We believe that your deck is your favorite place to spend your free time and relax. This is so with all people who are lucky enough to have a yard and a deck. Here you can relax from a busy business day, escape from the heat of summer or make a barbecue with your friends. All activities you can do on deck are very enjoyable ones. So if you’ve just decided to build one or renovate an existing one, you are thinking about how best to do it. There are so many different materials available, that it can be very complicated and time consuming to choose the best one.
We can tell you right away that there is no one that is convincingly the best. If there was such a material, then logically all others would not be produced. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and the choice depends primarily on the person. To be more precise, choice depends on various factors, both your personal and climatic in your area and many others. So we will help you make the best choice by telling you what are the factors to consider when choosing a decking material.
Durability is certainly the most important factor, because this is neither a small job nor a small investment, so to let the first damages be seen in a few months. With proper maintenance, your deck should last at least twenty years. This is a very long period, so if you notice signs of splitting and rotting in the first few years, it means that you have chosen bad material. Natural wood, although it looks beautiful, is certainly considered to be the material that is most susceptible to damage and rot, which is why people are increasingly opting for PVC and other artificial materials. If you do decide on wood, ask around which type of wood has proven to be the most durable. But we can tell you right away neither can be compared to artificial ones.
Aluminum is much more durable, and vinyl is so resistant to various damages, that it is not uncommon to get a lifetime warranty, which says a lot about it. Of course, nothing can achieve the perfect look of natural wood. So it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to sacrifice durability for appearance. But given how much vinyl and aluminum have progressed in appearance, and last incomparably longer, it may be a better choice.
The situation is similar to that of durability. Plastic materials such as vinyl, aluminum and plastic require very little maintenance. Basically, cleaning will be all you have to do, because your deck won’t rot when it rains and things like that. On the other hand, wood requires a lot of maintenance, and therefore costs. You need to constantly take care, coat with various protective paints and waxes. Composite decking is a very popular choice that faces wood, and is incomparably easier to maintain. So if you are not willing to invest money and time in maintaining a wooden one, avoid it at the first place.
3. The price
Price is definitely a big factor when making a decision. Composite decking is the cheapest and that is why it is the material you will most often come across, both because of the price at the beginning and because you do not have to maintain it in any way later, except power wash. Check this if you are not familiar from which composite decking made of. Then you will understand why it is cheap and durable. The price of woods varies greatly.
You can find wood that is cheaper even than composite decking, and can also be the most expensive, it depends on the type of wood in the first place. The cheaper you pay for wood at the beginning, the more you will spend on maintenance later, so if wood is your choice, we advise you to invest money at the beginning, and later it will pay off because of the quality. Aluminum is on average the most expensive, precisely because it is almost indestructible. That’s why it will cost you the most, but once you install it, you won’t have any more problems.
Remember that all of this needs to be installed and that it is also an additional expense. Therefore, ease of installation can also be one of the deciding factors when choosing. You can install some of the materials yourself, with the help of friends. It will be a one day DIY project. You can do this with wood and PVC, as they are the easiest to install and you don’t need any specific tools to do the whole job. Just basic tools everyone has at home. But when we talk about composite decking and vinyl, then it is necessary to have a professional tool, as well as knowledge of how to mount it, so do not try it yourself. You will only destroy the material you paid for.
For the end, we left the aesthetics, which we mentioned briefly at the beginning of the text, but it certainly deserves a separate paragraph. When you have analyzed all these factors, which are even more important, you still want your deck and thus the whole yard to look as beautiful as possible.
The wood is an absolute winner, but the difference is not even close to what it would have been 10 or 20 years ago. The design of artificial materials has advanced so much that at first glance it will be difficult to distinguish which material is in question. If you want everything to look as natural as possible, and you do not want to choose wood, due to complicated maintenance, then do not choose aluminum either. Of all the materials, aluminum looks the least natural. On the other hand, composite decking is probably the best choice, as it creates the ideal balance between positive things and aluminum and wood.
As you could conclude from the text, for the average user, artificial materials are a better choice than wood. However, if you want everything to look natural and beautiful, and you have enough money to maintain it and you also have no problem having to change the whole deck in 10 years again, go for wood.