Generally speaking, each year you'll need to spend roughly 16 hours keeping your wood deck in tip-top shape. That includes cleaning, washing, sanding, potentially repairing, and staining/sealing. There is a reason Summit Outdoor Designs favors composite decking with a steel frame!
Little to no maintenance is our goal, so you can spend more time actually enjoying your space. Below we go over the top reasons as to why you should choose composite over wood when building your deck.
No manufacturer will say "no" maintenance, but in comparison, it is just that.
There is no sanding, staining, or sealing, required!
All that is necessary is a simple hosing down once a year.
That comes to about 2-4 hours per year versus 16-32 for wood (including required drying times between washing & staining).
Composite has several colors & patterns to complement your home.
Bonus: it won't fade nearly as drastically as wood does.
Yes, there are many stain/paint colors for a wood deck, but these have to be kept up every couple of years.
Composite also has the optional upgrade of hidden screws using Cortex, that feature a color-matched peg, making the screw hole virtually disappear!
Composite will likely last longer than you live at the home!
Wood decks lifespans are maybe 10-15 years.
A few factors go into this:
The lumber industry cuts trees earlier, which means they're less dene & more prone to problems such as splintering, cracking, & warping.
Most homeowners don't set aside the time for required maintenance which as a result shortens the decks lifespan.
The best manufacturers have warranties no less than 25 years! And they stand behind that, firmly.
No soft wood product will be offered with a guarantee.
Speed of Install
Wood is a minimum of 2 screws per joist, per board, which are not dimensionally consistent.
Composite is dimensionally consistent, and can use a faster clipping system or just 1 screw per joist.
Composite benefits both the installer & homeowner, as there is overall less time spent on the project.
Long Term Cost
Up front, composite will be more expensive, but over the lifespan, will cost you much less. No annual maintenance cost!
Wood decks you HAVE to maintain with several hours of your time, multiple gallons of stain/paint, sanding & replacing boards as necessary - costs $$$.
Year 7-9 is the breaking point where you'll spend the same amount on a composite deck as you have with keeping up the wood deck.
Resale Value/Home Value
Composite will maintain nearly 80% of its value - major ROI.
Wood is 75% the first year, but goes down to 30-40% the next couple years, then essentially 0% after that.
Could even be viewed as a negative as they require upkeep.
*Note - if you know you're selling the house soon, go with wood.*
No Slivers, Cracking, or Splintering
Composite is better for those with children & pets.
A definite need for those with with pools!
Composite also has better traction now that they come with embossing.
For wood, splintering or cracking, it costs money to repair.
Wood decks are generally the same, though there is some potential for creativity with the railing, or if you splurge for a pergola.
Composite is MUCH easier to customize, be that with a simple "picture frame" around the deck in a different color, or a more unique railing system.
Round decks become a possibility with composite as it can be heated and bent to make curves.
Some manufacturers also offer composite boards in different widths, which creates even more options for customization.
Composite eliminates the need for virgin wood AND takes tons of plastic out of the landfills.
Boards are usually a minimum of 80% recycled content.
The wood filler within these boards is recycled sawdust or other wood by-products that'd usually be thrown away.
If a board doesn't meet quality control inspections, it just gets ground up & reused as filler!
Summit Outdoor Designs would love to help you design and build your dream composite deck. Reach out to us today for a FREE estimate!
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