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It’s time to build the deck you’ve been looking forward to for so long! There’s nothing quite like a beautiful deck filled with family and friends relaxing and having fun enjoying one another. Before you get comfortable and start picturing yourself unwinding on a fantastic summer night, it’s essential to consider all of your decking options. 

Do you know all the benefits of a deck? Is building a deck right for you? If so, what kind of material should you use? What types of decks are there? What does your budget need to be to build the deck you desire? 

You might already have an old deck that needs fixing, or maybe you need to replace your deck complete with a more modern look and feel. Whatever your situation may be, it could be time to get a decking contractor involved to answer all of your questions and make sure you get exactly what you want.

Composite Decking Options

With so many decking options today, composite decking is a great and arguably the best material to consider using. Made to look a lot like wood decking, composite decking is actually made from a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fibers. The ratio of wood to plastic varies with each brand and manufacturer. We suggest using a composite material called Trex. It has been shown to be durable and cost-effective when looking at this type of decking.

The composite material feels somewhat like a wood deck, although you don’t have to fear getting slivers as you walk on it with bare feet or move your hand across it. It is rough enough to keep you from slipping when it’s wet. Composite decking comes in several different colors and styles as well as width and is well known for being durable and long-lasting. 

Advantages

As with any decking material, composite decking has its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros of Trex is that it is one of the most durable decking materials we have, lasting up to 30 years. Wood composite is a type of material that resists rotting, mold, bugs and does not need staining each year to protect it. The composite material doesn’t even fade. 

Disadvantages

Composite deck colors are permanent. You cannot change the stain color a few years down the road. When choosing the color you want, it’s essential to look into the future. Will you be changing the color of your home? Will your deck align with the choices you will be making in the time ahead? Talking with a decking contractor in New Jersey can help with these kinds of decisions. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance with these kinds of choices or uncertainties when working with our team.

Cost

The main disadvantage with composite decking is the cost. While the higher price tag can be a concern, the necessity for ongoing sanding, staining, and other repairs is eliminated. The initial higher cost is definitely offset down the road.

PVC Decking Options

PVC decking is similar to composite decking in that they are both made from synthetic material, but PVC decking is made from 100% plastic. It’s an excellent option for those not wanting a wood deck but aren’t totally convinced a composite decking material is best either.

Advantages

PVC decking is naturally resistant to water and insects and is 100% recycled plastic once it has reached the end of its life. The material you can choose from has options rich in color like mahogany or redwood, and it can be cleaned easily with a quick, annual power washing. PVC decking material is highly scratch and stain-resistant too. 

This lightweight PVC decking is available in capped or uncapped. Uncapped is cheaper but also more likely to stain if not carefully treated. Capped PVC decking is more protected with a kind of outer shell that usually makes it UV resistant as well to prevent fading.

Disadvantages

While there are many advantages to PVC decking, one disadvantage to note is the lack of selection available. PVC decking comes in one main style and just a few colors, although higher-end lines offer more color selection. Also, due to the plastic nature of PVC decking, it can have an unrealistic look. You won’t be mistaking PVC decking for a lovely cedar deck anytime soon. 

PVC decking can expand or contract depending on the temperature. If your deck is in direct sunlight often, a composite deck may be a more stable choice over the years.

Cost

PVC is cost-effective while the maintenance is kept to a minimum year to year, although it is the most expensive decking choice we have discussed. 

Wood Decking Options

Wood decking has been around forever but is still a popular choice when building a deck. It’s hard to match the beautiful natural warmth that a wood deck possesses. While a deck can technically be made out of any kind of wood, there are some superior types of wood you’ll want to use – because of the way they are able to withstand insect damage and harsh weather conditions. Pressure-treated wood is a good choice, as well as redwood or cedar. Pressure-treated lumber is made with chemicals infused into them for extra weather resistance, while redwood and cedar are naturally resistant to bugs. 

Tropical hardwoods can also be considered as they are much harder than redwood or cedar. Though more expensive, it is usually available in many areas and will last longer in the elements.

Advantages

A natural wood deck can be finished with a variety of board sizes, from narrow to wide. Your choices in stain color come in the most variety of any decking. You can also change this color depending on the color stain you choose from year to year without changing the actual decking itself. This flexibility is excellent for changing stain trends throughout the years. 

Disadvantages

While gorgeous, wood decks are high maintenance. If you build a wood deck, you can plan on cleaning, staining, and sealing your deck regularly to protect from fading, staining, rot, and insects. Your decking contractor can educate you on what is truly required to keep a beautiful-looking deck year after year.

Cost

Redwood and cedar are fairly expensive and not always widely available. Pressure-treated wood is the most widely available and least expensive way to go as far as wood decking goes. Overall, a wood deck is the most inexpensive decking solution out there when only considering the initial cost. But due to the high cost of lumbar right now, it isn’t far behind materials like composite decking (Trex decking), so cost should not be the main deciding factor when considering this option. 

Contact a NJ Decking Contractor

Tandem, your New Jersey deck contractor  can help you with any questions and concerns you may have. We know that with several options comes several questions. While these are the most common options to consider, Trex has been proven to be a superior choice when it comes to quality decking. If you have decided a deck is what your home is missing, contact us today!