Wood is much less durable than a concrete or composite deck. But that only counts if you do the work. A firm believer in educating readers without boring them, she … While composite decking is made to look like natural wood, some people prefer the authenticity of actual wood. From an aesthetic standpoint, that's a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preferences. You should also plan to stain or paint your deck every other year, and you may need to pressure-wash it annually. Much Less Maintenance Required. Additionally, wood decks are known to splinter or warp due to the elements or normal wear and tear from use. In many cases, a composite deck will cost more than a wood deck at the outset but possibly less than a wood deck over time, thanks to minimal upkeep. Comprehensive real estate investing service including CRE. All you really need to do is give it a thorough clean every year or two. The cost to install a composite deck is roughly double the cost of wood when you factor in the higher materials cost plus labor. Wood vs. Composite vs. Vinyl Decking: Our Pick. But they do require some maintenance, and other factors come into play as well. Composite, on the other hand, doesn't require sanding, sealing, staining, or painting at all. While wood decks were clearly winning the bids until some ten years ago, the composite decking materials improved immensely in terms of structure, durability and safety. These 10 real estate plays are the best ways to invest in real estate right now. Composites are naturally resistant to splintering, cracking, warping, mold, and nearly every other problem that wood decking faces. By clicking GO!, you acknowledge that you have read Trex's Privacy Policy. This is especially important for walking on the deck barefoot, and for children and pets, whose feet are sensitive. Learn More. This number includes expenses for building and maintaining the structure. Composite Decking vs. Wood Cost. A Comparison Of Composite Decking Vs Wood Decking Image Credit: hgtv.com Composite Decking Pros: 1. Find out more by signing up below. When it comes to wood, the biggest pro is that it’s economical, long lasting and comes in several different types of wood from cheaper, pressure-treated options like yellow pine or higher quality varieties like cedar and redwood. They don’t typically need sanding, sealing or staining. However, due to the pros associated with composite decking -- including the low maintenance, durability, and the long-lasting nature of the material -- the cost of composite decking can be easily offset over time, eventually saving you money in the long run. Plastic decking is available in dimensions similar to traditional lumber, and costs roughly the same per foot as composite deck materials. Pros – If you want little maintenance, composite boards take the prize. Adding a deck to your home is a great way to make the most of your outdoor space. But if your composite deck does fade over time due to direct sunlight exposure, you can stain or paint it to make it look new again. No sanding, staining, or painting here—a little soap and water or a quick power washing is all the maintenance Trex requires. Put Real Estate’s “Unfair Advantages” to Work for Your Portfolio. © 2018 - 2021 The Motley Fool, LLC. SPILLS, SCRATCHES, AND STAINS! You may find that a composite deck lasts twice as long as a wooden one. But not all decking material is created equal, and you may be torn between natural wood or composite, a material designed to mimic the look of wood. It’s clear from this article that both real wood and composite wood have their pros and cons for your wallet. While each have its own share of pros and cons, including cost, durability, maintenance/labor and lifespan, the checkmarks in the pro-composite decking column seem to be stacking up. Composite Decking Maintenance. Our best recommendation is to to build with composite over wood because of the advances made on it through the years. Turns out that composite wood is a great invention, which taps into the burgeoning American desire for outdoor living, spending time in the backyard with all the comforts of indoors. However, there are many dedicated wood users who advocate for the material, and thus the composite decking vs wood debate is still in full force. These small risk factors add up to a longer life overall. However, as durable as wood decking is, it’s still far more susceptible to maintenance costs, time and effort. Because choosing the right deck materials can mean the difference between locking in a beautiful, high-performance outdoor living space, or choosing a lower-quality wood deck that comes with long-term costs, fleeting aesthetics, and more maintenance.. While wood requires a lot of routine maintenance, composite … Maintaining your deck properly can help prevent all of these things, but you may reach a point when you need to replace a wooden deck -- if not the entire structure, then at least the top that's most exposed to the elements. Additionally, most composite decks have built-in UV resistance, so they won’t fade or lighten as much as natural wood would over time. Why consider the benefits of composite decking vs wood? Let us help you navigate this asset class by signing up for our comprehensive real estate investing guide. We have seen it warp, chip, crack, degrade, swell, stain, and mold, just to name a few things. In contrast, composite decking is a “set it and forget it” approach to design and color. Learn more.Already a member? www.cafemedia.com/publisher-advertising-privacy-policy, Extensively researched articles in the areas of Real Estate Taxes, REITs, CREs, Regulation A and The argument of wood or composite deck all comes down to preference in the end. Most decks require a full on retreatment consisting of sanding, cleaning, staining or painting and sealing every two to five years. The longevity of it is outstanding! Pressure-treated: ≈ 400 to 575 square foot deck; Composite: ≈ 220 to 310 square foot deck; As you can see, a natural wood deck can be half the price of a deck made of composite material. The general lifespan of a pressure treated wood deck is between ten to fifteen years. A local deck builder told us that in dark colors, composites ran 8-10 degrees hotter than wood. TimberTech offers warranties up to 50 years depending on which style you choose. Wood decking means the deck has to be painted or stained to get the desired color, and periodically you will need to deep-clean and repaint or restain the deck due to fading. Wood decks take constant care. Natural Wood vs. Composite Deck Surface: Pros and Cons Listed – What’s Best For Your Deck? Composite decking is an environmentally friendly lumber alternative that combines plastic and wood fiber. The lowest cost per square foot for a pressure treated pine deck sells for about half the price of composite, $15 versus $30 installation, respectively. To learn more about CafeMedia’s data usage, visit: www.cafemedia.com/publisher-advertising-privacy-policy. If your budget for installing a deck is limited, you may choose to stick with wood. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for composite manufacturers to discontinue colors and styles, so finding the matching pieces to replace these damaged parts of a deck can be quite challenging. Yet, like aluminum decking, it’s still necessary to keep a composite deck clear of debris. A composite deck isn’t vulnerable to termite damage, nor does it warp or fade as much as real wood does. If you simplify it to cost averages per square foot installed, a pressure-treated wood deck costs $15 to $25, cedar or redwood costs $30 or more, ipe costs well over $50 and composite decking material ranges from $30 to $45, typically. Real estate has long been the go-to investment for those looking to build long-term wealth for generations. Upkeep. Material Workability When evaluating wood vs. composite decking, here are key issues to consider: Looks While early-generation composite decking tended to look artificial and plastic-y, some modern composites are available with a variegated appearance, and randomized embossed grain pattern so … The Verdict: Is Real Wood or Composite Wood More Economical? By signing up to be a member of Real Estate Winners, you’ll get access to our 10 best ideas and new investment ideas every month. At one time, composite decks were touted as ‘maintenance free’; this has since been changed to ‘low maintenance’. Natural vs Composite Wood – What’s the Big Difference? For starters, composite decks are nearly maintenance-free. Composite Deck Pros — — Composite and plastic decks don’t need sanding or staining. This Site is affiliated with CMI Marketing, Inc., d/b/a CafeMedia (“CafeMedia”) for the purposes of placing advertising on the Site, and CafeMedia will collect and use certain data for advertising purposes. Though composite decking is the more expensive choice initially, over time, it can pay for itself and save you a world of maintenance. Copyright © 2021 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. When you’re the one buying, you have to balance the price you’ll pay up-front, if you’re okay doing maintenance year-after-year, and the outdoor decor you like best. If you just absolutely love the rich, natural look of real wood and the time and money for maintenance doesn’t bother you, then perhaps natural wood is for you. Composite is a phenomenal material to build your custom deck with. Composite decks are made of durable, long-lasting materials that are stain-resistant and will hold up well to harsh weather, as well as natural wear and tear for up to 50 years. In comparison to our redwood warranty, we provide a 15 year warranty for our composite deck builds. Composite, though designed to look like wood, isn't actual wood. A wood deck can be refinished every few years to look like new again. Your selection of wood vs. composite decking mostly boils down to your preference regarding aesthetics. Buying a Home in These 7 States Gives You the Most Bang for Your Buck. 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