May is National Deck Safety Month. If you are planning on adding a deck to your home, there are some decisions you need to make early in the process. Not only will you be planning for the color, size, and shape of the deck, but you will also be looking at different types of decking materials. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of some of the materials that can be used to construct your new deck.
1. Cedar or Redwood
The traditional look of cedar and redwood is a popular option.
- Redwood and cedar decks can add significant value to your home.
- These types of wood won’t get as hot as some other types of decking materials during the summer.
- Cedar and redwood are moderately priced.
- These softwoods contain oils that protect the wood from insects and the elements.
- Natural wood decks require regular maintenance, including sanding, sealing, and pressure washing.
- As softwoods, these types of wood are sensitive to denting and scratching.
2. Pressure-Treated Wood Options are the Most Popular Types of Decking Materials
This decking material, usually pine, is treated with chemicals which makes it resistant to pests and rot.
- It’s the cheapest option among the different types of decking materials.
- Pressure treated wood can last 20 years.
- Pressure washing will be needed regularly.
- The wood can splinter.
- It will still need to be resealed and stained or painted over time.
Made out of recycled materials and wood scraps, composites are an eco-friendly option. They also closely mimic the look of hardwood.
- They’re very lightweight and easy to install.
- You can use soap and water for easy cleaning.
- They can last up to 50 years.
- Composites will cost about double the price of most wood options.
- It can start to sag if not installed properly
- If they’re not cleaned regularly, mold and mildew can grow in hidden areas.
4. Metal Types of Decking Materials
Aluminum is the most common type of metal decking material. It creates a modern, industrial look.
- Aluminum is resistant to water and won’t grow mold and mildew.
- It’s easy to keep clean.
- An aluminum deck can last over 50 years.
- It won’t fade like some other types of decking materials.
- Wet aluminum is very slippery.
- It can be loud when walked across.
Plastic types of decking materials are usually made from PVC. They don’t mimic real wood as well as composite, but they will provide a durable surface.
- Plastic won’t need to be sealed, painted, or stained.
- There aren’t any splinters to deal with.
- It’s fairly inexpensive, costing around $15 per square foot installed.
- It can last up to 30 years.
- Plastic decks can warp or sag over time in the sun.
- The sun will also heat the plastic, making it uncomfortable for bare feet.
- It won’t add as much value to your home as other types of decking materials.
Choose the type of decking material to meet your specific needs so you’ll enjoy it more. Think about price, maintenance, and longevity when you are weighing the options.