Is Composite Deck Installation Right for Your Backyard?
In recent years, the price of wood has risen rapidly. So, if you’re interested in building a new deck, you might want to consider other decking material options, such as composite. However, there are both pros and cons to composite deck installation. Let’s take a look at this material and why (or why not!) it might be the best option for your backyard.
What is Composite Decking?
Composite decking hit the market in the 1990s. This material is made from a mixture of wood and plastic, mixed with a binding agent. It is an alternative to the pressure-treated pine that most people use to build their decks. While pine is still the most popular choice for residential decks, composite materials have grown in popularity.
Composite decking comes in boards just like pine and other wood materials, such as exotic hardwoods and cedars. Similar to pine, composite decking is available at most big box consumer home improvement stores, which means you could choose it for a DIY deck project. However, we strongly recommend against DIY decks, especially with unfamiliar materials such as composite wood boards. Having a professional design and build your deck is always the way to go, since it can save you both time and money and produce a deck you really love.
Benefits to Composite Deck Installation
Composite decking material is typically more expensive than pine. However, if you build a composite deck, you’ll enjoy a number of benefits:
- Composite decking comes colored and ready to use. So, unlike wood products, you don’t have to sand and paint or stain the boards. This remains true over the life of your deck; you won’t have to sand and re-paint or stain as part of your deck maintenance.
- Speaking of deck maintenance, composite makes it extremely easy to care for your deck. This material resists mold and mildew, insect damage, and staining.
- Composite is also resistant to scratches. If your deck is used regularly (and we hope it is!), you’ll see scratches form over time in areas that get the most traffic, especially under chairs. Composite doesn’t show wear as quickly as wood.
- Although the initial investment upfront is higher, composite decks last longer than wood decks. Even if you maintain a wood deck very well, you’ll still likely have to replace it sooner than a composite deck.
- Some composite decking is environmentally-friendly. Companies use waste products from sawmills and recycled plastics to create composite boards. If you want to use an environmentally-friendly product for your new deck, let us know during your initial consultation and we can let you know the options.
Composite decks aren’t for everyone. That’s why we also offer a wide range of wood products, including not only the ever-popular pine, but also cedar and exotic hardwoods. We’d love to show you samples and discuss which decking material might be best for your backyard.
Composite Deck Installation – What to Expect
Building a new deck doesn’t have to be stressful when you work with a professional team like Structurally Speaking. We make the process easy! After your initial consultation (which is totally free, with no strings attached), we’ll design a few deck options. We won’t start the building process until you are completely happy with the design.
We have an in-house construction team who completes every deck project we take on. Our owner, Jim, oversees all deck design and construction so you never have to worry that a group of unknown subcontractors is cutting corners or doesn’t understand the design.
We’ll start by leveling the ground (if needed). While you can do composite deck installation yourself, this is part of the reason why we don’t recommend it; many people don’t know how to properly prepare their yard. We want to make sure your beautiful new deck doesn’t sink the first time it rains. Without a proper foundation, your deck can also become uneven over time. That doesn’t happen with Structurally Speaking decks!
Once your backyard is prepared for the deck, we’ll start construction. We use top-quality materials and construction techniques so your deck will stand the test of time.
FAQs About Building a Deck
We’d love to answer any questions you have about composite decking or building a wood deck. Here are a few questions we commonly hear:
Where do you install decks?
Structurally Speaking does wood and composite deck installation in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, and the surrounding Triangle area. We have experience working with local governments in the Triangle area, in order to get the proper permits to build your deck and make sure your deck is up to code.
Can I extend my current deck?
Maybe! We do deck extensions in some cases, but first would need to ensure your current deck is in good condition. Learn more about extending your deck here.
Is a deck the right choice for me, and if not, what are the alternatives?
If composite deck installation isn’t right for you, we also build other outdoor living spaces, such as enclosed porches. Our goal is to help you design the perfect deck that flows with your home design and will be extremely functional for your family. Many homeowners love combination spaces, with a deck and sun porch, while others are looking for a wrap-around deck or porch, a floating deck, or another type of space.
Contact us today to set up a free initial consultation so we can get started designing the perfect backyard living space for you.