Home improvement is all about balancing benefits such as time versus money or long-term worth versus immediate demands. One debate for many homeowners, particularly when considering decking options, is whether to use genuine wood or composite materials. It’s best to know the facts before investing in either.
There are a plethora of decking options available, whether you’re building a new deck or repairing old, worn planks. There are dozens of options in each of the two primary categories, wood, and composite which can quickly become overwhelming. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and what would be best for your situation.
Time to Replace the Outside Deck
You’ve decided it’s time to replace your outside deck and is ready to tackle it as a do-it-yourself project, or you’ve opted to hire a certified and licensed contractor to perform the hard lifting. Either way, before you begin such an essential endeavor, it’s crucial to understand that decking options have expanded in recent years. Take your time to understand your options and needs before deciding on which is best for you.
Wood is still the most popular deck material, but it does not last forever. Composites may be more durable, but they may lack the natural look and color that you desire. Not to mention that composites are frequently more expensive than wood. However, composite materials promise greater longevity and less maintenance.
There are numerous factors to consider when deciding between composite and wood for your next deck, ranging from cost to upkeep and longevity to appearance. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding which product to purchase.
Advantages of Composite Decking
Composites are available in a variety of hues. Composites, unlike wood, do not need to be painted or stained to match the exterior of your home. There is less upkeep. Consumers must evaluate whether the beauty and feel of natural wood are worth the time and effort required to stain, paint, and replace portions that have begun to rot. Composites are a good option if you’d prefer to spend your time doing something else.
Technology is advancing. To boost durability, several manufacturers now offer decking with a hard plastic shell glued to composite boards. This reduces the surface’s susceptibility to mold growth, scratching, fading, and staining and is a good alternative to natural wood decking. However, there is an added cost associated with it and you, of course, won’t get the natural beauty that you would with an all-wood deck.
The Drawbacks of Composite Decking
As a more expensive alternative to wood. Durability comes at a price, as composite decking is more expensive than wood decking. The composite material may cost 15 to 20% more than pressure-treated pine. However, no matter how hard composites are made to look like wood, they are not. The only way to fully appreciate the beauty of a wood deck is to use actual wood so, keep that in mind.
While we might say that composite decks do not require maintenance, there is some maintenance that goes along with having a deck made of any material. Such as basic cleaning. The choice is yours, what is best for you and your situation will depend on what is expected out of your deck.