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Best Materials for a deck - Depending on the Circumstances

By Edited May 15, 2015 0 0

Introduction

Decking Materials

There are many items available in the market, but how do we determine which ones are the best materials for a deck? This is a question which has often plagued people who are handy with the tools.  Usually, the wrong choice results from a total failure to be informed on the nature of the material used.  Thus, to prevent this disaster from happening, it is better to learn of the physical attributes of the common materials used so that we can arrive at an intelligent decision.

Things to consider in choosing for the best materials

If we want to spend our money wisely in choosing the best material for our deck then we have to take into consideration the following before making any purchase. First, we have to know which material is right for our deck and which we think is perfect for us. Second, we have to know if it is durable enough and if it requires minimum maintenance. Finally, we consider the costing of the material.  These are the normal factors which affect our decision in choosing the best materials.

Common materials used

When it comes to decks, there are four usual things which come to mind.  These are wood, composite lumber, plastic and aluminum. With these materials used let us try to look at each one in order for us to see  for  ourselves which are the best materials to be used for our deck and if we could possibly save much on our expenses.

Wooden decks

Wood Decking

The most common of all materials used is wood. Mostly 85 percent of extended family homes have wooden decks. It is merely treated pine and has very high percentage. The main advantage in using this kind of material is that it is relatively cheaper as compared to the others and that it is much easier to get hold of. Treated lumber, for instance, that has been stained is very much pretty to look at.  When there is a sudden change of weather we can easily replace it with a new one.

Unfortunately, it also has its share of disadvantages. In terms of durability, wooden decks which have been properly cared of would last for 15 to 18 years. By proper maintenance, we mean that it needs to be cleaned and restored every year. Though splinters, cracks, warps are always present, problems on maintenance costing are expected to crop up.   Here are some examples of available wood species:

Cedar

Red Cedar

Cedar is a fine choice for deck material. Its grade is important; the custom is clear or the architect clear is perfect grades for your deck. The center or the heart of the tree contains more resins that make it less susceptible to the damaging effects of weather. There are few varieties of cedar, which usually have yellow and red shades. Its lighter colored species, however, stain wonderfully. Most cedars stick around for at least 20 years.

Redwood

Redwood Deck

Redwood would probably the perfect choice for materials used for deck, but we should consider the different grades of redwood. Basically the grades are determined by the part of the tree which they come from. The most expensive grade is the heartwood which comes from the center part of the tree. It can last for 30 years or more, depending on the climate. Also, maintenance costs for redwood are relatively higher as compared to treated pine.

Mahogany

Mahogany Deck

Depending on the season and where it is found, mahogany would make perfect deck materials.  Wood coming from South or Central America, or even the West Indies are guaranteed to produce high quality materials which are waterproof and deter insects.  Its deep tone color compliments its aesthetic beauty.  However, not all mahoganies are suitable for building. Philippine mahogany, for one, is not recommended to be used for building purposes.

Plastic deck materials

Plastic deck

Plastic deck materials are purely plastic and cost about 15% composite. As with composites, these materials offer a uniform appearance and are nice to look at because they are neatly installed. It is completely irresistible to insects and also requires minimal maintenance. The best part is that it promotes coolness during nighttime.

Aluminum Deck materials

Aluminum Deck

Aluminum is the most expensive and should be least considered, unless we have literally money to burn. Expensive as it may be, it is built to last for years to come.  Quality wise, this is what justifies its high cost. Aluminum for decking material would probably the most practical, expensive and would generate the least hear from among the materials mentioned. This would sit well with commercial buildings or res houses.

Factors we should ask ourselves in deciding which material to use

As we can see, the choice on what materials to use are plentiful, but we should always keep in mind certain factors to help us decide which is the perfect one to use.  First, we should always look at the product, quality wise.  Second, we should also see if it’s easy to install or if we need the services of a professional, if the installation costs are reasonable enough and well worth it.  Third, we should also look into maintenance costs because these are added expenses.  Finally, we should check on its longevity and durability because this will surely reflect if it is well worth its value.

Summary

Hence, there are a lot of factors to consider in choosing the best material for a deck.  For one, climate changes certainly dictate the material which we can use, depending on the time of the season because the best material for one season does not mean that it is also the best one for the other 3 seasons.  It is never too easy to just pick one material to stand out from the rest because ultimately, the best material for a deck will depend on what we want it to look like, and how far will our budget permit us to do so.


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