A fantastic deck can be the most wonderful aspect of a home, and also most high-maintenance when spring comes. As winter ends, Americans shell out thousands of dollars to get their deck back to where it was before the wear and tear of harsh weather.
Forget being forced to constantly revive your deck from the dead of winter. It’s time to consider composite decking, a low-maintenance alternative to wood.
What’s more, decks will add value to your home.
What were once very limited options for the best composite decking, are now more than 50 varietals to choose from. You can custom design a deck to fit in seamlessly with your home.
The benefits of composite decks are endless: you won’t have to repaint your deck every spring, you’ll avoid potential termites, and your deck will look brand new all year round. Struggling to decide the best decking for you?
Have no fear, the ultimate guide to choosing the best decking is here:
1. Consider Your Budget
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Composite decking is a great option for those on a budget. Even the best composite decking is only $3 to $7 per square foot. Find a variation in design and color of plastic and wood that will fit your home aesthetic.
Consider the size of your deck and the cost of the installation systems. You can choose details right down to the texture of the deck. While on the lower end of the budget spectrum you might find fewer colors, repetitive grain patterns and smooth or combed finishes always look great.
A simple pattern and material will be very low maintenance while lowering the overall costs of your new deck. Do your best to design the deck using the standard plank and railing components. If you can use use these measurements when designing, you will save money and cut waste.
Want to go even further to save a buck? Choose some of the best composite deckings that are budget-friendly with a system that installs with face screws instead of hidden fasteners.
2. The Look
If you are hesitant about a composite deck because you really want it to look like wood, there is no reason to worry. The higher-end composites have a fantastic grain design and look extremely “woodlike” in both feel and appearance.
Some options even have wood shadings and individual grain variations, so no two boards will be the same.
Many manufacturers will even buff the boards at the factory so there won’t be any plastic sheen appearance. On the higher-end of the spectrum, you will have so many colors and grain patterns to choose from that you are sure to be happy with your choice.
Consider things like railings, post caps, and decorative trim to give your deck the ultimate dress up.
3. The Best Composite Decking Still Gets Wet
The trickiest aspect of even the best composite decking is that when it gets wet, it will get slippery. Depending on the texture you’ve chosen for your decking, it can be a hazard.
If you choose a smooth-texture composite for budget purposes, then be aware of rainy days and stay off the decking. If your deck is going to be near a pool, then it is definitely best to use a composite with some texture.
If it’s forming part of the main entrance to your home, it’s important to use a style that has a very pronounced texture as well.
4. Sun Fun
Do you live in a warm climate? It’s important to understand that dark and dense composite decking options will get extremely hot in the sun. If you’d like to use your deck barefoot all summer long, it’s probably best to avoid going with a dark color.
What’s more, if you’re sitting on a chair on your dark deck, the heat reflected off the plastic can make you sizzle. Get composite samples in lighter colors and set them outside in the sun for a test run before you choose which one you want to go with.
Test the temperature of each sample in various weather conditions and make sure it’s the best composite decking for your regional climate.
5. To Fasten Or Not To Fasten
Hidden fasteners aren’t important to everyone. Others care if they see the fasteners when looking at their new deck. If you don’t want to see the hardware that went into the installation, then use hidden fasteners.
While hidden fastener systems might be a bit more expensive than those installed with face screws, they’ll only bump up the price by about 30%.
6. Check The Code
Before you shell out substantial money for the best composite decking, call your building management to make sure the material you want is approved in your city. There might be some limitations on what materials you can use for stairs, framing, or in certain structures.
Furthermore, there might be fastener spacing requirements you’ll need to meet. The last thing you want is to install your gorgeous new deck only to have it come under scrutiny during inspection with required changes to be made.
Be smart, check the codes before you start.
7 Extras, Extras, Read All About Them
Composite planks will use all the basic tools that a wood deck would. However, the decking planks are only a portion of what you’ll be paying for. You might need end caps or reinforcement pieces too.
Make sure to consider all of the extras when planning your decking design. Consider special trim, skirt pieces, and lovely add-ons like railings and posts.
If you can heavily research the installation requirements the add-ons need, you can get a realistic number for how much money you’ll need to budget.
8. Keep It Fine With Your Design
Many traditional homes are built with wood decks, therefore people seek out this “classic” element when shopping for a home. What people don’t realize is that by embracing updated technology, the best composite decking will offer them the classic porch they wanted without the hassle of having to replace it.
Now that people are seeing the low maintenance, never-have-to-paint-again decking options, wood is starting to disappear. When it comes to the design of your deck, consider your entire home aesthetic.
Make sure your deck color fits in with the color palette of your entire home. There is nothing worse than a home with a deck that sticks out like a sore thumb. Make your deck seamless, beautiful, and let it blend into your home.
9. Plant It
Especially for spring and summer, put planters on your deck for the best composite decking appeal. Black planters with beautiful green shrubs will make your deck look like an oasis of serenity and peace.
With substantial planters in each corner of your deck, you’ll give your patio a stately appearance. Your guests will never stop to think about if your deck is wood or not because it will look so natural and elegant with a few beautiful bushes.
10. If You Build It, They Will Come
When you are building the design of your deck, consider what you are going to use the deck for. Is it just for you and your spouse to sit on in the warm months? Or are you a host with the most and plan on having elegant dinner parties on your deck?
When installing a deck for your home, analyze what the uses will be. Will there be children on the deck? Does the deck need to be secured?
Consider things like square footage when it comes to your deck so you can have your family and friends over for a sunset cocktail hour without it feeling too tight. Extend your home into your yard with a large, spacious deck made of the best composite decking.
Considering these ten tips will help you get the composite deck of your dreams. A great addition to any home, you’ll find yourself spending ample amounts of time on your new deck.
However, do so comfortably by considering how hot the deck will get, how much space you need, and how you can make it a serene space. From color to texture, analyze what will be the best for you.
When you are ready for the best deck on the market, contact us today!