Adding a deck to your home can increase its value and provide a nice outdoor place to relax and enjoy some family time. Wood is the traditional deck material, but now there are other options that may be more cost-effective in the long run. Before you begin to build your dream deck, it would be wise to check out some of the new options and materials that are now available.
Manmade vs. Natural
Deck materials fall into two categories. They are either natural products, such as wood, or man-made products. Treated lumber and cedar are the most popular natural wood products because they resist termites and rot. This makes them a long-lasting option for natural materials. Other, more exotic woods are also used such as tigerwood, redwood, and jutoba. These are more expensive and are used for their beauty.
Man-made materials include vinyl, composites, and PVC. Many of them are made to look like expensive hardwoods, but they will not rot or have the potential for attracting termites. This makes them a longer-lasting option than any natural wood. Timbertech is now one of the most popular composite decking materials on the market.
Long Term Maintenance
When it comes to long-term maintenance, Timbertech decking has natural wood beat. It has a 30-year warranty and will not fade when exposed to the sunlight. It is also stain resistant. This means that the deck will look like new for many years to come. This material also resists mildew, mold, and scratches. Composite decking is made of a combination of plastic and wood fibers, which means you can walk across it barefoot without worrying about splinters. This is something that natural wood cannot claim.
Natural wood will eventually break down. It must be stained to seal it and keep it from immediately beginning to rot. In addition, it must be restained every two years. About every six years, you will have to completely strip the stain off and sand it down before restaining it. This takes time that could be spent enjoying your deck instead.
The main reason why people choose natural wood is that the initial cost of natural wood appears to be cheaper. The initial material cost may be cheaper, but there are additional labor costs involved in sanding and staining the deck that are not necessary with composite materials. In addition, there is no need to restain the deck every two years, or have it stripped and sanded. If you have to hire a professional, these costs add up significantly over time. On average, homeowners spend $4,600 on the upkeep and maintenance of their wood deck over an 11-year period.
Look and Feel
One of the main arguments for natural wood is that people like its look and feel. Modern composite decking is made to mimic that of wood. Even up close, sometimes it is hard to tell composite from the real thing. A composite deck that still looks like brand-new, even after 10 years of use. This adds value to your home much more so than a rotten deck with chipping paint. You never have to worry about unsightly or slippery mold and mildew with composite either.
Composite has many advantages over natural wood. It may seem more expensive initially, but it will pay for itself through a lack of long-term maintenance costs and time. This gives you more time and money to enjoy all the things that you intended to do on your deck in the first place. This peace is money well-spent.