How To Choose The Right Material For Building Your Deck

Building a deck is a great way to enjoy the outdoors right from the comfort of your home.

A deck is a flat outdoor platform, often raised from the ground, and attached to your property. You can use your deck space to watch sunsets, read a book, or even hold get-togethers with family and friends.

The key element in successfully building a deck comes down to the type of material you’ll use, and any of the following will work: wood, composite, vinyl, and aluminum. But how do you know which material is bets for your situation?

Here’s a guide to assist you:

Consider Deck Material Durability

Consider Deck Material Durability
Image: David Longdon

The question to ask is, how long will a material last? When investing in something, you hope that it serves you for the longest time. You want to adopt this concept when searching for durable decking material.

Materials differ in terms of longevity. And it all goes down to the quality. A low-quality material won’t serve you for a long time. You’ll need to repair and replace it constantly, weakening it over time. In contrast, high-quality material will stand the test of time.

What depicts quality? It’s all in the composition of the said material.

Treated wood will last over 50 years, with untreated wood going for 20 to 30 years. It’s high-quality since it won’t experience rotting or termite infestation.

It’d help to research the durability of each material, from wood to composite decking, before settling on any of them.

Factor In Maintenance

Factor In Maintenance
Image: redagainPatti

Maintenance goes down to taking care of the material to ensure it meets your needs for the longest time. Decking materials differ in the extent of maintenance each requires. Some require extensive care, with others only minimal.

A material like wood requires regular staining, painting, and moisture protection as long as you use it. Another, like aluminum, only requires that you regularly wipe it down to remove accumulated dust.

The question to ask is, can you handle the maintenance needs of your chosen material? Settle for the material you can easily handle.

Look At Costs

Look At Costs
Image: Anne Ruthmann

How much is your chosen decking material? It’s always advisable to look at costs when investing. The best way to gauge the costs of given decking materials is to have a budget. It depicts how much you’re willing and able to spend on the project.

With the budget, it’s time to understand the costs of each material. Consider both short and long-term costs. Short-term costs touch on the price of the material, installation, and transportation costs. Long-term costs touch on maintenance.

Compare the overall cost of the materials, and choose the one whose costs fall within your budget. The aim is to avoid financial strain.

Consider The Location

Consider The Location
Image: Sander van Dijk

The question to ask is, where will you build the deck? Is it in an exposed or covered area?

Decking materials react differently to similar conditions, especially regarding weather exposure. Therefore, consider a material’s reaction in relation to your deck design.

Suppose you adopt an open deck. It’s exposed to harsh weather like rain and extreme heat. You shouldn’t adopt wood as your decking material. Moisture exposure increases its chances of rotting, reducing its longevity. Wood is ideal for an enclosed deck with minimal exposure.

Composite decking is ideal for an open deck. You can acquire composite decking whose components are water-resistant. Vinyl is the other option since it’s water-resistant.

Ultimately, adopt the right decking material considering the extent of exposure. You want to increase the material’s durability and maintenance needs.

Factor In Your Desired Outlook

Factor In Your Desired Outlook

Functionality aside, your deck should be aesthetically pleasing. It’s the first thing guests to your house interact with as they enter your home.

Your deck should represent your overall home’s theme or contrast it beautifully. Decking materials portray different styles and themes. Find out what each material represents aesthetically.

Wood, for instance, gives a natural look. Adopt it if your home has this theme. Alternatively, you can adopt it to break the monotony of your modern, sleek home. It’ll act as a bridge between outdoor nature and the indoor elegance.

If you want to achieve modernity on your deck, adopt vinyl. It’d help to seek expert advice from interior designers or a contractor. They’ll advise on what each material does to a space, as well as help you come up with an ideal design. You’ll make an informed decision.

Overall, the choice with regard to deck design goes down to preference.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right material for your deck is quite easy. All you must do is find a material that achieves functionality and aesthetics. The discussion above guides in finding such material for your decking needs. It’s in your best interest to adopt the guide for an easier selection process.