If you’re thinking about building a deck, you should make sure it will last for many years to come. Choosing the proper decking construction materials is not only an important design choice but a functional choice as well. It will determine the level of care you’ll need to keep up if you want your deck to maintain its integrity and look.
So where do you start? What materials should you consider when building your deck? We discuss the pros and cons of each common deck material so you can make the best choice for your project.
A Common Decking Construction Material: Pressure-Treated Lumber
One of the most popular choices, pressure-treated lumber is easy to find in most outlets for decking. Pine is usually the basis for this kind of material, but there are other options out there. This lumber is affordable and chemically treated so that it’s resistant wood-boring bugs, wood rotting, and fungus.
However, it’s been known to crack, warp, and easily get stained. To prevent this from happening you’ll want to thoroughly clean it once a year and re-stain or put on new wood preservative every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you want a decking construction material that will wow based on looks, the rich colours of both redwood and cedar make them classic choices for decks. These particular types of wood also have natural properties that make them resistant to common decking issues like rot and insects. That being said, this resistance depends on how much heartwood (the wood closest to the centre of the tree) is in the lumber.
Like pressure-treated lumber, redwood and cedar decks need to be power-washed annually but they only need a coat of finish every three to four years. To protect the wood further, it’s recommended that you apply a clear, water-repellent wood preservative.
Grand Irish Construction also offers deck maintenance to help repair and fix any damage your deck has received. Plus we can install additional outdoor amenities to your deck like an outdoor fireplace as well if you want to get more out of your outdoor space.
A mixture of plastic and wood fibre, this material comes in a wide array of colours to choose from. Some types can even be stained as well. If you still want a wood look to your deck, but want it to be as weather, bug, and rot-resistant as possible this is the best choice.
It does contain wood fibre though, so while it’s a very low-maintenance material, it does require some upkeep. It’s also often a heavier material as well so keep that in mind during your planning and construction.
Lightweight and extremely weather-resistant, plastic has its own set of advantages as a decking construction material. Because there aren’t any wood fibres, bugs, rotting, and fungus aren’t issues you’ll commonly have to prepare for or deal with.
While there are options that do look great, plastic isn’t always the most attractive material, and in some cases can be slippery or sag over time.
Metal seems like it would be problematic as a deck material, but aluminum’s properties actually make it a great pick. Most options available won’t rot, rust, warp, splinter, or crack. Plus, it’s weather, mold, and slip-resistant so you can enjoy your time outside on your deck comfortably.
As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about it catching fire and you’ll be surprised to learn it stays cool during the summer due to aluminum’s superior heat dissipation properties.
Out of all the aforementioned materials, aluminum is the least affordable. While the properties it has are fantastic, depending on your home, it may not be the look you want.
Ultimately, how you build your deck will depend on the look, functionality, and resistance to the elements you want. Each of the above materials has cases to be made for why they are the right choice, but it’s up to you as to how you want your deck to turn out.