With all of us spending more time at home, we have received many calls about deck remodels or additions. Therefore, we thought it would be an appropriate topic for this month. Specifically, the best and most common decking products for your Lakes Region home.
- Decking Boards: Most boards are sized at 5/4” x 6” (actual dimensions are 1” x 5 ½”), but there are some narrower and wider options as well.
- Fasteners: Secure the deck boards from beneath the surface creating a clean, smooth finish. Each decking product requires a different type of fastener. Our preferred fastener is a hidden fastener for a nice clean look.
There are pros and cons to each type of decking. The right choice comes down to your budget and objectives. The one request we hear most from home owners is the desire for a low maintenance deck. PVC and Composite have a much higher up front cost but they also require much less maintenance.
If you have any questions about which product might be the right fit for your deck or porch project, drop us a note. Below you will find a brief description of the most commonly used decking products in the Lakes Region along with the approximate cost of the product itself. Please note: these costs are for comparison purposes only, they do not account for labor, fasteners or staining/finishing.
PRESSURE TREATED PINE: $2.50-$3 PER SQUARE FOOT
One of the least-expensive decking materials you can buy, pressure-treated decking is used on about 75% of all U.S. decks. It is chemically treated to resist rot, mold, and insects. However, pressure treated pine is usually made from inferior-grades of pine or fir that tend to crack and warp over time, making maintenance an ongoing chore. In the past, pressure-treated wood was treated with chromated copper arsenate, a suspected carcinogen. Today’s P-T wood uses safer, less-toxic preservatives.
WHITE CEDAR: $4-$5 PER SQUARE FOOT
The natural beauty of real wood is unmatched. Cedar wood has tannins and naturally occurring oils that are resistant to rot and insects. The wood should still be protected with stain and sealer. This helps keep the wood free of cracks and splinters. Without protection, cedar will eventually turn a soft gray color. The life expectancy is 15 to 20 years.
PVC: $10-$12 PER SQUARE FOOT
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking is rapidly gaining favor as a material that is as close to maintenance-free as decking will ever be. PVC has no wood content. Premium varieties have a cellular core wrapped with an exterior layer of solid PVC and come with a 25-year warranty.
There are many different color options available. PVC also tends to be the most popular choice for curved decks since the product lends itself well to bending the boards for the curved sections.
COMPOSITE: $10-$12 PER SQUARE FOOT
Made of wood fiber combined with recycled polyethylene, composite decking is a good-looking, low-maintenance material. Composites come in a broad range of colors and textures that closely approximate real wood. Premium varieties come with a 25-year warranty. Although maintenance is low, the wood content can host mold if not cleaned with a deck wash every 3 to 4 years.
MAHOGANY: $7.50-$9 PER SQUARE FOOT
Mahogany is an exotic hardwood. The advantage of a hardwood, like mahogany, is that its dense composition makes it resistant to infestation and rot. It also contains natural tannins that work similarly to the chemicals added to pressure-treated lumber. Expect mahogany to last 35-50 years with annual maintenance.