Decking Material Options

Posted April 16, 2015 in Blog, Decks, Landscape Design

Life is full of choices.  Everywhere you look, there are choices to be made.  Do you want a whitening toothpaste?  What about preventing cavities; is tartar protection more important, gel or paste?!  All that pressure and that is just toothpaste!

Shifting gears to a more important topic, one of your most major investments in your lifetime, your home.  You always want to make the most informed choices for the longevity of your property.  When it comes to upgrading your outdoor living space, a deck is one of those projects that can drive you nuts because of all the choices.  MasterPLAN Landscape Design is here to break down decking options, so you can add value to your home and enjoy it in the process.

pressure treated deckThe most commonly seen decking material is pressure treated wood.  Out of all the materials we will be describing, this is the most economical and readily available.  There are several positive aspects to building a pressure treated deck.  Not only considering cost and availability, but pressure treated lumber is durable, easy to work with, can be visually appealing and is not as difficult to build as decks using other materials.  But, I have been told, for every pro there must be a con.  Pressure treated lumber, if taken care of properly can have a lifespan of up to twenty years, but the commitment to maintenance is grand.  The wood in this type of deck is very susceptible to mold, warping, splintering, weathering, fading and rotting.  This type of deck will require annual deep cleaning and annual staining or sealing.

If higher maintenance decking isn’t your thing, you could invest a little more money and go with composite decking.  This type of decking is composite material capped halis-15in PVC to give you a more sustainable structure, with the visual appeal of real wood.  Composite decking is said to have a lifespan of about twenty-five years, remains durable and aesthetic with many colors and texture variations.  No staining or sealing si required here, but deep cleaning are still recommended to keep the stains and grime to a minimum.

Another man-made material used in decking is cellular PVC.  This type of decking is an extruded solid board style, encapsulated in PVC, contains no wood elements, has the greatest UV protection with increased strength to reduce expansion and contraction and remains slip resistant.  The look of this deck style is Azek deckingclean, crisp, and emulates a natural wood grain texture with its stainless deep, rich color options.  While this is considered a bigger investment, there is no need to stain or seal and your maintenance is limited to regular cleaning for dirt and debris because this material is impervious to moisture and insects.

Lastly, we will talk about exotic hardwood decking, which is an excellent all-natural wood option.  Exotic hardwoods such as Massaranduba, Cumaru, Ipe, Tigerwood and Phillipine Mahogany are exotic, rich grain woods that are extremely hard, durable and have a natural resistance to rot and insects.  Because of the difficulty of this wood’s density, a skilled specialist should provide the installation.  With a lifespan of twenty to fifty plus years, its beauty and longevity Kalimtzis- after1speaks volumes for its more elaborate cost.

With all materials considered, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you meet with your landscape designer to make your decking decisions:

  • What qualities are you looking for in your deck? For example, is slip/fade/scratch resistance important to you?
  • How much are you willing to invest in your deck space to improve the quality of your home and your happiness?
  • What is your maintenance commitment?  For instance, how much time and energy are you willing to spend to keep your deck stained, sealed and free of mold without warping or splintering?

Once you have nailed down the aspects that are important to you and your family when dealing with your outdoor living space, give your landscape designer a call to turn your dream deck into your livable reality!

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