As you may have noticed, purchasing PVC or composite materials for decking is not unlike purchasing a new car; there are a variety of makes and models, and every one comes with a salesman who will swear on his mother and unborn children that he’s giving you the best deal. Some are only after your money and couldn’t care less what product they are actually selling you. But if you really dig deep, there are quite a few gems waiting to be unearthed. The key is knowing where to stick your shovel into the dirt.
To help you determine where to start digging, here’s some informative advice we found from Craig Webb, published last June in Pro Sales Magazine:
“…manufacturers say dealers should press suppliers to give more details about what’s in their recipes, such as what percentage of wood flour is in the total mix (over 60% should ring alarm bells), what size wood particles are used (in most cases, the smaller the better), whether the polyethylene used is low- rather than high-density (higher-density polyethylene tends to be stronger, but it’s also more expensive, and the sourcing can be spotty), and how much of a filler like talc is used (over 10% may signal cost-cutting).”
There are numerous factors involved, as evidenced by Webb’s article, and he makes several valid points. No product is perfect, and having realistic expectations is key for any major purchase or investment. Whether you are a decking contractor, material dealer or do-it-yourselfer, getting to know your product is critical to the success of your project. For more information on the PVC and composite decking market, read our previous blog posting.