At one point in time, when you built a deck, you used treated lumber, and that was basically the only option on the market. This is, however, no longer the case these days! If you’ve spent any time at all researching decks, you undoubtedly know that composite decking is steadily increasing in popularity. Just because more and more people are buying composite boards, though, doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with wood. The options are simply different and, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference.
In this brief guide, you will learn about a few of the most important things you need to take into consideration when choosing between wood and composite for your deck renovation project. If you are still unsure when you’re done reading, don’t hesitate to speak to your contractor. He or she will be able to help you figure out which choice is truly the best fit for your family’s lifestyle.
Understanding Wood vs. Composite
Before we dive in, it bears noting that deck frames are still almost all constructed from treated lumber, so when you choose between wood and composite, you should only be thinking about the deck boards themselves. Natural wood, which is still actually the most popular deck material among American homeowners, can be taken from a number of different kinds of trees, but the cheapest and most prevalent is treated pine.
When compared to composite options, wood deck boards are less costly upfront, but they do have some maintenance costs that you should consider. Every year, for instance, you will probably have to seal your deck to keep it in top shape. You will also need to repaint or restain the boards on a regular basis, often every couple of summers. For our clients, who live throughout the humid Carolinas, it’s also worth considering that some homeowners choose to treat their wood decks to prevent pests, like termites, from destroying them.
Composite decking, which is made by a variety of manufacturers, including Trex and Azek, all has the same basic design, but each brand offers their own unique features. Essentially, though, there is a composite (vinyl or PVC, typically) shell surrounding a core. It does not have to be treated or regularly maintained like natural wood.
Questions to Consider
There are literally dozens of questions you and your family members should ask yourselves before you officially select a type of decking. Consider, for instance, whether or not the deck will be in the sun or the shade, how much upkeep you are personally willing to perform, and how long you intend to live in your current home.
Whatever type of deck you ultimately decide to go with, the Hatch Homes team would love to build it for you. The first step is to schedule a consultation so one of our experts can come look at your property. We can work with everything from composite boards to exotic woods, like ipe and cumaru. We’re excited to get started on your project, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!