Collaborative Post | When considering having a new deck added to your home, it’s important to spend adequate time planning. In today’s guide, we’ll look at how to choose the best decking material for a new project you have in mind.
Narrowing down your options
There are many decking materials on the market, so it’s understandable if you don’t quite know where to start. However, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your options by taking factors into account, such as your budget and the type of look you’re going for.
Without further ado, let’s explore ways to narrow down your options and decking materials you might want to consider. We’ve included the various options in bold to help simplify things.
Choosing the ideal decking material for your project
If money is no object and you simply want to go with the overall best decking material, we’d suggest looking at PVC and composite decking.
Both PVC decking and composite decking are forms of engineered decking choices. These modern low-maintenance options offer good value for money, particularly if you are not after a specific or old-fashioned aesthetic.
However, even with that being said, composite decking, through mixing natural wood fibres and long-lasting synthetics, can largely maintain the organic appearance of natural wood decking while adding plenty of durability.
If you are seeking a decking material that will work best in all sorts of weather, you should probably go with a mineral-based composite, as this type of material is less likely to warp or move over time.
PVC, however, is an entirely synthetic option. All in all, PVC and composite decks are the best overall options on the market, with PVC providing the added bonus of being 100% mould-, mildew-, and insect-resistant. PVC is also a great option if you want to prevent your decking from developing a particularly hot underfoot on warm summer days.
If you are keen on ensuring you go with an old-timey aesthetic, then we suggest either hardwood or pressure-treated wood decking. While traditional natural wood decks are harder to maintain and less durable, they will provide you with a highly organic appearance.
While hardwood is fairly popular, pressure-treated wood decking is more commonly used. This type of decking material is injected with preservatives to increase its longevity. While this makes pressure-treated wood decking longer lasting than hardwood, it does not take away from its natural appearance, as would be the case with a composite wood deck.
One notable limitation of pressure-treated wood is that there aren’t many visually diverse options to go with, which is in contrast to hardwoods. For instance, there are an array of exotic hardwood decking materials on the market, including tropical hardwoods.
Tropical hardwoods are a form of rich-grained wood known for being naturally rot-free and insect-resistant, hardened and highly durable. Naturally, exotic hardwoods tend to be on the more expensive side.
Alternative options worth considering include fibreglass and aluminium. Fibreglass is a good all-weather, durable material; however, it is more on the expensive side ,and its appearance would not be everyone’s cup of tea.
As for aluminium, this metal can make for a durable, low-maintenance decking with a low risk of slips and falls. On the other hand, aluminium decks do not come cheap either, and they also lack that natural aesthetic of traditional timber.
Ultimately, the cost of installing a timber decking will be largely determined by what material you go for. If you are looking to keep costs to a minimum, then you should look into the relatively cheap options of plywood, pressure-treated lumber, composite decking and cedar.
Depending on the type of material you opt for, the size of the decking in question and the cost of labour in your area, you may end up paying somewhere in the region of £900 to £4,400. Of course, with such a wide price range, this keeps plenty of options available if you are keen on keeping your bill under, say £1,500 to £2,000.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post
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