Building a composite decking is a big project. And any project of this scale needs careful consideration of your budget. During the planning part, you will need to decide which type of material, either wood, plastic, or composites. Wood is among the cheapest material you can use, while composites are significantly more expensive. Naturally, you may be inclined to choose cheaper materials like wood instead of composites. So the question is; are composite deck boards worth the money? And why should you use it?
Composite Decking Board Price
Before anything else, let’s compare how much composites are compared to wood. Composite decking boards can cost up to twice as much as the cheapest softwood boards. Hardwoods are a little more expensive but generally are still cheaper than most composites. The only exceptions are top-quality hardwoods, such as Ipe and Cumru.
In total, you’ll need around £1000 in total for a complete installation of a softwood deck. 15 square meters in size. On the other hand, hardwood decks can cost up to £1500. As for composites, expect to pay around £2000. So when compared to wooden decks, composite decking is almost twice the price. But the real question is, is it really worth it?
Why Composite Deck Boards are Worth Your Money?
Despite the higher price compared to the traditional decking materials, composites are worth it. It has many advantages over traditional decking. These advantages make up for the added price. So what are these advantages?
They are long-lasting. One of the main reasons why composite decking boards are worth it is because it can last for a very long time. Softwood decks can last only up to 15 years, considerably less if you don’t maintain it properly. On the other hand, hardwoods can last for up to 25 years. As for the latest generation of composite decking, expect it to last for at least 25 years. Many manufacturers even state that their boards can last for half a decade. So a £1000 to £1500 deck which can last up to 10-25 years versus a £2000 deck which can last for 25-50 years, which is more worth it?
They are easy to maintain. Most wooden decks are very high-maintenance. Neglecting maintenance can significantly shorten the life of the deck. The maintenance cost is also relatively high. You’ll need to buy seals, paints, and stains which you need to apply to the deck every few years. You also need to sand them, You will also need to buy specific deck cleaning products to avoid damaging the deck. On the other hand, composites are the opposite. They are very easy to maintain. You don’t need to buy stains, seals, or paints. You also don’t necessarily need to buy commercial cleaning products as common household products will work fine. As time goes by, wooden decks’, due to maintenance costs, will be technically more expensive than composites.
The perfect mix of wood and plastic. Wood has many issues. First, they are susceptible to moisture and rotting. Some decking boards are coated, or pressure-treated, to lessen this. But by doing so, it presents other issues, such as the toxicity of the materials. Wood is also prone to warping, splintering, and cracking. On the other hand, despite being an excellent decking material, plastic has issues too. While it doesn’t have the problems associated with wood, it is nowhere as beautiful as real wood. Here’s where composites shine. Composites have the advantages of both wood and plastic while cancelling out their disadvantages. For instance, composites are strong against moisture and won’t rot. They don’t warp or bend. On top of that, composite decking is as wood-like as the real one.
They don’t fade to grey. One of the few issues of traditional wooden decks is that they fade to grey. When exposed to UV, decks will lose colour. For wood, they will look weathered and grey. It’s a big problem if you are living in a place with constant sunlight. While some people like this look, others don’t. The good thing is that composites don’t turn to grey. Instead, they only lighten in colour. So if you don’t like your deck turning grey, composites are very worth it.
There are other reasons why you might choose composite decking boards. In any case, they are worth the money, even if you spend a little more for them. You can expect them to be long-lasting, low-maintenance, and be very durable.