Just like any construction project, one of the first things you will likely consider is the cost to build a deck. With so many options available for decking material, it can be tempting to choose the material with the lowest initial price. However, many of these decking materials come with hidden costs, which could lead to you spending more money down the line on repairs and maintenance. To help prevent this scenario, below we will take a look at some of the hidden costs of building a deck with the leading decking materials, and why composite decking is an affordable option.
Traditional wood is a long-standing decking favorite with low upfront costs and natural good looks. However, while the initial expense may be low, the added cost of maintenance and repairs can lead to much higher prices over time.
PVC (polyvinylchloride) :
PVC decking is a low maintenance alternative to traditional wood decking, without the look and feel of real wood. These decks are typically more expensive to purchase, require more substructure, and can be difficult to replace due to their complex fastening systems.
Similar to composites and PVC decking, aluminum is a hassle-free alternative decking material. The downside is it does not resemble real wood, comes with a steep purchase price, and requires an experienced builder to create custom designs, which will increase the overall cost of building the deck.
Capped composites are an affordable, low maintenance option for decking that can offer a real-wood look while being resistant to rot and splinters. They are easy to install, but may require sealing on the ends when cut, costing more time and money.
Deck Installation Costs:
Most decking materials, including composite decking, can be cut using the same saws and blades as wood. However some options, like aluminum and PVC are limited in their flexibility and will require an experienced installer in order to achieve any custom design, which can lead to higher overall deck costs.
On the other hand, some of the best value composite decks, like ChoiceDek, are versatile and can be ripped down the board, or routed on the edges and do not require special tools to bend.
Deck Maintenance Costs:
All decks require some form of maintenance and cleaning; however some decking materials will require more than others. For example, traditional treated wood may be one of the cheapest decking materials initially, however the cost to maintain a natural wood deck can easily add up over the years. Additionally, wood is prone to splinters and vulnerable to insects, leading to an increase in the deck's cost over time.
One thing that makes composite decking so affordable is the ease of care. Because composite decking eliminates the painting, staining and sealing requirements of wood, it can help you save time and money on deck maintenance, leading to lower costs in time. As with any type of decking, though, basic maintenance and cleaning help keep the deck boards in top-notch shape.
Deck Repair Costs:
As time moves on and eventually wears down on your deck, whether it takes 10 years or 50 years, a board will eventually need to be replaced. Similarly to how installation and maintenance costs are effected by your choice of deck material, the same can be said for repair costs. Some materials, like PVC boards require much more work to replace. For example, in order to replace a single PVC board, you will need to remove all the boards up to the damaged board because of the tongue and groove construction. This can negatively impact the overall cost to build and maintain a deck.
Some of the best valued composite decks come with a limited lifetime warranty, moisture resistance and reliable durability. So in the rare event that you do need to replace a composite board, you won't have to worry about it adding to the overall deck cost.
Why Composite Decking is the Best Value:
When you take into account installation, maintenance and repair costs, the overall cost of composite decking is nearly half the price of the alternatives. And with brands like ChoiceDek that stand behind their product with a 25-year warranty, you can eliminate or significantly reduce upkeep costs while attaining the good looks of wood.