The Benefits of a Composite Deck Over a Wood Deck
Chances are you already have some first hand experience with a wood deck. You have seen the boards split, crack and splinter from sun and weather exposure. You've seen the boards and nails start pulling up and you may have even stubbed your toe on one! You've probably spent more than one long, hot weekend out there sanding and sealing your wood deck trying to get it back to some sort of presentable shape so that keeps up with the rest of your well-kept home.
The primary advantage of using wood decking and rails boils down to one thing-cost. Pressure treated southern yellow pine is cheap and it gets the job done. Beyond that, it is difficult to come up with any other reasons to use it when you consider how quickly pressure treated decking begins to doing all the things nature designed it to do- split, crack and rot. It's not a question of if, it's when and all the sanding, sealing and staining a wood deck owner can look forward to are all steps to delay the inevitable.
Composite decking like Trex Transcends is now in its third and fourth generations. Initial composite deck products had problems. Lots of problems. Manufacturers were all racing to get products into the marketplace and were figuring things out as they went. Most first generation composite decks built in the early 2000's have either failed or been replaced. Many people give composite decking a bad wrap because those early products deserved it. The internet is full of people complaining about first generation composite deck boards when you research it. Those complaints never go away but what you may not know is that the latest generations of composite decking produced by major manufacturers like Trex, TimberTech, and Fiberon have addressed all of the shortcomings of past generations and perform exceptionally well.
We primarily install capped composite decking like Trex Transcends. These boards come with 25-year no fade/no stain warranties which is really a testament to their true performance. Compared to wood decking, the advantages of composite decking jump out which is why we have stopped installing wood decking.
- WARRANTY: All composite decking we use comes with a performance and labor warranty. Wood does not.
- DURABILITY: Trex Transcends and Fiberon Horizon decking are designed to look like perfectly stained and maintained tropical hardwood for 25 years with washing being the only required maintenance. Wood requires sanding, cleaning, staining and sealing yearly to keep from turning into a disaster. Composite decking is also much denser than most typical wood decking. In short it is much tougher than wood.
- FIT AND FINISH: Since composite decking is manufactured, it has tighter tolerances and quality control than wood decking. This means that we can install it much more precisely and uniformly than wood. The fit and finish of a Trex deck will not change over time. Wood naturally warps, twists and splits as Mother Nature intended it to.
- HIDDEN FASTENERS: Trex decking and the other composite decking we use are installed with hidden fasteners for a beautiful fastener-free surface. Wood decking can be installed with hidden fasteners however the fasteners can cost more than the decking which stops most people from using them. It's like putting chrome wheels on a beat up used car-it doesn't make sense.
- LOOKS: It's fair to say that it is really difficult to fool someone into thinking a composite deck is a wood deck from a looks perspective. The reason for this is that no wood deck ever looks quite as good as a composite deck so the "perfection" of its color, grain and uniformity is the tip off to your brain that it's not the inconsistent, warped, and cracked wood deck you've come to associate with what makes a deck a deck. Composite decks look great for the long haul with very low maintenance over the years. Wood degrades and its long term maintenance is a hidden cost not enough people consider.
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How Our Consultations Work
Where some contractors offer “Free Estimates”, the time and expertise we invest in creating projects of the caliber you have viewed on this website requires that we charge $75.00 for our initial consultation
. Of course, the consultation fee is credited to the final investment
of your project upon entering into a agreement with us. For over a decade, we have created stunning projects that endure by utilizing premium, low maintenance building materials. Although price ranges vary among project types, replacing a deck or adding a porch room requires a significant investment. We hope that after reviewing our galleries and videos and reading our philosophy and approach you’ll feel it’s worth investing $75.00 to see what we can design for you. Here’s how our full design workflow works:
- INITIAL SITE VISIT: We’ll visit your home to discuss your project goals and take the required measurements for our internal design work.
- FEASIBILITY STUDY: We will consider zoning issues, building code requirements, and other technical aspects that may affect your project.
- DESIGN PHASE: We will develop a few different design options for your project based on our initial site visit.
- BUDGET PREP: We will contact you on the phone to discuss the budget prior to sending you a detailed text-based scope of work for each design concept.
- SELECTIONS: Having received accurate budgets for several design concepts and being comfortable with the investment required, you will meet with us at our office and showroom to see those design concepts, make changes and tweaks to your liking and check out a variety of deck and railing options at our showroom.
- AGREEMENT: With an exact design and scope of work defined, we will create an agreement, put your project into our schedule and begin the permitting process for you.