Picking The Right Materials
Learn Which Styles Work Best for You
There is a wide range of materials that can be used in the building of your deck space. Choosing the right materials can feel like a daunting task, especially when faced with the multitude of options that have been designed over the years. Ranging from wood to composite to full PVC decking, there are plenty of options to choose from. Often your contractor will be able to help guide you towards the style that is best suited for your needs and climate. However, it is always a good idea to come in with at least some knowledge and understanding ahead of time. To help you get ahead, we have compiled a list of the most popular materials and given a summary of their strengths and potential uses, so that you can go into your new project with confidence.
The most obvious and still today one of the most popular options for decking. Whether it is heat-treated wood materials that have been treated to make them more durable and rot resistant, premium hardwood decking, or even old-fashioned cedar decking, the benefits of a wooden deck lie with its mix of visual appeal and quiet sturdiness.
For starters, wooden decking is often one of the cheapest materials to use. Both heat-treated woods and cedar are easy to source and cheap to purchase and can come in a variety of color and stain options. The notable exception to this is hardwoods, which can run at a premium depending on the exact materials being used. Every type of wood that is sold for outdoor decking will be at least somewhat rot-resistant and exceptionally long-lasting.
These decks are built for longevity but will require some maintenance in the form of refinishing power washing, or even regular oilings. Especially in the case of hardwoods. Additionally, as they age the wood may also shift in color or tone. Cedar is particularly known for developing more grey hues as time goes on. If you are someone who can dedicate themselves to maintaining the wood and caring for your outdoor space properly, wood may be just the right material for you. It is a classic choice for a reason and can give your deck or patio space a timeless aesthetic that everyone can enjoy.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is PVC decking. Made up of high-quality, tough plastic materials, PVC deckings are the definition of sturdy. Requiring almost no maintenance, this decking material is resilient to weather and comes in a variety of styles and colors. The only real downside is the cost. PVC decking can come at a wide variety of price points, but the best quality comes at a premium. Even so, the upsides of PVC, with its long wear and durable countenance make it a favorite amongst clients.
As the name implies, composite decking is created by combining many different materials to create a newer, ideally better product. In this case, often it is a combination of wood and polycarbon, amongst others. The materials themselves can vary widely, but when combined they create a substance that is easy to maintain, long-lasting, and resistant to all kinds of weather. Like PVC, composite decking comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. Also like PVC, composite decking can vary widely in pricing but is generally cheaper than PVC decking. Additionally, because of its nature composite decking is often made out of recycled materials, meaning it has a lower carbon footprint than alternatives like PVC and hardwood.