Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing outdoor living space, a deck project is a big undertaking.From the beginning, there are a multitude of decisions to be made: from choosing the decking materials to deciding on the perfect design, crafting your dream deck is no small task.
Selecting building materials is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your new outdoor deck, and it’s likely that you’ll be deciding between composite decking products or standard wood boards. While the debate of composite vs. wood decks is one composed of many opinions, one thing is undeniably clear: the deck materials you decide on will have a significant impact on the quality, durability, maintenance, and even the overall look of your deck.
We’ve created a useful guide to composite decking, an option that’s become increasingly popular for homeowners throughoutNorth America. With this information, we hope that you’ll be able to make a confident choice when selecting the decking material that best suits your unique needs.
What is Composite Decking?
Composite decks are built using boards that are typically equal parts plastic and wood fiber, blended with varying combinations of pigments, borate preservatives, and UV inhibitors. Many composite deck boards are made from a balance of recycled materials and wood that would traditionally go to waste, making it an excellent option for eco-conscious homeowners.
The mixture is heated, then shaped, with any wood grain texture embossed on the surface of the board before it cools. The final result is a deck board that looks remarkably similar to natural wood but with some very desirable advantages.
What are the Benefits of Composite Decking?
Wood composite is becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners building or remodeling their decks, primarily because it can offer an impressive variety of benefits when compared to traditional wood decking. Ultimately, weighing your own personal preferences and needs is the best way to make the best choice for you, but understanding the pros and cons of each type of decking material can be extremely useful as well.
Pros of Composite Decking
● Easier maintenance. If you’ve ever cared for a wood deck, you’re already well-aware of the extensive (and often difficult)maintenance it requires. For many homeowners, it can often seem as if they are constantly staining, painting, repairing, and replacing sections of wood planks while dealing with damage and decay. But now, composite decks are proving that you can enjoy a gorgeous deck without spending all your free time dealing with deck maintenance.
When you opt for a composite deck, you can expect an extraordinarily easy maintenance routine. All you’ll need is a little soapy water and a soft-bristle brush, and you can keep your deck looking as good as new for years. In fact, because your entire deck will be constructed from the low-maintenance composite material (railings, treads, posts, fascia boards, and balusters), clean-up is simple.
Keep in mind that with less maintenance comes less money spent on cleaning materials and specialized coating materials. As a result, many homeowners recoup the cost difference between composite and wood decking within a few years at most.
● Outstanding durability. Forget the frustrating color fading, splintering, and pest and weather damage that comes with wood decks. Composite wood products can stand up to just about anything and look great while doing it. The materials are specifically engineered to last, making them immune to factors such as rot, termites, mold, and tough weather conditions.
● Great design flexibility. Until recently, homeowners had to stain or paint wood decking to match their home’s exterior or the desired color. But because the manufacturing process for composite wood allows for customized coloring, you can choose a visually appealing option that aligns with your design vision.
From a light natural wood to a deep gray shade, the options are virtually endless. Boards can be crafted to have a polished, contemporary look or a more rustic style. Features like embossed grain and plastic wrapping make it possible to match your priorities to the ideal material. Also, because many installers offer the option for longer composite boards, you’ll notice far fewer end joints.
● Constantly improving technology. As composite becomes an even more popular building material, manufacturers are investing considerable time into improving the technology dramatically. Even within the last few years, significant advancements have been made to extend the lifespan of composite decks, reducing the likelihood of mold, fading, scratching, and staining.
Cons of Composite Decking
To be fair, there are also a few cons of composite decking. However, you’ll find that the majority of these cons are far outweighed by the benefits mentioned above.
● Higher initial cost. When you compare pressure-treated pine and composite materials, there is about a 20-30 percent price difference. Of course, this can vary depending on your installer.
● Darker composite colors can become warm in the sun. Just like dark hardwood decks, dark composites can be heated by the summer sun. If you prefer a deck that stays more consistently cool, consider a lighter shade or a deeper-grooved board style.
What to Look for in Composite Decking
So, you’ve decided that composite decking is the best option for a high-quality, long-lasting deck. Before you start shopping for deck materials, there are a few important things you’ll want to keep in mind.
● Proper installation is key. Many homeowners assume that because composite so closely resembles wood, it’s similarly easy to build a DIY deck with composite materials. However, there are some key differences that make professional deck installation the better route.
● Manufacturer warranties are a valuable feature. Typically, composite manufacturers will offer an excellent warranty simply because they know that their materials are exceptionally strong. Make sure you work with a deck installer that partners with reputable manufacturers for great warranty protection.
● You can get creative. With a talented installer, the sky's the limit: composite decks make it easier to incorporate unique design elements and accents, so don’t be afraid to express your design style. Have your final design at hand while shopping for materials, because it can help inform the decision-making process.
● Quality can vary. Like any product, not all composite decking is created equally. Avoid companies that simply promise the cheapest option with no mention of quality; instead, take time to locate an installer that selects only the best brands to work with.
Upgrade Your Outdoor Space withProfessional Deck Installation in Dundee, OH
A new deck can be an exciting upgrade and a significant investment, which makes it especially important that you choose a trusted professional for design and installation. Simplify the process of creating your dream deck by working with Kline Home Exteriors, a full-service exterior home improvement company in Dundee, Ohio.
For nearly 30 years, our Amish-founded company has been serving the Dundee community by providing the ultimate in quality and reliability. We are dedicated to representing a high standard of excellence in everything we do, operating with integrity, and taking great pride in our work.Our team has the skill and experience to help you create a deck design that suits your lifestyle, budget, and space, using first-class decking products installed by the very best in the business.
Before you begin your deck project, connect with a knowledgeable expert who is well-equipped to help you make the informed decisions that lay the ground for the best possible results. Contact Kline HomeExteriors for more information about our Dundee deck design and installation services or to request a free quote today.