Best Materials for Deck
Choosing the ‘best’ materials for your deck will depend on budget, personal expectations, design of your garden and location. Having an understanding of the ongoing maintenance and installation costs, as well as how sustainable the products are will arm you with the knowledge needed to make a decision on what is financially and personally best for you. We want to help you prioritise what the right choice is for you as a Melbourne homeowner, so we have reviewed several decking materials that will help you build your dream deck for you and your family to enjoy all year round.
Traditional Wood Decking
While wood is one of the cheapest decking options available, it requires a substantial amount of annual upkeep and maintenance compared to other products available. Wood decking needs a lot of upkeep as it decays and cracks easily compared to other materials because it absorbs moisture from the air. Each year you can expect that you will need to sand, stain and seal the deck. With this type of care and attention you can expect your deck to have a lifespan between 10 and 15 years. While the time frame is small in comparison to some of the other products, if it’s a wooden finish you desire then this will be the right choice for you. As is possible with wooden products, if your foundations begin rotting then a full deck replacement would be the cheaper option.
If you like the authentic feel and quality of wooden decking it will accelerate the look of your backyard.
If you are after something with less maintenance, the durable option of Composite Decking is perfect for you. While it is more expensive than wood, there are little ongoing maintenance issues as they don’t splinter, decay or weaken; and the lifespan is considerably larger at 20 to 30 years. Composite decking is made out of a wood-plastic material which means they are moisture and stain resistant. Perhaps its best feature is that it’s made out of sustainable materials which is more environmentally friendly than other decking products. Find out more about composite decking here.
Plastic decking is durable, meaning just like composite decking maintenance is fairly easy. It is made out of 100% synthetic materials but the costs are considerably higher than wood or composite decking. While plastic doesn’t readily absorb moisture, it also doesn’t fare well in sunlight and absorbs the heat during summer which makes it hot under foot which is not ideal underfoot for children or pets. One of the biggest concerns with plastic Decking is that it looks cheap, particularly in comparison with composite decking which is another non wooden product.
While the upfront costs of aluminum decking are substantially higher than all the options we have discussed above, long term comparisons make it a viable option because it doesn’t require the regular maintenance, especially compared to wooden decking. In its favour, aluminum decking is long lasting, lightweight, structurally sound and resistant to decay. Aluminum decking is great for high-traffic areas of the garden and its non-slip surface means it is safe for all members of the family, including pets.
Choosing the right decking material for an addition to a garden project will differ from owner to owner. Some choices will be based on appearance, costs or the ongoing care that it requires. While others will be happy with the long-term maintenance that is required to have a natural wooden deck, they will in turn enjoy the benefit from it being the cheapest option at the time of construction. Spending more at the outset of a project with little to no maintenance requirements, composite decking will probably be the best option.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be a difficult decision because you can employ the knowledge of your professional contractor such as a local deck builder in helping you make a sound decision most suited for your Melbourne property.