Choosing the composite decking that is right for you can be overwhelming at first but you can simplify your process by weighing a few key issues. Budget is an obvious consideration but the amount of sunlight, community building codes and overall appearance are also important considerations. Some composite decking brands will meet your needs and others won’t.
Budget Factors: Quality composite decking costs two to three times more than pressure-treated wood but lasts two to three times longer. If you are on a tight budget installing wood railings rather than composite railing reduces deck costs while providing a more durable decking surface.
Sunlight and Weather Factors: The amount of sunlight your deck space receives is also an important consideration prior to selecting materials. Dark-colored and very dense composites can really heat up in the sun. Get composite samples in different colors and set them outside on your deck site. If they’re hot enough to fry an egg after a day in the hot sun, consider a lighter color or a different composite material.
Composite decks subject to frequent wetting can get slippery if they don’t have a texture. If your deck is going to be used near a pool, or if you live in a climate where ice is an issue and the deck is going to be used as a main entry to the house, search for a style with a pronounced texture.
Building Code Requirements: Call your local building officials to make sure the material you’re considering is approved in your city. Some composite systems have limitations on the materials for use as stairs or require specific framing in certain applications. Also, be sure you know what kind of fastener spacing is required so you don’t encounter any surprises during inspection
Composite planks install using the same basic tools as any wood deck. But the decking itself is only a piece of the overall budget. Each system requires either hidden fasteners or deck screws which add to the cost and complexity of the construction depending on the deck, you may need end caps, reinforcement pieces, special trim or skirt pieces. For a complete picture of the costs involved in building a great composite deck, contact us and we can provide you a thorough estimate.