It has often been said that quality materials breed quality results, but many new deck builders have often cursed that saying. Although it is important that you choose the right materials for your deck, many newcomers wonder if materials mean anything when you have inadequate instructions or sub-par tools. The answer in those cases is a resounding ‘no’. Of course having the best materials to build your deck with is important, but there are plenty of other factors.
Right now however, we are focused on the quality of the materials you use. Because while you may be able to use average quality materials and do an amazing job, there is a world of difference between average and below average.
When you choose the materials with which to build your deck you will find that quality is a highly relative term.
Wood Or Something Else
It is no secret that most decks are made from some type of wood. Cedar and oak are very common varieties of wood used for decks, but even some of the lesser known wood like mahogany, cherry and the eternally powerful redwood. These woods are chosen because of their vibrant colors in the case of mahogany and cherry or their subtlety for cedar and oak.
Wood is also a popular material for decking because it is sturdy, easy to work with and you can find a variety of wood at a reasonable price. But…wood is not the only game in town.
Perhaps the new kid on the block will prove the best material for decking for you. Composites are a blend of would-be waste materials made from wood, shredded plastic combined with preservatives and UV inhibitors to give it a fairly long life. Given the fact that composites are made from recycled materials many homeowners turn to it in order to lessen their carbon footprint.
The truth is that while composites are recycled from would be waste, it does contain plastic which will sit as long in a landfill as it will on your deck. Additionally composites are far more expensive than wood.
Aluminum is an alternative to any wood or wood-like products however aluminum doesn’t offer much variation in terms of color or comfort. As plastic-wood composites have increased in popularity fewer aluminum decks are being built.
How To Decide
There are many factors that will determine which materials you find most adequate for decking. After you have compared the prices of materials you will want to look into factors such as how easy it is to clean and how often it needs to be repaired.
Wood for example will require staining every few years while composites require several washings per year. Composites however are prone to staining, which can leave a pretty ugly brown spot when it comes into contact with grease or drinks. If you don’t have time to dedicate to regular upkeep and maintenance, you may want to go with a low maintenance material.
The best materials for decking are the best materials for you, not what some expert recommends.