The decking material you choose determines the overall aesthetic and look of your home. These materials differ in quality levels, with some being of higher quality than others. Below, we explore the things to consider when choosing your outdoor decking material to ensure you get the best results.
When you go to buy decking boards, you have to choose between synthetic and wood decking. You need to examine the benefits and downsides of each to make an informed decision. Synthetic or composite decking tends to be more durable and features low maintenance. They also come in an array of colors, and some composite companies use recycled materials, making them environmentally friendly.
However, they are more expensive than wood and may become a bit slippery, calling for proper maintenance. Wood decking, on the other side, is most popular for its natural, attractive look and affordability, but it involves more maintenance, like sealing and staining, compared to composite decking.
Try to picture the finished product even before you begin your deck building or renovation process. Confirm if it is in line with your home’s design and curb appeal goals. Keep in mind that your choice of decking material will determine the aesthetic appeal of your property’s exterior.
Wood may be a viable option if you need to create a classic look coupled with natural beauty. However, you must cut and design the wood into desired shapes to create a unique appearance. Composite materials tend to fit into virtually any design, and some even keep up with the authentic appearance of lumber.
Harsh Weather Tolerance
Your outdoor decking material of choice should tolerate adverse weather changes, like extreme temperatures, rain, and snow. Consider choosing a waterproof material to avoid water damage and ensure the decking remains stable without warping or shifting. Your decking material should have a low expansion and contraction rate to withstand temperature changes. Most composite decking products are resistant to rot and weather.
Stain and Fade Resistance
You need an outdoor decking material that maintains its color and aesthetics for years to come. To test for stain resistance, take a common household stain, like coffee or ketchup, apply a small amount to a section of the material, and leave it to sit for a few minutes. Wipe off the stain using a damp cloth and check how the deck material stands against the stain. If you notice staining, chances are the material may fail to hold up over time.
Think about how your decking’s surface temperature may impact your experience before settling for a decking material. You don’t have to endure a scorching hot deck while trying to enjoy your morning breakfast or summer barbecue.
Buying durable materials will enable you to spend less on maintenance over time. Determine how long it will take before the material requires repairs or replacements. While a material like wood may add to your home a natural, rustic beauty, it may deteriorate over time if not treated regularly. This is especially true if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions.
An ideal investment is to go for treated wood or composite-based decks, as they can last over 50 years. The good thing with most composite decks is they are free from insect infestation because of the combined materials in them.
When it comes to decking materials, you can’t find a one-option-fits-all approach. While composites and vinyl may work well for some projects, wood and aluminum decks may be great choices for others. Just determine your budget and preferences and choose a decking material that meets your needs.