Can’t you just imagine long, lazy summer afternoons lounging on your deck with a good book? What about spending the evening grilling with family and friends as you watch the stars or simply enjoy a cool breeze? Before your imagination runs away with you, it is important to determine which material would be right for your decking needs.
Decide What Factors Will Affect the Material
Before you choose a material, consider what you’ll be using your deck for. Will there be a lot of traffic from children and pets, or do you expect it to be a quiet oasis for you? Do you intend to put a fire pit, grill or outdoor fireplace on the deck? How heavy will the outdoor furniture be? You should also consider how dirty it might become, whether people will walk across it barefoot and how much maintenance you are willing to put into it. Answering each of these questions will help you choose the right material.
If you want something low-cost, you can consider pressure-treated wood. However, decks made with pressure-treated wood may split, crack or warp more easily, and the material does require annual maintenance. For a moderately priced option, check out cedar wood, but remember that it will rot if you don’t seal it regularly. The best wood for a deck is high-density hardwood. They are durable and resistant to fire and scratching. They cost more upfront but will cost less to maintain over time.
Perhaps you are interested in something other than traditional wood. Composite is moderately priced and looks amazing… for a year or two. After that, it is known to fade or even to develop mold. Also notable is the fact that you cannot seal this deck. You might also consider plastic, which is available in a range of colors and patterns, and can even mimic real wood. Manufacturers claim it’s long-lasting but since it hasn’t been on the market long, it’s hard to tell if this claim is true.
Now that you understand more about decking options, you can start dreaming. Remember to hire a professional to build your outdoor space.