Composite Decking Material
Composite decking consists of synthetic plastic and real wood fiber. This combination makes for a very strong and durable decking material with the look of natural wood but without the maintenance. Composite decking does not splinter, and lasts a long time. Combining the desire for low maintenance with an environmental consciousness, homeowners are particularly turning to composite decking due to their high level of recycled content.
Vinyl Decking Material
Vinyl decks are affordable, durable and long lasting. These decks come in almost any colour and do not need to be stained or painted. Although they are not natural wood, they can be made to mimic it. Vinyl decks are safe because of their slip-resistant finish in the rain and resistance to heat build-up during warm weather. They are splinter-free and very low maintenance.
Wood Decking Material
Wood decks are the most traditional type of deck. Wood gives you unlimited design options and can be painted or stained to match your home. Because of its exposure to moisture, most wood used for decks is pressure-treated which helps prevent decay and termite damage. Wood decks require yearly maintenance.
Before you make any decisions about decking materials or style, you need to think about your home and the area surrounding it. First, you need to determine how much space you have for a new deck. The size of your deck is greatly influenced by the amount of space you have for it. Also think about any obstructions in your yard that may interfere with the construction such as trees or boulders. If these cannot be removed, then you must build your deck
If you have enough space to build a deck of your desired size, think about what you will be using it for. If you plan to use it for entertainment, you may need more space than if it is just meant for family relaxation and leisure.
When determining where to build your deck think about how much privacy you want. If you are surrounded by neighbors and privacy is limited, plant some high trees around your deck – this will help block the neighbors’ view. Also, different locations provide different amounts of shade and sunlight – placing your deck in a location where you have both is preferred. How people will gain access to the deck is also important to consider. Your deck will either need to be attached to a side of your home or have stairs to get to it.
Decks can be dangerous, especially for younger children, so you will need to think about safety. You can either choose an open deck or an enclosed deck. The enclosed deck is preferred by families with young children and will help to keep them better supervised. Railings are also important, especially if your deck is high off of the ground.
Since your deck is outside 24/7, it is subject to all of the weather elements from sun to snow. If you live in areas with heavy snow or ice, your deck may need extra support to hold the extra weight. As a general rule, you need to choose materials that will withstand all weather conditions.
When it comes to the look or style of a deck, most people want something that will match their home. For instance – if your siding is made of vinyl you may want to choose vinyl decking to complement the style of the house. Remember to keep the size of your deck relative to the size of your home – a deck that takes up the entire backyard will look disproportionate and unattractive. You can add personal style with railings and stairways, and once it is complete, your own deck décor. See the “Creating Your Dream Outside Living Area” section of this guide.