This year- we’re finally rebuilding our deck.
We’ve been thinking about this project forever…the best design, the best view. But what’s really holding up our decision is material.
Can you offer any advice on choosing between traditional lumber or building out with composite?
Kim from Scranton, PA
If your family is like ours, we love spending summer evenings out on our deck. Rebuilding a deck is a big project, but the enjoyment? It’s worth it!
Deciding between traditional lumber and composite is a tricky choice- both have their pros and cons. So before we dive into which is the best for you, let’s take a quick look at both.
First- what is Pressure Treated Lumber?
Pressure treated wood is lumber put through a chemical process. During this process, the air is removed and is replaced with preservatives. After being doused with the preservatives, the lumber is placed in a pressure chamber, forcing the preservatives to soak throughout the wood.
Because of the chemicals used in the preservation process, pressure treated lumber is only for outside use.
Here are the benefits to using pressure treated lumber:
#1: Easy to repair: If an accident does happen, it’s a quick fix. In fact, some pressure treated lumber is infused with flame-retardant chemicals.
#2: Cost: A lot of first time deck builders choose pressure treated because it’s less expensive than composite or cedar.
But while pressure treated lumber holds up great against bugs and rot…it doesn’t hold up as well against water. And here in Pennsylvania? We get a lot of rain! If not properly maintained, your deck can begin to fade and splinter.
Composite Decking: The Family Friendly Option
If you want strong decking material that’s made to withstand rainy springs and safe for little feet-
Composite is your answer.
What is composite decking? It’s a mixture of wood, straw, and plastic that’s formed and bound together by an adhesive. After it’s pressed together, it’s coated in a strong finish for added durability. The finish is what makes composite waterproof- perfect holding strong and looking beautiful, rainy season after rainy season.
Composite is a great choice if you have kids or grandkids running around barefoot- or your deck surrounds a pool or jacuzzi. You’ll never have to worry about the pulling splinters out of little toes when you build your deck with composite.
Another bonus? No more burned feet, either. In the past, composite was prone to overheating, but newer materials have solved that problem. Now, almost all composite materials have built in heat resistance.
Composite decks also require less maintenance as compared to pressure treated. Other decks need resealed every 1-3 years or else they will begin to decay. Composite decks last for decades, looking like new, with just an occasional sweep and wash.
Sounds great, right?
Now for the downside: cost.
Composite is made to withstand anything, and for that reason, it’s not the cheapest option. But if you don’t plan on selling your home any time soon, your family will be saving money by skipping out on the constant upkeep and repairs of pressure treated decks.
Kim, if you’re ready to start the construction process on your new deck our team is ready to help. Choosing the best options for your family and your budget can be tricky, but we have experience in that, too. Whatever material you choose, we can show you how to take care of your beautiful new deck for years to come.
Have a question for Vern? Send us an email here. We’d love to hear from you!