Post From Wood to PVC: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Deck Material for Your Home

Modern Patio & Backyard Design Ideas

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Importance of choosing the right deck material

A deck is a great way to extend your living space and enjoy your outdoor area. However, choosing the right deck material is critical to ensure that your investment lasts for years while maintaining its beauty and functionality.
The right deck material can enhance your home’s value, complement its architecture, withstand extreme weather conditions, and remain safe and durable for you and your loved ones. When deciding on a deck material, it’s important to consider factors such as budget, climate conditions in your area, maintenance requirements, eco-friendliness, aesthetic preferences, and intended use.
Not all materials are created equal in terms of cost-effectiveness or performance. Choosing the wrong deck material could lead to costly repairs or replacements down the road.
Overview of different deck materials available
There are several different types of materials commonly used for decking projects. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully considered before making a final decision. Some popular options include wood decking (pressure-treated lumber, cedar, redwood), composite decking (a combination of wood fibers and plastic), PVC decking (made entirely from plastic), aluminum decking (lightweight metal), among others.
Each type offers unique benefits in terms of durability, appearance, sustainability features as well as maintenance requirements. Understanding what each option has to offer will help you make an informed decision when selecting the best fit for your home.

Purpose of the guide

The purpose of this guide is to help homeowners navigate through their options when it comes to selecting the right deck material for their specific needs. We will explore each option’s pros and cons alongside tips on how to maintain them so that you can make an informed decision about which one suits you best.
By understanding each type’s unique properties as well as its advantages compared to other available materials, you can make a more informed and confident decision about your deck construction project. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or seeking the services of a professional contractor, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to help select the right deck material for your home.

Wood Decking

Pros and Cons of Wood Decking

Wood decking has been a popular choice for homeowners for many years due to its natural beauty and classic appearance. One of the biggest advantages of wood decking is its versatility.
It can be stained or painted in a variety of colors, and it is available in different sizes and styles to complement any home’s architecture. Additionally, wood decking is relatively affordable compared to other materials, making it an attractive option for homeowners on a budget.
However, wood decking also has several disadvantages that should be considered when choosing the right material for your deck. One major issue with wood decking is that it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good over time.
Wood decks need to be cleaned and sealed or stained regularly to prevent rotting, warping, or cracking caused by exposure to moisture and sunlight. In addition, some types of wood are more susceptible to insect infestation than others.

Types of Wood Decking (Pressure-Treated, Cedar, Redwood, etc.)

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood decking material for your home, there are several options available in the market. Pressure-treated lumber is one popular choice due to its affordability and durability. It’s treated with chemicals that resist rotting and insect damage but can also release harmful toxins into the environment if not disposed of properly.
Cedar decking is another option that’s known for its natural resistance against insects and decay due to its natural oils present in the wood itself. Cedar also offers a beautiful reddish-brown hue that can enhance your home’s curb appeal.
Redwood decking is another durable option with natural resistance against insects and decay as well as being eco-friendly since it comes from sustainable sources. The color varies from reddish-brown hues similar to cedar or light reddish-pink tones.

Maintenance Requirements and Costs

As mentioned, proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your wood decking. Regular cleaning and sealing or staining will depend on the type of wood used and the amount of exposure to the elements. The average cost for deck maintenance can vary based on factors such as size, materials, location, and professional vs.
DIY work. For example, pressure-treated lumber requires more frequent maintenance than cedar or redwood since it’s more susceptible to cracking and splintering due to its high level of moisture content.
The estimated cost for deck maintenance could range from $300-$700 per year depending on these factors. Wood decking is a versatile material that offers a variety of options in terms of types, colors, and styles.
While it’s an affordable choice compared to other options like composites or PVCs, keep in mind that it does require regular maintenance to keep it looking good over time. When choosing between different types of wood decking materials consider climate conditions as well as budget restrictions before making a final decision.

Composite Decking

Composite decking has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. Made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic, composite decking offers the look of natural wood without the hassle of constant upkeep. Here are some pros and cons to consider before choosing composite decking for your home.

Pros of Composite Decking

Durability: Composite decking is highly resistant to both scratches and stains, making it a great choice for families with children or pets. Aesthetics: With a variety of colors and textures available, composite decking can mimic the look of natural wood while still providing the benefits of modern technology. No splinters or warping: Unlike traditional wood decks, composite decking is resistant to splintering and warping, making it a safer choice for bare feet.

Types of Composite Decking

There are two types of composite decking: capped and uncapped. Capped composite boards have an added layer on top that helps protect against fading, staining, and scratches.
Uncapped boards do not have this protective layer but are still highly durable due to their composition. Capped composite boards tend to cost more than uncapped boards but may be worth the investment if you want a deck that will withstand harsh weather conditions or heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear and tear.

Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirements for composite decking are relatively low compared to other materials. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water is usually all that’s needed to keep your deck looking new. It’s important to note that using harsh chemicals or pressure washing can damage the surface of the boards, so be sure to follow manufacturer instructions carefully.
Costs for composite decking vary depending on the brand and quality of the boards. While initially more expensive than traditional wood decking, composite decking can save homeowners money in the long run due to its low maintenance requirements and longevity.
Overall, composite decking is a great choice for homeowners who want a low-maintenance deck that still offers the look and feel of natural wood. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your budget before making a final decision.

PVC Decking

Pros and Cons of PVC Decking

PVC decking is a popular choice among homeowners due to its durability and low-maintenance requirements. One of the biggest advantages of PVC decking is that it’s impervious to water, so it won’t rot or mold like traditional wood decking. It’s also fade-resistant, so it maintains its color over time.
Another benefit of PVC decking is that it doesn’t require staining or sealing, which saves both time and money in maintenance costs. However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well.
PVC decking tends to be more expensive than other decking materials, which can be a deal-breaker for those on a tight budget. Additionally, while it’s true that PVC doesn’t require painting or staining, some homeowners may dislike the artificial look of the material compared to natural wood.

Comparison to Other Materials

When compared to other materials such as wood or composite decking, PVC has several distinct advantages. As previously mentioned, it’s highly resistant to water damage and fading from sunlight exposure. Additionally, because it doesn’t contain any organic material like wood does, there aren’t any insects or pests that will try to eat away at the material over time.
In terms of maintenance requirements, PVC is one of the easiest materials to care for since it doesn’t require any staining or sealing like wood does. However, some homeowners have expressed concern about potential scratches on the surface of their deck since these can be more difficult to repair than scratches on a wooden deck.

Maintenance Requirements and Costs

As previously mentioned, one major advantage of choosing a PVC deck is its low-maintenance requirements compared with other materials like wood or composite decking. You won’t need any special cleaners or treatments for your PVC deck; just regular soap and water should suffice in most cases. The biggest downside to PVC decking is its cost, which tends to be higher than other materials.
On average, PVC decking costs about 2-3 times as much per square foot as traditional wood decking. And while you’ll certainly save on maintenance costs in the long run with a PVC deck, it may take several years of use to recoup the upfront investment.
Overall, PVC decking can be a great option for homeowners who want an easy-to-maintain and durable deck that will last for years without rotting or fading. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your final decision, especially when it comes to budget considerations.

Aluminum Decking

Pros and Cons of Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is a relatively new material in the decking industry. It is made from extruded aluminum planks that are interlocked to form a watertight surface.
One of the biggest advantages of aluminum decking is its durability. It is resistant to rot, warping, insects, and fire.
It can also withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Another benefit of aluminum decking is its low maintenance requirements.
Unlike wood or composite decking, it does not require staining or sealing. It can be cleaned with soap and water or pressure washed to remove dirt and debris.
Additionally, aluminum decking does not fade or discolor over time like some other materials. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider when choosing aluminum decking.
One downside is that it can be more expensive than other materials like wood or PVC decking. Additionally, while it doesn’t require maintenance in the same way as other materials, it may require occasional cleaning to prevent buildup of dirt and debris.

Comparison to Other Materials

When comparing aluminum decking to other materials like wood or composite decking, there are several factors to consider beyond just cost and maintenance requirements. One major difference between aluminum and wood or composite decking is weight.
Aluminum planks are much lighter than wood or composite boards which can make installation easier and quicker. Another factor to consider is strength and durability.
While all types of decking will eventually show signs of wear over time, aluminum has been shown to hold up well against heavy use and exposure to the elements due its resistance to rotting, insects, and fire. It’s also worth noting that while PVC decks may have similar low-maintenance requirements as aluminum decks do not have the same level of strength or durability.

Maintenance Requirements & Costs

Aluminum decking is relatively low maintenance compared to other materials like wood or composite decking. It does not require staining, sealing, or painting and can be cleaned with soap and water or pressure washed to remove dirt and debris.
In terms of cost, aluminum decking is typically more expensive than wood or PVC decking but less expensive than composite. However, the long-lasting durability of aluminum can make it a worthwhile investment in the long run.
When it comes to repair costs, aluminum decking can be more expensive than wood due to the specialized tools and expertise required for repairs. For this reason, it’s important to choose a reputable installer who has experience working with aluminum decking.

Other Considerations

Budget Considerations

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a deck material is budget. The cost of materials and installation can vary widely, so it is important to set a budget before selecting the material for your deck. Keep in mind that while wood decking may have a lower upfront cost, it may require more maintenance over time, which can add up in costs.
Composite or PVC decking may have a higher upfront cost but require less maintenance in the long run. Additionally, you should factor in any additional features you may want on your deck such as built-in seating or lighting.
It is also important to do your research and get quotes from multiple contractors before making a final decision on your deck material. Different contractors may have different pricing structures and some may offer discounts for certain materials or services.

Climate Considerations

Another important consideration when selecting a deck material is climate. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or frequent precipitation, some materials may be better suited for your climate than others.
For example, wood decking can be susceptible to rotting and warping in humid climates, while composite decking may warp or fade in direct sunlight. Aluminum decking can become hot to the touch during extreme heat.
When considering climate, it’s also important to think about how often you will use your deck throughout the year. If you live in an area with harsh winters and plan on using your deck year-round, you may want to consider a material that will hold up well during winter weather conditions.


For homeowners who are environmentally conscious, eco-friendliness is another important consideration when choosing a deck material. Wood decking sourced from sustainable forests can be a good option for those who want an eco-friendly option that still offers natural beauty and durability.
Composite and PVC decking are also options to consider for eco-friendliness, as they are often made from recycled plastic and wood fibers. Aluminum decking is also a good option for those who value sustainability, as it is 100% recyclable.
It’s important to do your research and select a deck material that aligns with your values and environmental goals. Keep in mind that materials marketed as “green” or “sustainable” may still have negative environmental impacts, so it is important to ask questions and read up on the production process of the material before making a final decision.


In this guide, we have covered the most popular deck materials available on the market today: Wood, Composite, PVC and Aluminum. We have looked at the pros and cons of each material, as well as their maintenance requirements and costs.
Choosing the right deck material for your home is an important decision that should be made carefully. We hope that this guide has provided you with useful information to make an informed decision.

Recap on different deck materials covered in the guide

When it comes to wood decking, it remains a popular choice due to its natural beauty and affordability. However, wood decking requires regular maintenance such as sanding, staining and sealing.
Cedar and redwood are great options for those who want a natural look but don’t want to deal with high-maintenance demands of other types of wood. Composite decking has gained popularity over recent years due to its low-maintenance requirements and durability.
Capped composite offers even better protection against weather elements such as sun damage or fading resulting in longer lifespans compared to uncapped composites. PVC decking is also low-maintenance but can be slightly more expensive than composite decking.
It’s known for being slip-resistant making it a perfect choice for pool decks or areas where moisture may accumulate like docks or marinas. Aluminum decking is highly durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions without fading or rusting making it ideal for coastal regions or areas prone to wildfires.

Final thoughts on choosing the right deck material

When choosing which material is right for your home’s deck project consider factors such as budget concerns, climate considerations such as local weather patterns. Additionally consider environmental factors like eco-friendliness before making a final decision about which product will work best given individual needs! Ultimately when investing time and money into creating an outdoor space you want something that looks beautiful while also being functional; hopefully with this guide you have a better idea of which material will work best for you!