Adding a deck to your home is a worthwhile investment. It gives you ample outdoor space to relax, entertain and spend time with friends and family. What’s more, a deck can add to the value of your house if you decide to sell.
You may be wondering which materials are best for building your deck. To help you decide, here are four materials you can consider for deck construction.
Wood decking is usually the cheapest alternative. You can opt for pressure treated, soft, or hardwoods. Typically hardwoods offer the most resistance to the elements.
Wood can be fashioned into different shapes and styles, making it suit any outdoor deck area perfectly. For a longer-lasting, smoother deck, you may want to buy a higher grade of lumber.
Some standard wood timbers to choose from include cheaper options like Cypress and Cedar, and more expensive ones like Pine or Ipe
Wood decking has the most natural-looking finish. However, the natural look comes at a cost. It needs regular sanding, oiling, or painting to prevent discoloration. Also, it can chip off or break.
- Natural and authentic
- It needs a lot of maintenance
- It can change color
- The deck can break
For a more contemporary look, you can consider using aluminum. Apart from the stylish, modern look, aluminum is an excellent non-combustible option. Moreover, it won’t rust, so your deck will last for 100’s of years.
Aluminum needs little to no maintenance. Thus, although it’s initially more expensive, it will be cost-effective in the long run. On top of that, it’s lightweight and can be powder coated to resist scratching.
Aluminum won’t break, give in or sag, and it’s arguably the most durable of the deck material options. It’s also surprisingly cooler; it won’t absorb heat as much as the other materials.
- Won’t rot or chip
- Fire and rustproof
- More expensive
- Not natural looking
If the look of wood appeals to you, but you’d prefer to forego the maintenance, then you can opt for a composite deck.
The composite material is made from a polymer of wood and plastic. It will last longer and won’t need any extra maintenance.
Also, it’s made from recycled materials, so it’s good for the environment. It’s also easy to clean and won’t rot, sag, or give in.
A similar wood look-alike to consider is the fully synthetic type. It’s just like composite wood, except it doesn’t have any wood particles.
- Needs little maintenance
- It comes in a variety of colors
- Not as sturdy as wood
- May not look natural
- Susceptible to mildew
Another decking option is bamboo, made from treated natural bamboo grass laid on a sturdy frame.
It looks very similar to wood but is more resistant to termites. It needs a lot of maintenance and can warp or absorb water.
- Natural look
- Environmentally friendly (grows faster than wood)
- Needs regular maintenance
- Can chip, rot, or break
All deck options have their pros and cons. The material you choose will ultimately depend on your preference, cost, and availability.
However, you may need to use more than one material. For example, you can use hardwood underneath a composite deck to make it stronger. It helps to get an expert to help you make the right choice.