreams a reality!