Composite vs. Wood Decks

When thinking about a new deck this summer, you may be going back and forth between composite decking vs. wood decking. It’s a tough choice but cost may be the deciding factor – at least this year. In some areas of the country, what would have cost you $25 a square foot before for wood may now cost you between $50 and $65 a square foot due to an unprecedented rise in the cost of lumber.

Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of composite and pressure-treated wood.

Composite Decking

Their biggest claim to fame is that they’re virtually maintenance-free, with no need for regular sanding, sealing or staining. All they require is cleaning every now and then with a low-setting pressure wash and soap.

Maintenance and Durability

These decks are made of durable, long-lasting materials that resist stains and harsh weather. They can actually resist wear and tear for 50 years if you treat them well. Compare this to a natural wood deck, which lasts between 10 and 30 years and is susceptible to rot, insect damage and splintering.

Composite decks also feature built-in UV resistance, which means they won’t fade over time as much as wood will.

Cost

Composite decking in 2021 costs between $20 and $38. Pressure treated wood at the very low end will cost you $25 per square foot with basic materials, while a wood deck built with premium materials will cost you $35 per square foot. It will cost you up to 50 a square foot if you are adding a second story.

With the costs of composite and lumber being pretty much even for 2021, many people are opting to go with composite because of the low maintenance, durability, and long-lasting lifespan. This cost comparison is very unusual – in years past, the cost of wood decks has been much lower than composite.

Wood Decking

Many homeowners simply love wood decks. They are classic, natural, rustic and traditional. They’ve been around for centuries and bring a certain charm to any property. The biggest benefit to wood is that it’s cost efficient, long lasting and is available in many grades, from more affordable pressure-treated options such as yellow pine or higher-quality and higher priced varieties like cedar and redwood.

Maintenance and Durability

Yes, you can get composite decking that resembles natural wood, but many homeowners prefer the authenticity of real wood. However, while wood decking has its durable benefits, it still comes with high maintenance costs, time and effort. Wood decks will need sanding, cleaning, painting, staining and sealing at some point – usually every two to five years. If you fail to perform this maintenance, your deck will fade and rot.

Wood decks will splinter or warp with the weather elements or wear and tear from usage. A well-maintained deck can last up to 20 years.

In the end, whether you choose wood or composite, it will all come down to personal preference. If you like the rich, natural look of wood, go with wood. If you like the sleek look of composite and can’t be bothered with maintenance, go with composite. The choice is yours!

Contact Hi-Tech Windows and Siding

For more advice on whether to choose a composite or wood deck for your next renovation, contact us at 800-851-0900 for a free quote.

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