When we spend, we want to get the best value for our money. The same goes for when building a deck. Since it’s a big project, we want it to be worth it. In decking, the two most common materials are wood and composites. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages. But as far as price goes, composites are generally more expensive than wood. So if you’re planning to use composite decking boards, is the extra cost justifiable? Should you really use composite decking?
How Expensive Are Composites than Woods?
Price is a major deciding factor when undertaking big projects. When comparing wood and composite decking, you’ll notice that composites are significantly more expensive than wood. If we look at the price of the materials, you can expect to pay at most twice as much for composite boards compared to wooden boards. Composite decking boards can cost around £8 to £12 average per meter.
Softwoods can cost around £3 to £6, while hardwoods can cost £4 to £10. Take note, some of the best hardwoods can be more expensive than composites, but those are a different topic. An example is Ipe, which sits at £8 to £15 average per meter. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go with the cheapest materials. You’ll want something worth every quid. With that said, is the added extra cost of composite decking worth it?
Why Getting Composite Decking Is Worth it
Composite decking has many advantages over the wooden deck. These advantages make it worth spending a little more on the materials. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using composites when building a deck.
Low-maintenance – Softwoods are the cheapest materials for decking. Unfortunately, they are also more difficult to maintain. Most softwoods require sealing and painting, to protect the deck from moisture, which should be done every one to three years. It prevents the deck from cracking and splitting. Hardwoods are slightly easier to maintain but still require sealing and painting. For wooden decks, you will also need deck cleaning products. You will also need to be careful what to use since some chemicals are too strong for wood.
So what about composites? Composite decking is low-maintenance. You don’t need to seal or paint the deck. You can use sealants on the deck, but most manufacturers don’t require you to do so. As for cleaning, you will only need to use basic household products. A soft-bristled brush, water, and a bucket of soapy water are usually the things you’ll ever need.
Long Life – Another reason why composite decking is worth it is for its long life. Softwood decking can last for at most 15 years if maintained properly. Hardwoods can last up to 25 years. Some of the most expensive ones will last for more than 25 years.
What about composites? Composite decking is long-lasting. They can last for at least 25 years. Some manufacturers even promise that they can last up to half a decade. That’s significantly longer than most softwoods. Only a few, and the most expensive hardwoods can last as long, or sometimes longer, as composites. So if you plan to have the deck for a long time, that extra cost for composites is worth it.
More Durable – Perhaps one of the reasons why most people get composite decking is due to its resistance to the issues found in wooden decking. For instance, wooden decking boards are susceptible to moisture, mould growth, and insect damages. It’s the reason why wooden decks should be sealed and painted once every few years. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity also causes wood to shrink and expand, which can lead to warping, cracking, and splintering. Another issue with wood is that it can fade to grey due to prolonged UV exposure. Some people love the weathered look, but some don’t.
So what about composite decking? Composite decking is quite durable compared to wood decking. They are resistant to moisture and mould growth. And because most composites have capped exteriors, they are resistant to insect damage as well. Like wood, composites also expand and shrink. However, they rarely bend or crack. You also don’t need to worry about their colour fading to grey, which instead turns into a lighter shade.
These are only a few reasons why the extra cost makes composite decking worth it. If you want a long-lasting, low-maintenance, and durable deck, consider composite decking as one of your options.