Adding a backyard deck to your home is a great way to extend your home's living space. Once you have drawn out your deck design, then you need to choose the best decking materials to build it. While this decision used to be a no-brainer and simply required a choice between redwood, cedar, or pine boards, today you need to consider whether or not you want to use composite materials and skip the wood altogether.
If you don't have any experience with composite deck building materials, then there are many pros and cons you need to be aware of before making this important choice, including the following.
Pro: Composite Decks Are Eco-Friendly and Are Made of Post-Consumer Recycled Products
If you don't like the idea of trees being cut down to mill the lumber for your new deck, then composite boards are a good choice. Composite deck boards are made out of a combination of:
- recycled wood waste
- post-consumer plastic
- vinyl resins
Composite products use recycled plastics and wood products which keeps these materials out of landfills.
Con: Composite Decks Are More Expensive and Heavier than Wood Decks to Build
One thing you will notice as soon as you arrive at the home improvement center is that composite boards are typically at least twice the cost of wood lumber. Additionally, the boards are a lot heavier.
If natural lumber is half of the price, then why opt for composite? Because it lasts a lot longer, doesn't splinter or need to be refinished, and is a lot easier to maintain.
Pro: Composite Decks Are Easier and Cheaper to Maintain
Hands down, composite decks are much cheaper and easier to maintain than their natural wood cousins. To keep this type of deck clean, it simply needs to be scrubbed down with some soapy water once or twice each year.
Con: Composite Materials Are Not Appropriate for All Backyard Decks
If you are wondering if there are any situations where composite decking isn't ideal, the answer is there are a few. Sometimes the local building codes prohibit the use of composite decking materials or they are disallowed by homeowner's associations.
If you have a swimming pool, then it is better to use a real wood deck or specialty composite boards that have a non-slip finish. Finally, if you have a fire pit or barbeque, cinders or hot cooking grease that lands on a composite deck will discolor and melt it.
To learn more about composite decking, reach out to a local supplier or contractor.