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Top 5 Deck Building Materials

Top 5 Deck Building Materials

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Most Popular Decks, Patios and Porches Cities

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by Emily Disher

If you’re looking to enhance your living space with an outdoor deck, or if it has come time to replace the one you have, then you undoubtedly have wondered about which type of deck is right for you. With so many porch, patio, and deck options available, it can be difficult to decide which material will work best for your space, lifestyle and budget. A good place to start is by checking out some of the most popular deck materials among homeowners:

1. Natural Wood
Touted for its beauty and versatility, natural wood continues to be the most popular material for deck building. Many homeowners choose wood for its natural beauty, as well as affordability. A wood plank, for example, can run anywhere from $10-25 cheaper than a composite plank. In addition, wood is the most versatile of all deck options, as it can be stained and restained any color. While some woods, such as red cedar, are more durable than others, most wood requires a high level of maintenance, which has caused some homeowners to look to composite woods for their outdoor deck.

2. Solid Composite Wood
Composite wood decks, a blend of plastic and wood fiber, have become popular because they provide the look of natural wood without the level of upkeep required for natural wood decks. Available in a variety of colors, solid composite wood is a highly durable deck option, as it expands and contracts with weather fluctuations, similar to natural wood, but also has the added durability of the plastic.

3. Hollow Composite Wood
While not quite as durable as solid composite wood, hollow composite provides the easy-care advantages of composite wood, and typically costs less than solid composite, making it a popular deck option. Hollow composite tends to have more of a man-made appearance.

4. Vinyl
Like composites, vinyl is more durable and lower-maintenance than wood deck options. Those opting for vinyl are often aiming for a more contemporary look, as vinyl has a less-natural appearance than wood and most composites. Made of polymers, vinyl’s greatest appeal may be the fact that it is not prone to the mold, rot, or warping to which both wood planks and the wood fiber in composite planks can become subject. Also appealing, vinyl deck options typically come with lifetime warranties.

5. Eco-Friendly Composites and Vinyls
More and more homeowners are looking to build with green materials. While wood is the most eco-friendly deck material, some composites and vinyls are made with up to 90% recycled materials. Currently, vinyls are more easily recycled after use than are composite options. Homeowners concerned with green building should look into various composite and vinyl manufacturers before selecting their deck option.

Your home contractor or deck installation specialist will be able to help you select the best option for your space and lifestyle. If you are looking for green options, they will be able to help you select the most eco-friendly materials, as well as the materials most complimentary to your home.

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