When it comes to backyard decks everyone has their own idea about what looks great. While the days of the traditional rectangular deck aren’t exactly numbered there are just as many people today who choose one-of-a-kind shapes for their deck. Another area where choice has really come to the fore is materials and to bring you up to speed on that front the Popular Mechanics website has an interesting article outlining the explosion in different decking materials.
… we’re living in a time of abundant choice… it’s not surprising that decking options have grown exponentially over the past several years. It wasn’t long ago that the only choice was wood, which came in perhaps two or three species. However, thanks to an explosion of composite lumber, plastic decking and hardwood imports, there’s now a dizzying array of decking available. Whether you’re breaking ground this summer or still sketching out the blueprints, it pays to know your options.
Most Popular Materials For Building Custom Decks
So just what are these materials and how do they stack up against each other? Any comparison of the most popular decking materials has to start with natural wood. It’s earned its place as the go-to material for decking and still constitutes the most popular material in use today, so that’s where we’ll start.
- Natural Hardwood – Natural hardwoods – including Brazilian IPE wood – will always have the advantage of their pedigree which many folks find simply irresistible. Because of the fact that they are a finite, natural resource they’ll cost you more upfront than pressure-treated softwoods though less (initially at least) than many composites. The benefits of hardwood include its sheer beauty, the ability to stain or paint as desired and the ‘wow’ factor.
- Pressure Treated Lumber – PT lumber provides all the cache of natural wood without the expense of hardwood so it’s no surprise it’s such a popular decking material. While PT lumber has a tendency to warp and crack, you can generally sidestep this issue by simply keeping it clean and applying a wood preservative every few years.
- Composites – A composite decking material is composed of wood fibers and a synthetic resin. The final plank is embossed with an artificial grain to sell the look and many of today’s best composites are indeed hard to tell from natural wood. Other positive aspects of composites include the fact that they won’t rot, are low maintenance and they won’t split or warp. Some composites are paintable as well.
- PVC – PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking has been gaining in popularity due to its affordability, ease of installation, durability and flexibility. PVC decking is available in a wide array of colours as well as a faux wood grain finish virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. PVC decking is also very low-maintenance and can be completely recycled.
When considering exactly which decking material will be right for you there are several things to keep in mind:
- Price – Everybody loves redwood but it’s just not in everyone’s budget, especially when long term maintenance costs are factored in.
- Installation – Aluminum or other types of decking like plastic or vinyl may require someone familiar with the specific material to build the deck in order to avoid problems germane to the material.
- Durability – Pressure-treated lumber isn’t going to last as long as aluminum, nor will plastic. If getting 50 years out of your deck is important you’ll have to choose the most durable materials.
We’re Only a Phone Call Away!
Toronto Decks and Fence Company is the GTAs premier builder of custom designed backyard decks. Every one of the decks we build for our clients reflect our commitment to craftsmanship and are backed by our outstanding level of customer care and support. If you’re considering the addition of a beautiful backyard deck to your home, give us a call on 416-238-2589 to find out more and receive a no-obligation quotation.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of decking materials including aluminum, plastic and vinyl make sure to take a jaunt over to popularmechanics.com and check out the article mentioned above or visit our website.