By this time of year, most of us are suffering from “cabin fever” and the only cure is to get outside and take in some fresh air and sunshine. A deck is a terrific way to enjoy the great outdoors, whether you’re grilling, doing some container gardening, or dining with family. If you decide to build a deck, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of material to use.
Roughy 80% of all decks in the U.S. are built with wood. Homeowners love its natural look and feel and it’s generally less expensive than composite decking (a mix of wood fibers and plastic). But within the category of wood decking are two options: natural and pressure-treated wood. We’ll start with the most economical of the two:
Most pressure treated wood comes from pine or fir trees. The wood is chemically treated to prevent weathering, insect damage, and rot. It costs about $15 to $25 per square foot—about half as much as composite decking. But there's a reason pressure treated wood is your least expensive decking option: it's susceptible to splitting, cracking, and warping. Thus, it requires refinishing with a clear sealer or stain every other year. If properly maintained, a pressure-treated deck should last about 15-20 years.
Most homeowners would agree that there’s nothing more beautiful than a natural wood deck. These decks are made with higher-quality woods like cedar or redwoods, which contain natural preservatives. However, this beauty comes at a price. Natural wood decking costs around $25 to $30 per square foot—just a little less than composite boards. And when it comes to maintenance, natural wood decks are the most demanding, requiring annual refinishing.
Many of Cormack’s decks are built with ipe wood, an exotic Brazilian hardwood known for its beauty and natural resistance to rot and decay. This gorgeous wood decking costs about as much as composite decking, but it’s guaranteed for 20 years.
This high-durability decking material entered the market in the late 1990’s and is growing in popularity as companies like Trex and Timbertech continue to make improvements in the product. At $30 to $45 per square foot, it is an expensive decking option. But you’ll never have to worry about splinters, rot, or warping. While no refinishing is required, it’s important to hose it down every now and then to prevent mold growth. Because composite decking is weather, insect, and rot resistant, it may last for 25 to 30 years—or longer. Some homeowners complain that this decking material can be too hot or too cold on the feet. But if you’d rather relax on your deck than spend time maintaining it, this might be a good option for you.
Deck Builders in NH’s Lakes Region, White Mountains, and Northern ME
Thinking about building a deck? Contact the pros at Cormack Construction for a complimentary consultation. We’ll discuss your options with you and help you design a beautiful deck that you can enjoy for years to come.