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Comparing Composite Decks vs. Wood Decks: Is a Low Maintenance Composite Deck Worth the Money?

If you’re considering a new deck for your Nashville area home, are you tangled up in the debate about composite vs. wood decks? Some homeowners just go with their gut, which – right or wrong – makes the decision easy. Others feel better if they do some research and take the time to compare options. At Archadeck of Nashville, we would like to make the process easier for you by reviewing the most important considerations.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

We talk with homeowners daily about the pros and cons of wood decks vs. composite or synthetic. The question of whether composite/synthetic decking is the best value comes up all the time. While it’s important to remember that price is not the only consideration, we understand that it is a key factor in your decision.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Keep in mind that we want to design and build your deck regardless of which material you choose! Archadeck of Nashville is the area’s premier deck builder – and that includes decks of all types: composite/synthetic as well as wood decks. We have built our reputation on creating beautiful custom outdoor living spaces that meet the needs of each client while respecting their budget.

Composite Decking Just Keeps Getting Better

In our long history of working with homeowners to design and build a range of outdoor living spaces, we have seen the composite decking industry evolve. Composite deck boards of 10 or 20 years ago cannot compare with those manufactured today. Companies that produce composite and synthetic decking have been improving their manufacturing processes since they began. So, our first piece of advice is not to base today’s decision on yesterday’s composite decks.

Better appearance: The low-maintenance decking materials produced today look better than the earlier versions. Manufacturers pride themselves on composite decking that simulates wood grain. And the “fade and stain warranties” these companies offer keep getting longer as the products improve and hold their like-new appearance over time.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Better durability: Today’s low-maintenance composite and synthetic decking boards will last longer than those that came before. We have already been hired to replace decks built with early versions of low-maintenance decking. Decks we build today with the newest composite materials are going to be around for a long, long time. You can depend on the manufacturers’ warranties – 25 years and more in many cases – as an indication of product durability.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money? Better value: The longer a composite deck lasts, while still looking great, the more value it delivers. As we have worked with each new version of composite decking, we have seen these decks increasingly hold more value over time.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Many homeowners assume that because pressure-treated wood is less expensive than composite decking, a wood deck will save them money. Initially, that is true. But if you look at the cost over time, you see a different picture.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Our cost comparison of wood decks vs. composites centers on one thing: a deck that’s durable and looks great, year after year. If you purchase a wood deck, you need to understand that keeping it looking great requires an ongoing financial investment. When exposed to sunlight, rain and snow, wood will degrade over time. To protect the wood and restore its appearance, you need to sand, stain and seal the wood annually – or at least every other year. Otherwise you will soon have a weathered deck that has seen better days.

Not only do you need to add up the cost of supplies for deck maintenance, you may need to consider the cost of labor as well. Do you plan to do the work yourself? Many homeowners lose their enthusiasm for the chores of deck maintenance after a few years. At that point, the cost of maintaining a wood deck will include labor as well as supplies.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Finally, even a well-maintained pressure-treated wood deck will not last as long as a composite or synthetic deck. Between the effects of sun, weather, moisture and insects, the life expectancy of a wood deck is shorter than that of a low-maintenance deck. A top-of-the-line composite deck may last twice as long as a wood deck. So, you may as well include the cost for a second wood deck after your first one deteriorates to the point that it is unsafe.

Read more: Choosing A Low-Maintenance Deck Will Pay For Itself Sooner Than You May Think ...

If you only plan to stay in your current home for a few years, the deck’s longevity may not be important to you. However, you can look at this another way, too. Future home buyers may prefer to purchase a home that already has a durable, low-maintenance deck.

Rely on Archadeck, Your Nashville Composite Deck Experts

At Archadeck of Nashville, we specialize in working with TimberTech/AZEK low-maintenance decking materials. Our partnership with TimberTech/AZEK includes a labor warranty to match the manufacturer’s warranty – a value you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Many homeowners don’t realize that working with composite/synthetic decking materials is different from working with wood. Working with low-maintenance boards can be a little tricky, and installation requires a different type of fasteners. Joist requirements vary, too. Why is this important? Not all outdoor living contractors have the necessary experience with low-maintenance decking. If your composite decking isn’t installed correctly, your manufacturer’s warranty may be voided. This is not something you want to find out after you have a problem with your new deck! Avoid the risk by working with the seasoned experts at Archadeck of Nashville.

Avoid 2022 Price Increases by Locking in Your 2021 Pricing Now

Whether you want your new deck built with wood or low-maintenance composites, please be aware that we typically see price increases each January. It is standard practice for lumber companies and composite decking manufacturers to raise prices during the first quarter of each new year. Even though lumber prices have been unusually high during the pandemic and may stabilize later this year, we expect increases in 2022. You can lock in your deck price at 2021 levels if you sign a contract with us before the end of the year.

Composite vs. Wood: Does Building a Wood Deck Save Money?

Whether you want to add a wood deck or a low-maintenance deck, we would love to design and build your project. Why wait? Contact Archadeck of Nashville today to schedule a design consultation for your new or expanded outdoor living space.