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Brtown County Home Builders Association

Valley Home Builders Association

You will have several different choices of materials for your new deck.  New products have come to our market every year, as consumers look for less care and lower maintenance of their deck.  Many of the new products no longer exist, as they fail to gain market share or have performance problems.  From us you'll get the perspective of a builder who's only interest is in building your deck, not the product you choose.  We give you an honest perspective of what works well and what doesn't.  

In choosing a material, we will typically ask you to consider the following.  How long do you plan on staying in your home?  How much sunlight will your new deck receive?  What is your building budget?   The care of and budget typically are the driving forces behind choosing a material, and when we meet we'll help you with those questions so you can make an educated decision that’s right for you.

Composite Materials – Materials such as Trex, Timbertech, and Geo Deck are decking materials made from a combination of plastic and wood.  The better composites have warranties from 10 – 25 years against splitting, warping, rotting and do not need to be stained or sealed for their lifetimes.  For about the past 3 years, Trex and Timbertech have come out with a capped composite material which also is guaranteed to retain it's color and not fade.  While more expensive than wood, they maintain their appearance for many years and only require periodic cleaning.  Approximately 65% of the decks that we built in this past year have at least a composite or non wood floor.  

Western Red Cedar – If choosing a wood deck, this is the product that we most recommend.  While softer and less durable that treated pine, it will maintain an overall nicer appearance through the years.   You can expect to seal the floor every 2 – 3 years, and the railing every 4 – 5 years.  

Pressure Treated Pine – Pressure treated pine is typically the least expensive decking material, and is a more durable material than cedar.  Pressure treated pine has the largest market share of any decking material used, wood or non-wood because it is the lowest cost material.   However, it is very likely to shrink/crack/warp if it gets a lot of sunlight.  This type of deck will probably require occasional replacement of boards through it's lifetime.

PVC, Plastic and Vinyl – Unlike composites, these products do not contain any wood fiber.  They are more prone to expansion and contraction in the heat/cold, and are typically a little more slippery than composites/wood decks when wet.  But if you are looking for certain color choices (typically lighter colors), they may only be offered in these materials.

There are pros/cons of each material made.  When we sit down with you, we’ll be happy to go into much more detail about our experiences with these and any type of material you may be interested in.

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