Why Choose Composite Decking Over Wood?

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    The debate between composite decking and wood is an ongoing one. And, understandably so, since adding a deck to your home increases your outdoor entertaining space and home value. When working with the installer, you may find yourself deciding between composite decking and wood options for your construction material. Why choose composite decking over wood?

    Composite decking provides your home with a clean wood-look without the drawbacks of actual wood. Where wood tends to splinter, wear, and crack, composite decking holds together and lasts up to twenty years. This material is easy on upkeep, resistant to insect damage, and lower in cost, making it an excellent decking choice.

    Many homeowners weigh the benefits of both wood and composite decking, wondering which they should select. While wood is more traditional, due to the many benefits of composite decking, it has become more familiar over the years. As more installers offer it, people are learning the reasons to choose this material.

    3 Reasons to Choose Composite Decking Over Wood

    Choosing to install a deck is the easy part. The hard part is selecting the right materials. So many options can make it overwhelming, just trying to decide which is the best bet for your wallet and home.

    While wood is an old standby, it may not be the best selection for your home. You should consider what your expectations are for your deck and how much time you want to devote to it. With that in mind, there are three top reasons to choose composite over wood decking.

    1.   Easy To Maintain

    There is a lot of maintenance that goes into owning a home. With composite decking, you can scratch deck maintenance off your list! All composite decking requires to stay at the top of its game is a good cleaning or sweeping session to stay looking its best.

    Homeowners with wood decks can relay the tribulations of having to upkeep their deck over the years. As wood is a natural and porous material, it can take in moisture, which allows it to crack, warp, and rot. Regular sealing is needed to keep out harmful water from your board.

    When a deck is first installed, the wood can look beautiful, but it loses its color and fades over time. You could end up spending more time staining your deck than expected to keep it looking great. Others forgo the natural look and paint their deck, which requires regular repainting to repair chips and peeling.

    With composite decking, none of this is an issue. It does not fade or require painting, meaning it will look great year-round. There are even moisture preventative options that keep your boards from absorbing dangerous water, check out our deck maintenance tips to keep your deck looking great! You get the beauty of a wood-look deck without the hard work to keep it that way.

    2.   Cost-Effective

    The cost can be a huge factor when it comes to choosing a decking material. When making your choice, don’t just think of the initial cost, but the cost over time. While initially more expensive, the low maintenance needs of composite decking make it more affordable over time.

    Wood decking appears to be the more affordable option at the start. From there, you must take into account all of the accumulated potential future costs to keep your deck at its best. Stains, sealants, and paint can rack up your budget quite quickly.

    On top of the standard maintenance, there are insect treatments and potential replacements to consider. Different types of wood can attract different kinds of insects, leading to you needing multiple treatments to prevent damage. If the boards are too damaged, full out replacement may be required.

    Because composite decking doesn’t have these drawbacks, it can start returning on your investment within three years. You can enjoy your deck without worry of wear, damage, or replacement for many years. The initial cost may be high, but the fact you won’t have any additional charges in the future makes it money well spent.

    3.   Eco-Friendly

    Over the past few years, eco-friendliness has been a big sticking point for many people. While you want a beautiful deck, you want to be sure you aren’t damaging the environment with chemicals or tearing down trees to better your property. That is where composite decking comes in.

    When making these boards, manufacturers use recycled wood and plastics. This means you don’t have to worry about any damage to nature! Composite decking is completely recycled material brought together to create a sturdy decking option for you.

    On top of that, you will not have to be concerned about damaging the environment with chemicals. There is no staining, treatment, or sealant needed for composite boards as they use plastics to insulate them. Without the need for these, you won’t be spreading the chemical around your home.

    How Much is Composite Decking vs. Wood Typically?

    Going over the numbers on decking materials can be a deciding factor. While composite decking provides a plethora of benefits for your home, it has a higher initial cost of $20 to $38 per square foot.

    Decking TypeAverage Cost Per Square Foot
    Composite$20 – $38
    Pressure Treated Wood$15 – $25
    Cedar Wood$30+

    Table courtesy of HomeGuide.com

    A significant factor in the cost of wood decking is the fact it is seasonal. During different times of the year, the market prices can fluctuate, making it more or less expensive during these periods. At some times of the year, you may get a deal, while others it could skyrocket.

    Composite roofing maintains a relatively steady cost as it relies on manufacturing rather than what’s in season. While it remains relatively high, it returns on that investment in a short time. The minimal maintenance and longevity of this material make it worth the initial cost.

    What are the Disadvantages of Composite Decking?

    No material is perfect, which is why the comparison is necessary to make the best choice. You have to choose the best option for your home’s needs. While composite decking is a great choice, it is not without its disadvantages:

    • Initial Cost – The upfront cost of the material is higher than most when first installed. Depending on the desired deck size, it could be out of your budget at a possible $38 per board.
    • Adverse to Heat – Composite decking is made up of plastics and wood. Because of its construction, it can be hot to the touch during the summer months and, under extreme conditions, may even melt a little.
    • Can Be Slippery – This has to do with its plastic construction. On rainy days, the plastic surface could allow for a slippery environment for those walking on the deck, creating a hazard.
    • Heavier Than Wood – While heavier may sound synonymous with durable, it means you may have some unexpected costs. Because of the weight, the construction of your deck may require more structure to support the boards.
    • It’s Not Wood – When it comes down to it, no matter how much it may look like wood, composite is not wood. It can have an unnatural appearance to some that would find it distasteful.

    What Types of Composite Decking Do All Pro Decks and Patios Have?

    All Pro Decks and Patios offers a quality selection of composite decking for you. No two homes have the same style needs. With that in mind, All Pro Decks and Patios works with Deckorators to offer top composite deck options of Frontier, Vault, and Voyage to give you the best choices and look:

    • Frontier Decking – Want a traditional look? This board offers you a classic look with its non-variegated panels.
    • Vault Decking – This lighter weight option provides your deck with unmatched durability due to its fibrous construction.
    • Voyage Decking – Concerned about slips? Voyage decking offers quality traction for high traffic decks.

    These decks have unique finishes that are guaranteed to please, coming in a range of colors to match any home. You can rest easy knowing that Deckorators decks come with a 25-year Fade and Stain warranty. If anything concerns your patio, a simple call to the professionals can quickly get it sorted.

    Is Composite Decking Worth it?

    When it comes down to it, yes, composite decking is worth the money in the long run. It gives a homeowner a fantastic entertaining or relaxation space without the significant concerns of other decking materials. This can be a great boon for those who want simplicity in their deck.

    You won’t have to stress the change of seasons or wonder if your deck is prepared with composite. Since it is low maintenance, you will know that you won’t have to seal or stain it in a rush. Sweep and wash and let the weather come.

    Its durability and clean look will ensure that you can walk across it without hazard no matter what time of year. There will never be a worry of catching a splinter or a cracked board being noticeable to the company. You can make a sustainable choice for the environment and your home all at once.

    However, it is up to the homeowner to make the final decision. The high initial cost can make this option unappealing to many. Weigh the good versus the bad to see if installing this deck is something you should save up.

    Final Thoughts

    When you are installing a new deck or replacing an old one, composite decking may be just the thing for you. While wood is beautiful, it can be taxing for those not expecting the upkeep and maintenance required to keep the deck safe year-round. Composite decking is the low maintenance option, and it adds value to your home.

    While the initial cost is higher, the maintenance on a wood deck over time accrues far more charges, overshadowing composite decking in the long run. This can be unexpected and surprise you, but sanding, staining, painting, and sealing are regular tasks that must be done with your wooden deck. This takes not just money, but some of your precious time.

    With composite, all you have to do is wash. There is no seasonal preparation or treatment required. With a quick sweep and wipe down, you can have an outdoor living space ready for anyone to come over and relax.

    With all of this in mind, composite decking is worth it in the long run and provides a fantastic return on homeowners’ investment. Choosing this decking will give you the space you need with a great look and durability. Never stress about repairs again.

    Get a free in-home estimate today and finally get your own All Pro Deck!

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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