Composite vs. Natural Wood Decks

Building a new deck can be an exciting prospect for a homeowner. However, choosing between a composite or natural wood deck can be difficult. Both options offer a low, mid, and high range of quality. As with most home improvement projects, the higher quality material will involve the least maintenance and last longer. While some people prefer the look and feel of a natural wood deck, others enjoy the look and easy care of the composite wood decks. For most, the decision boils down to how much time they can invest in their deck in the long run. To get an idea of which is right for your home, it is important to review both options.

Composite decks:

Composite decking is made from a combination of plastics and wood particles. This type of decking is attractive to homeowners that want to install a beautiful deck with little upkeep needed. You can buy scratch resistant boards, and UV protected decking to keep maintenance cost down. On the low-end of the price scale, the boards are typically hollow, and on the high-end, the boards are solid. Both types of boards have their own advantages. Hollow boards will expand and contract less, but can hold water that can warp the boards. Solid boards are stronger and have a more realistic appearance, but they have a greater tendency to expand and contract. Both options are suitable for someone that wants a deck with little maintenance involved, but the initial cost for a composite deck will be more than that of a natural wood deck.

Natural wood decks:

Natural wood decking is a choice that any homeowner can be confident in, but a natural deck will require more maintenance overall. Although natural wood needs more care long-term, it is a material everyone is familiar with and already know the basic care requirements. For homeowners, their initial investment will determine the upkeep needed in the future. The type of wood purchased determines the initial cost of the deck installation. The wood chosen will have its own set of pros and cons. The less expensive woods like Southern Pine will be more prone to warping and rotting, but wood like Mahogany will be more durable and less likely to rot and warp. As a homeowner, you will have to consider what types of weather your deck will be exposed to, and what level of maintenance you are willing to put into your deck.

Choosing between a composite or a natural wood deck can be a bit of a challenge. However, a little research makes the decision-making process much easier. When choosing between the two, it is best to consider the time that you have to invest into the deck in the long-term. People with busy lifestyles will be better suited to a composite deck. However, people who can invest the time and effort into the long-term care of their deck are better matched with a natural wood option.