A Guide to Popular Decking Materials

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Outdoor living is important to most families in North Carolina and South Carolina. The beautiful natural landscape and temperate weather in these two states make them ideal for spending time outside. If you are thinking about having a deck added to your home so your family can take full advantage of your backyard, there are a number of decisions you’ll have to make before the job gets underway. One of the biggest things you will need to figure out is which decking material best meets your needs.

There are multiple decking options available to today’s homeowners. In order to pick the material that will work best for your lifestyle and budget, it is important to spend time doing research. This guide is designed to give you a basic overview of several of today’s most popular decking materials. When you reach the end, you should have a better idea of which type of deck will most successfully meet your family’s needs.

Treated lumber – Treated lumber was once just about the only option for people who wanted to add decks onto their homes. While this is no longer the case, this is still the most affordable material available to consumers. Generally, treated lumber has a greenish hue thanks to the chemicals that are used to preserve the wood, but it can be stained any hue.

The primary downside to treated lumber is that it can be subject to termite damage if it is not regularly inspected. Furthermore, without annual pressure washing, it is likely to warp and crack over time. The best things about treated lumber decking are its low price point (usually under $5 per plank) and easy accessibility; nearly all home improvement stores and lumber yards in the Carolinas have it available.

Composite wood – Composite wood has become one of the homeowners’ go-to decking materials over the past decade or so. Composites are designed to last for decades with fairly minimal maintenance. One of the downsides of this material, though, is that it can fade over time and the color can’t be fixed because it is not stained or painted. Another potential issue with composite decking is that it costs close to $20 per plank in most cases, which puts it out of some Carolina families’ budgets. Those who have the money to invest in composite wood decking, though, are generally very happy with it for many years.

Redwood boards/Western Red Cedar boards – Redwood boards and Western Red Cedar boards are extremely similar, both in color and in functionality. The wood from both tree species is remarkably durable and resists rot and insect damage without chemical treatment. They also boast stunning natural hues that don’t require staining. Redwood and Western Red Cedar typically cost around $10 per plank.

The only real downside to these decking materials is that they sometimes come from non-sustainable deforestation, so you need to look into where your boards are coming from before you order. Don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer to ask specific questions about their sourcing practices.

If you are planning to have a deck built in the near future, finding a reputable North Carolina or South Carolina contractor is key to a successful project. Online research and word-of-mouth recommendations can both go a long way toward helping you find the ideal contractor for your job. The more confident you feel about the contracting crew you hire, the better your deck building project is likely to go overall.

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