Tips for buying decking material

March 2, 2015

Decks are a beautiful addition to your home, and act as a place where people can gather to enjoy your property. Depending on your deck designs, different materials will look better and last longer. Here’s a few tips for finding the right decking material.

Tips for buying decking material

Decking materials

Look for a material that matches your lifestyle, whether it’s wood that you regularly treat with deck stain or low-maintenance metal.

Pressure-treated lumber: Wood is classic decking material, and pressure-treated wood is the most affordable variety. The most common deck wood is pressure-treated pine, but other woods are available. Expect to stain and treat your deck regularly to keep your wood deck from warping, rotting and changing colour.

Natural wood: Natural wood often holds the distinct colour and grain for a more rustic look. Natural wood requires even more upkeep than pressure-treated wood, but you can find an even wider variety of colours and grains. In general, natural wood is softer than pressure-treated varieties and can hold less weight.

Composite: Composite decking is made from a plastic-wood hybrid that requires less maintenance than wood and won’t fade with time. Depending on the price, composite decking will look more like plastic or wood, but it will still be susceptible to mildew and rot.

Plastic: Plastic is the most affordable and resilient material available, but it’s also the least attractive. Of all the types of plastic available, vinyl decking is gaining popularity since it can look just like regular wood at a fraction of the cost. All plastics are slippery in the rain and tend to sag over time.

Metal: No one will mistake a steel deck for a wooden one, but it’ll last longer than most. It will get hot in the summer, but it won’t rot, get infested with bugs or burn. Look for metal decking if you want a low-maintenance deck or if you’ll use it in the winter, since it won’t get brittle in the cold like wood.

Factors to consider when choosing decking

When purchasing decking, consider the yard features you have or may want in the future. The material for a pool deck, for example, should focus on being waterproof and slip-resistant more than actual looks. Decks that have numerous stairs could benefit from a deck railing, which will need solid material for the extra strain.

Decking maintenance tips

  • Get rid of surface stains by washing your deck with warm water and soap or a pressure washer.
  • Replace loose nails with longer screws to prevent it from happening again.
  • Stain and seal your deck in the spring as required. Be sure to sand your deck before applying stain.

No matter your deck plans, the perfect deck starts with the right materials. Now you can make an informed decision about which material will look the best for any deck designs you may have in mind.

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