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Your deck is your own little staycation spot. You come together for family fun, to entertain friends, to enjoy your morning coffee or to relax at the end of your day. A well-designed deck can hold many memories, so be sure to do your research before choosing the best decking material for your budget and lifestyle.
There are plenty of affordable deck materials and other ways to cut costs during deck construction. One way to lower your price point is to consider building a smaller deck. Since the majority of your budget will go toward decking material, using less material overall can save you a significant amount.
One low-cost, yet high-quality, type of decking material is pressure-treated decking, “PT decking,” or “treated decking.” This type of wood has been chemically treated to resist things like rot, termites and other decay.
To keep your pressure-treated decking in the best shape, you’ll need to clean it about twice a year with the right tools like a deck cleaner and a pressure washer used on a low setting. If you decide to use soap on your deck, use one that is free of harsh chemicals. You should also inspect your deck once a year for any loose nails or screws and replace them when necessary. If you take good care of treated decking, it can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
Cedar decking is a step above treated decking, but it comes with a slightly higher price point. Some people choose cedar decking material over treated decking because of its warm, brown hue mixed with golden-tan. Cedar decking lasts about as long as pressure-treated decking, but it requires a commitment to upkeep. In order to prevent rot, make sure to keep the surface free of dirt and leaves, and move any furniture or plants after a heavy rainfall to allow the deck to dry thoroughly. You’ll need to restain cedar decking about once every five years.
If you’re willing to invest a little more into your deck, composite decking from distributors such as Fiberon and DuraLife are a great choice. With quality composite decking, you can achieve the same timeless look as a wood deck but with much less upkeep. Since composite is made out of both wood and plastic, or wood and vinyl, you won’t have to spend countless hours scrubbing and restaining composite decking like you would for traditional wood decking. Using a mixture of these materials results in a deck that will last up to 20 years because composite decks are less likely to rot, crack and splinter from moisture.
If budget is not much of a consideration but time spent performing regular maintenance on the deck is, consider vinyl decking. This low-maintenance, durable material can last anywhere from 20 – 25 years. Vinyl decking is also stain resistant and easy to clean, so don’t worry if your toddler decides to explore their creative side and make a canvas out of your new vinyl deck.
Before you commit to any one type of deck material, keep in mind that there are some additional costs you’ll have to pay and potential deck-building guidelines you must follow before you can soak up the sun. You’ll need things like Westbury aluminum railings, custom balusters and fasteners, and if your deck sits more than 30 inches above the ground, your banisters should be less than four inches apart to keep your pets and kids safe. You might even decide that you would prefer to hire a licensed contractor to help build your dream deck.
For whatever your project you find yourself undertaking or if you’re ready to add a custom deck to your backyard, partner with a reliable supplier like Mid-City Lumber to help you explore every option for your budget and lifestyle. We’ve been serving the people of Mid-Missouri since 1969, and we’d love to help you pick the right type of material for your deck too!