wooden deck flooringIf you add a deck to your exterior living space, you have choices as far as building materials are concerned. The two most common options, by far, are wood decking and composite decking.

Wood decks have long been and still are the more cost-effective solution, at least upfront. However, the cost difference between composite and wood decks has decreased with the latest wood price increases.

Despite the greater upfront cost of composite deck materials, the long-term price of composite decks might be less because it provides better guarantees and lower maintenance. Due to those long-term benefits, many of our clients opt to pay a bit more upfront for a low-maintenance, nicer decking that lasts for decades.

At Chattanooga Exteriors, we’re always glad to show our customers a brief cost comparison of their decking design built with composite vs. wood decking.

Benefit vs. Cost

A lot of homeowners go with composite boards due to the benefits that they obtain over wood.

The advantages of composite decks include longevity – composite decking may be expected to last decades longer than wood decking – and it is low maintenance. Composite decking should remain looking new for decades with just a periodic cleaning. It is especially vital for the ones who have busy households who just do not have time to continuously re-paint or restain the deck.

Considerations for Maintenance Costs

Wood decking requires continuous (often annual) maintenance, which includes sealing, staining, and sanding to keep the wood appearing its best. In cooler climates, wood deck maintenance might need to be even more frequent in order to keep the deck in good shape.

Annual maintenance on wood decks may cost several hundred dollars every year for materials and labor.

On the other hand, composite decking requires essentially no maintenance – other than a periodic wash using mild soap and water to keep it clean.

In summary

If you like the feel and look of wood and have the resources and time to keep the deck correctly maintained, wood may be your best bet. However, if you’re in a position to pay a bit more upfront and do not want all of the maintenance that wood decking requires, composite decking is your best option.

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