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Wood vs Composite Deck?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by Roofer911, May 30, 2009.

  1. Roofer911

    Roofer911 New Member

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    I'm trying to find a very good deck building contractor for my home, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. The measurements will be 15' x 13' x 4' h, Also, any preference for wood decking compared to composite?
     
  2. gunzour

    gunzour "Living on the Edge"

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    Call Matt Robinson at Quality Projects, Inc. - 703-968-6688. Also online at http://qualityprojectsinc.com. They just finished ours and did a great job.

    My personal opinion: I like the look and feel of natural wood over composite, but wood requires regular maintenance to stay looking good. Composite might be better if you are not prepared to do the upkeep.
     
  3. twohokies

    twohokies New Member

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    We have been really happy with the timbertech decking we have on our current house; it's been about 4 years and cleans with the power washer very well. Vs. the Trex we had in our old house that stained and could never get clean. Plus it faded so much (both decks are in the same direct, afternoon sun). We prefer the composite decking b/c we were pregnant and having babies at the time the decking was going in and didn't want nites of pulling out splinters.
     
  4. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    Here's a bit from what Consumer Reports magazine has to say (you may need to be a subscriber to read the entire analysis):


    Balance the decking style you like with the cost and upkeep you can handle




    WOOD

    Best for authenticity. Most is pressure-treated pine, but pricier options include cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods.

    But wood tends to change color, crack, and absorb stains if it isn’t restained. Hardwoods and exotic choices can get pricey.

    Price About $225 to $825 or more per 100 square feet.





    COMPOSITE

    Best for the look of wood without the need to stain. It’s made of plastic and wood fiber and can be stained to change its look.

    But some offer far less resistance to slips, stains, and mildew. Most choices are heavier and pricier than the usual pine.

    Price About $425 to $650 per 100 square feet.





    PLASTIC

    Best for resisting the elements without staining. Choices include PVC and polyethylene. It’s also lightweight.

    But some can look cheap, some is slippery, and all sagged more than wood.

    Price About $525 to $625 per 100 square feet.





    ALUMINUM

    Best for toughness, rigidity, and slip resistance. Its color should last indefinitely, and its textured finish added traction in our tests.

    But it’s pricey, and no one will mistake it for wood.

    Price About $700 per 100 square feet.
     
  5. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Woods like Ipe are really beautiful =)
     
  6. Brassy

    Brassy Hiyah

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    We went with wood for the floor of our screened porch and the outside deck. 5 years later, we're afraid to powerwash the deck that was exposed to full sun for 5 summers, as the steps already splinter off on the edges. However, we never did anything to the wood. Kept saying we would get to it...
     
  7. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    same here.... *sigh* oops =)
     
  8. glencastle

    glencastle The Paterfamilias

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    We also have timbertech and, while not perfect (it still requires some power washing to remove stains/mildew) it beats the heck out of the wood that we had at our old house. Even though we gave it a yearly coat of water seal, it still splintered (no fun when you have kids) and aged.

    Another thing to consider is that the newer pressure treated woods that don't use CCA can corrode nails faster...at least that was the case 3 or 4 years ago when we decided to go with composite.
     
  9. luftinarr

    luftinarr Member

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    Unless you enjoy splinters go for composite. Kids or no kids...I hate pulling splinters!
     
  10. Mike-and-Kim

    Mike-and-Kim Member

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    We have an ironwood deck stained mahogany. It is a very hard wood that does not splinter. We really prefer the natural wood, but this is obviously a personal preference. There is a roof above, so that has probably helped the finish last. The finish on the steps has a few small spots missing, probably due to the exposure. I really recommend a ceiling fan outside, keeps the mosquitoes away.

    - Mike
     
  11. Roofer911

    Roofer911 New Member

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    This site is amazing, I really appreciate everyone's input! My old house where I use to live on Long Island had a large wooden deck and I always worried about splinters. I think this time I'll go with composite.
     
  12. twohokies

    twohokies New Member

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    For what it's worth, we're now looking into getting composite to pull up the decking in the kids' playhouse/swingset. They got up there this weekend sans shoes and we've spent the past 2 nights pulling splinters. I think my 1 year-old hates me :devil2:. Composite = no splinters. Good for me!
     
  13. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Now, there's a whole gamut of quality differences in composite decking, too.. ;) Trex is the most popular still but not at the top end in terms of quality from all the stuff I've read on deck contractor forums, etc. -- do your research... daunting but worth it in the long haul.
     

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