Decks can be added to homes with large yards and are a great way to relax and entertain. There are many different decks with structural designs, from island to detached, but all add livable, functional outdoor space.
Decks can vary in size, height, and features due to their placement, location, and building codes. Decks can be classified by the type of material used to construct them. The material determines the durability, maintenance, and cost of a deck. Deck materials can include treated lumber, composite lumber, or natural wood. Each tier requires different cleaning, maintenance, and care. You can learn all you need about deck types.
The type of material often categorizes decks. The most common decking materials are listed below.
Natural wood is easy to install and feels great under your feet. It can rot, splinter, and attract insects, so it needs to be maintained. You’ll want to sweep it more than wash it because wood warps. You’ll have to wash your deck and re-stain it every two or three years to maintain its appearance. Deck types include
The most affordable wood is pressure-treated, while the more expensive varieties, such as cedar and redwood, are generally more costly. Pressure-treated lumber has been injected with fire retardants or preservatives to increase durability. Redwood and other hardwoods are known for their unique textures and colors. Bamboo is a durable, sustainable material, while mahogany has a resilient look. Ipe wood is the most expensive option. It is resistant to rot, insects, wear, splintering, and fire. The best wood for your deck will depend on your local weather and the wood in your yard. Both factors can influence exposure to extreme weather and wood-eating insects that could ruin your deck.
Composite decking is a mixture of wood and plastic fibers. This is an excellent alternative to wood. For example, polyethylene plastic and wood fiber deck boards contain wood fibers such as sawdust. Composites are highly resistant to wear and rot. Composite boards are available in various wood grains and patterns that can be matched to almost any wood.
Composite can be used for the lattice and railings of a deck. It is low-maintenance and durable because it does not require weatherproofing or painting. Some types are slip- and waterproof-resistant. Composite wood is less likely to warp, splinter, or crack than natural wood.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
PVC can be used to make pipes, decks, and wiring. It is made of 100% synthetic material. It is also very affordable. PVC decking is durable and low maintenance because it is plastic. PVC decking is available in many colors, just like composite materials. PVC decking has no organic materials, so it is resistant to moisture, mold, mildew, and insect damage.
Concrete or Stone
The most durable deck material, it is also the most expensive. Concrete or stone decks can last for decades, depending on their installation and the environmental conditions. Installation costs vary depending on deck size and material. Decks made of stone or concrete are ideal for small ground-level spaces. These materials can enhance the value of your home and blend in well with its surroundings. These materials are heavy and, therefore, unsuitable for elevated or raised structures.
Aluminum decking is an alternative to wood. The decking material requires little maintenance and will last for many years. Aluminum comes in a variety of colors and styles. Aluminum is highly resistant to both water and fire damage. It is, therefore, ideal for areas prone to fires, hailstorms, strong wind, or heavy rain.