Composite Decks or Wooden Decks
As with most things in life, both wood and composite materials come in good, better, and best qualities. The better grade will be a higher cost upfront, but it will also have a longer life span than decks built with the lower grade materials. And, obviously, the best grade materials will be the highest upfront cost but will have a longer life-span than all of the options available. Listed below are my Pros and Cons of Composite and Wood materials. Hopefully, this will help you decide which material will work best for you and your budget.
- Manufacturer limited warranty on materials. Some composites now offer a labor warranty
- Composite decks need much less maintenance, a simple scrub and clean every year is all that is needed.
- Instances of scratching, fading, and staining have improved from the earlier available materials
- Less prone to hail damage
- Most composites currently on the market are made from recycled materials
- The appearance has dramatically improved over the years. Previous materials were very obviously fake, not so much anymore.
- In general, composites are higher in cost, but the industry is introducing lower-priced composites
- If problems occur and boards need to be replaced, it can be difficult to get new materials that will match older materials. Colors are always being discontinued and new ones introduced to the market.
- You need to make sure you love the color. It cannot be changed.
- There is a higher cost in framing in order to meet manufacturer warranties for decking.
- Will the company be there to warranty the product, and if so, will your issue be excluded from their warranty?
- In the heat of the day, the deck can feel warm to hot on bare feet. The color you choose will contribute to this.
- Composite decking material will experience expansion and contraction with temperature changes. It can move up to 1/8″ to 3/16″ depending on the temperature.
- Wood is much lower in cost to build than composite materials.
- You can always sand and stain your deck to correct scratching, fading, and staining.
- Colors are usually easy to match.
- If you decide you do not like the color, it can be sanded and re-stained with your new color choice.
- The cost of framing is lower due to the greater spans for decking.
- Most wood is sustainably sourced. There are many farms that plant and harvest for the construction industries.
- Appearance is beautiful and full of character.
- The deck will be cooler on bare feet, but again, the color of stain will contribute to this.
- Wood has minimal expansion and contraction.
- There is no manufacturer warranty on most wood materials available.
- Wood will be higher in maintenance. Depending on the stains chosen, you will need to stain the deck annually, or with higher-level stains, up to 3 years between maintenance schedules.
- Cost will be higher over time due to the maintenance.
- Softer woods have a much lower fire rating.
- Wood decking is susceptible to splitting and splintering, however with proper maintenance this can be controlled and minimized.
Decks by Schmillen understands how overwhelming it can be to wade through the different options involved in building your new outdoor living area. Materials, styles, colors, and shapes can take time to research. Then there is the durability, quality, and total cost to be taken into consideration. Our aim is to help you narrow down some of your choices using this worksheet and website. We have compiled a number of images from projects we have completed for your reference.
1.) Contact Decks by Schmillen at 719-440-6966 so we can discuss the process of providing you an estimate.
2.) We will discuss how Decks by Schmillen works, the different options in materials, and provide you with some homework to complete so we understand what you are looking for in a deck.
3.) Look through the projects listed under Gallery to get ideas and inspiration for your own custom deck.