Adding a deck to your property is a fantastic way to increase the amount of liveable space you have available. Plus, it encourages you to get outdoors and into your garden.
But what different types of deck materials are there? And what features do they offer? Let’s take a look.
Some decks are made of hardwood; one of the hardiest natural options available. Hardwood has excellent resistance to weathering and infiltration by organics because of its densely-packed fibers.
Even lightly treated, it can survive outside for many years, unlike many other types of lumber that rot quickly. Furthermore, every piece of hardwood has a unique appearance given by its grain. So if you decide to make your deck from this type of wood, it’ll look unique.
At the other end of the spectrum is vinyl deck. This isn’t made of wood at all but instead comprises a type of plastic (PVC) specifically designed for use outside.
As the name suggests, these combine two or more materials into a single product that offers greater benefits than either could individually.
Most composite decking is made of a combination of wood and low-density polyethylene. This mix is better at withstanding weathering than regular wood but also still retains that classic, natural wooden aesthetic that many people love.
Most composites are ultra-low maintenance, meaning that you don’t usually need to refinish or re-sand them every couple of years. Some products will last up to 25 years without any requirements for intervention on your part, and they’re in a better price range.
Cedar might be softwood, but it makes a pretty stalwart deck.
Why? It all comes down to the way the wood weathers. Unlike most softwoods, it doesn’t have the same propensity to bend, warp and rot. Instead, it decays into a gentle grey tone that’s highly resistant to environmental issues. Furthermore, natural tannins protect it from infestation, decay and infection.
Unfortunately, cedar altogether isn’t maintenance-free. You’ll still have to pressure wash and repaint it every few years or so to keep it in tip-top condition.
Traditional affordable wood deck is made of pressure-treated lumber. Here, manufacturers attempt to permeate the wood with special anti-rot chemicals using high pressure equipment.
Once the chemicals infuse into the wood, they give it more resistance to the elements while also improving its looks. Even so, you’ll still need to wash, sand and restain it regularly, as with the other organic decking options in this list.
So with all those options, you can decide which one works best for your deck and maintenance needs. Also note, that while some products are cheaper, they’re not always built to last, so investing in quality is best.
With any deck, you want to complete it with shade to facilitate cool places to sit. Awnings on patios are the best options, and there are a variety of