Synthetic vs. Wood Decks

From on March 23, 2007 in Decks and Patios

If you’re wanting (or) If you want to build a deck to meet your budget, or to match your lifestyle needs, there are two very important elements in the construction. Both wood and synthetic decks have their positives and negatives. Wood Decks For a beautiful natural look to your deck, nothing beats wood. There are many different kinds to choose from so you have options no matter what your budget; wood decking is generally less expensive than synthetics. The one major drawback is that, unless you don’t mind it weathering to a gray color it will need annual or semi-annual maintenance. Also, it will eventually need to be replaced, though decks made of strong woods, like ipe or redwood can last 40 years or longer. Keep in mind that no matter what surface you choose for your deck, only real wood can be used for structural support. As the strongest and least expensive option, pressure-treated lumber is a good choice material to use for your deck’s framework. And no matter what type of wood you do choose, check to make sure it is sustainably grown FSC certified wood. Synthetics Decks If you don’t want to spend much time maintaining your deck, consider synthetic decking materials. Synthetics have become a rapidly growing alternative to wood and new products are entering the market place annually. In 2000, synthetics made up just 8% of all decks being built, but today that number has nearly doubled, to 15%. The use of synthetics continues to grow 25% annually—the decking industry as a whole is projected to hit $6 billion by 2009—and more and more people are willing to trade the natural look and feel of wood for the ease of maintenance that comes with synthetic material. Synthetics don’t splinter or split, and many manufactures have developed materials that even mimic the look of wood. They require little maintenance, all of them are slip resistant, many are made from recycled materials, and they will last forever. There are a few drawbacks however; many people don’t find them as aesthetically pleasing as wood and they are more expensive.