When building a deck at your Raleigh area home, one key consideration is whether to choose wood or synthetic decking materials. Wood is a long-standing, traditional building material for decks. Synthetic materials have become quite popular since their introduction almost 20 years, due to their low maintenance, high quality, and excellent return on investment. (Synthetic materials can also be used for building other types of outdoor living projects, such as porches or pergolas.)
So, what exactly is synthetic decking? Synthetic decking is an umbrella term that includes PVC decking, capstock, and composite decking. PVC decking is made entirely of cellular PVC and offers unmatched protection against scratches and fading. Composite decking is a combination of ground wood, plastics, and fibers. Capstock is a hybrid composed of composite interior materials wrapped in a cellular PVC shell. Combining the two products maximizes the benefits of the lower cost of traditional composite and durability of PVC.
Below are five great reasons for choosing synthetic decking. Which one interests you the most?
1. Low maintenance means no staining, painting, or sealing. Ever.
Unlike wood decks, today’s synthetic decking requires no staining, sealing, or painting. Cleaning is the only maintenance your synthetic deck might need, and that can easily be done with a garden hose and some soap. This is one of the top reasons many of our clients prefer synthetic decking.
2. No splinters = happy feet!
One of the best parts of having a deck is to be able to go outdoors and enjoy your morning coffee, or relax in the warm afternoon sun, in the comfort of bare feet…without dealing with the mess of walking in your backyard. Unfortunately, with a wood deck, that comfort can be offset when you come across a painful splinter. Splinters are not an issue with synthetic decking, so you are free to roam, barefoot and happy in your beautiful outdoor living space.
3. Synthetic decks maintain a “new” look.
Weather and sun are tough on wood. If you’ve ever had to replace a wooden fence post or deck board, you know how unsightly it can look when you mix new and weathered materials. Synthetic decking is designed to withstand exposure to weather and sun, without fading. By retaining its original color, the synthetic deck you start with is the deck you will be able to enjoy for years to come.
4. Durability is a smart investment.
Decks are a popular (and highly visible) home feature that can receive a lot of wear and tear. Whenever improving, repairing, or updating a deck, it is wise to choose materials that are long lasting. Especially if you are planning to live in your home for the long term, investing in a synthetic deck will pay off with many years of durability and low-maintenance enjoyment.
5. Peace of mind = a 25-Year Synthetic Decking Warranty
Synthetic decking materials have improved greatly since they were first introduced. We recommend TimberTech capped composite decking and AZEK cellular PVC decking as our preferred products. They have a long history of producing a high-quality product and are backed by impressive 25 and 30-year warranties.
You may be able to convert your existing wood deck into a composite deck
Synthetic decking isn’t just for new decks. You can also use synthetic materials when converting an existing wooden deck. If the existing deck substructure is in good shape, it may only need minor corrections to accommodate switching out the decking surface and existing railing. We call this re-decking and it’s a very popular option.
For example, we completed a TimberTech redeck project for one of our clients in Mebane, NC. The homeowners had an aging wood deck they wanted to resurface with low-maintenance composite decking. We used TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions in Pacific Teak for the decking and a TimberTech builder rail. With minimal changes to the structure, we were able to retrofit the old deck to accommodate the new decking and railing. The clients love it and will enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of a low-maintenance deck for many years to come.
If you are considering retrofitting or adding a new low-maintenance deck to your Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill area home, please give us a call for a design consultation at (919) 446-5585. We look forward to working with you!
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