How To Choose Between a Wood & Composite Deck
Building a new deck is a big investment, but it transforms the look and feel of your backyard. Before embarking on the project, there are a few things to think about: If you’re building the deck in the sun or shade, what look you’re going for, or how much you can spend.
Both wood and composite materials have low and high quality options to choose from. Here’s what to consider when deciding between a wood and composite deck for your home:
If you really want the natural wood look, you’ll be tempted to go with the real stuff. Depending on which type of wood you choose, it’s cheaper than composite options. It’s also durable if you put a little love into it to avoid splitting, cracking or dulling, and can be brought back to life by refinishing. There are a few popular woods to choose from:
This is the classic green-tinted wood you see all of the time— but you can stain it to get the look you want. It’s made of fir or pine and chemically treated to resist rot and insects. The most accessible and inexpensive choice, it does require more care. Power wash it annually and refinish with a clear sealer every other year to resist warping, splitting and cracking.
Redwood and Cedar
If you’re looking for a happy medium between price and durability, redwood or cedar are common choices. They are more resistant to rot, insects and other decay, but can break down in moist environments.
Build a deck with ipe or other tropical hardwoods; it’s tough, durable and requires the least amount of maintenance for a wood deck. Ipe idoesn’t split or crack as easily, and only calls for the occasional scrub. However, it’s priciest out of the wood options.
If you want a deck that is easy to take care of and you aren’t as concerned about the natural feel or smell of hardwood, composite could be your answer. Made of a mix of plastic and wood fiber, composite is an environmentally friendly option. It’s also comes at various price points (but is typically twice as costly as wood), styles and colors, so you’re bound to find a composite deck to meet your needs.
Composite decks aren’t indestructible, but do require less maintenance than a lot of wood materials. You won’t have to worry about needing to refinish or stain it, and it’s often more weather resistant. However, the color can fade over time if in direct sunlight, so look for materials with UV protection. Composite decks can also mold or mildew; cleaning every three to four years with warm, soapy water or getting it power washed will remove grime.
Ready for the deck of your dreams? The experts at Kline Home Exteriors will help you design and build a wood or composite deck that will create an outdoor living space to fit your style and needs. Get a free quote here.