A deck is a great addition for any home because it adds additional living area while also increasing the property’s value. No matter if you’re looking to build for the first time or replace your existing structure, you have many choices to make such as size, layout and material. Here’s a look at the four most popular types of material choices we at DEKTEX in Madison, WI often recommend.
Chances are if you’ve seen a deck built in the last 60 years, it was built using pressure-treated lumber. You can spot this material easily by looking for the greenish tint that comes from copper and other chemicals used in the treatment process. While this decking option is thought to sit at the lower end of the affordability scale, that is not necessarily true anymore due to supply and demand for lumber. It also has other disadvantages such as ongoing maintenance and pending on quality, fast decay. The most common pressure-treated lumber is southern yellow pine, which is extremely susceptible to warping, cracking and other distortions. You can slow the degradation down by annually power washing and treating, but the planks will eventually break down.
Cedar or Redwood
If you like the natural look of pure wood, but don’t want to deal with the fragility of pressure-treated lumber, redwood and cedar provide a more durable option. Harvested from naturally-hearty trees, you’ll get a sturdier product without chemicals. While this material looks great initially, you still need to power wash it annually and apply a new coat of stain every few years to preserve the wood’s hues. Depending on where you live, you’ll also pay a lot more for this option, with costs ranging well over $4 per linear foot.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Moving away from wood and composite products, decking manufacturers have started producing PVC decking. This lightweight material is semi moister resistant, bug-proof, doesn’t warp, chip or split, but you’ll pay a lot for this level of versatility. Compared to pressure-treated lumber, which will run you approximately $2 per linear foot, expect to pony up at least three times that amount to build a PVC deck for your house. PVC is on its way to forefront of decking, they just don’t have all the wrinkles ironed out just yet. There are very few color choices available and PVC decking is produced through a chemical process that is not resistant to petroleum-based products such as grease from the grill or tanning sprays. These will stain PVC decking.
One of the fastest-growing segments in the decking industry is composite lumber, which is made from a mixture of wood fibers and recycled material. With this hybrid material, you get wood’s beauty along with the durability of synthetic planks. Reputable composite companies such as Trex offer a wide range of colors, which can come in handy if your community has architectural restrictions on decks, docks and other outdoor construction. It is also a much more affordable option. Prices can vary from one manufacturer to another, but on average, you’ll pay approximately $3.50 per linear foot.
Build Your Perfect Deck
If you’re ready to pull the trigger on a new deck, you now have the ability to make an informed decision on the perfect material. When it’s time to start building your new outdoor living space, make another good choice by hiring a professional contractor. At DEKTEX, we’ve built decks for people all over the Madison area and we’re ready to help you avoid the problems that always happen when you do it yourself. To schedule an appointment for a free estimate, call us at 608-216-2002 or use our online contact form today.