Whenever you are installing a deck for the first time or rebuilding an existing one, there are a lot of things to consider. The material you’re going to use is probably the most important aspect to think about. 

 

You’ve got two main categories of decking material. These are composites and wood. In terms of maintenance vs. upfront costs, both have pros and cons. If you’re planning on building a deck, gazebo, or pergolas, here are some decking materials to consider: 

Composites 

Made of recycled plastic and wood fibers. This is probably one of the best materials you can use.  

Pros 

  • It is defect free. To get rid of waste, you can utilize every inch of it.  
  • Almost every manufacturer also produces balusters, handrails, and other decorative features to complement the shades they offer. 
  • Manufacturers make a wide variety of stains because it is man-made. 
  • Since it is made from recycled plastic, it is resistant to decomposingrupturesfissures, stains, and weather compared to other materials. Because of this, the extra time and cost you will have to put in toward annual maintenance is almost nothing. 

Cons 

  • This material is greatly more expensive upfront. However, it is worth it if you factor in the cost, labor, and time of maintaining wooden decks over their lifespans on at least 20 years.  

Tropical Hardwoods 

GarapaCambaraTigerwoodMassaranduba, IPE, and Cumaru, are some tropical hardwoods utilized for pergolas. 

Pros 

  • Naturally, they are resistant to bugs and rot. They are also durable and hard. 
  • These tropical species offer rich color and unique options 

Cons 

  • Tropical Hardwoods don’t accept stains extremely well. Thus, you will have to use a stain that is oil-based penetrating. It will cause the color to fade to a silvery and soft gray if you do not stain the wood. You can also apply a UV-blocking and clear preservative every 4 years as a substitute for a stain. 
  • They are more expensive compared to PT wood. However, in a couple of parts of the country, they’re comparable to Cedar and Redwood. 
  • The wood’s density makes them hard and heavy. They are hard to drill and cut. It is almost impossible to drive a nail or screw into one of them. 

Cedar and Redwood 

Pros 

  • The oils and tannins in the wood offer a natural resistance to particular bugs or insects, decay, and rot. 
  • Redwood and cedar have rich color. Its beauty is also natural-looking. You cannot be find this on pressure-treated lumber. 

Cons 

  • They need yearly pressure washing. They also require a new finish coat every 4 years. These forms of wood will change color if you do not apply the stain. The truth is that Cedar has been known to turn gray within 10 years, even if you constantly stain it. 
  • The resistance of Cedar and Redwood to bugs and weather varies on the amount of sapwood vs. heartwood in the planks. 
  • Prone to splitting and cracks. 
  • In almost all areas of the country, these forms of wood cost a lot more expensive. Usually, they are cheaper in the western part of the country.