Cost of Composite Decking
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When you are building a new deck, whether it’s surrounding your pool, your patio, or your boat dock it can be a challenge when it comes
to working out the total cost. In addition to the purchase price consideration must be given to life expectancy and future maintenance of
the decking. That’s where the cost of purchase and the cost of maintenance of composite decking materials comes into consideration.
What Is Composite Decking Made From?
Composite decking products are manufactured from a mixture of waste plastic and waste wood products. Different companies use
different recycled plastic from items such as milk jugs, grocery bags, and shrink-wrap to mix with wood filler for more or less the
same result. The plastic that is used can affect the cost of composite decking.
One benefit to using composites with wood fillers is the safety aspect. Wood fibers tend to come to the surface when wet and reduces the
chance of slipping. This added benefit should be considered in the long-term cost of composite decking, along with the lowered annual maintenance
Weathering Affects the Color of Materials
As homeowners who have had vinyl siding installed in the past learned, vinyl products tend to change colors as they age due to weather. Browns
may lighten to a grey color while some grey tends to turn darker. The manufacturer or dealer will be able to tell you exactly how the color
change will affect the one you choose.
Another thing to consider is the way composite materials react differently from wood in areas where the freeze and thaw cycle is more
frequent. Due to expansion and contraction, installation must make allowances. For example, a 10-foot-long wood board may expand only a quarter
inch in extreme heat and shrink a quarter inch in the cold. Composite materials may expand and shrink up to a half inch or more.
Estimating The Cost of Composite Decking
On the Virginia Decking and Remodeling website there is a free calculator to estimate the cost of composite decking. It offers three
different materials along with three different services to produce results for up to nine combinations of materials and services. This gives a
homeowner the opportunity to work out how they can save money on the cost of composite decking whilst at the same time enjoy
professional quality results.
In summary, the initial cost is not the only thing to consider when you’re looking at the cost of composite decking. The annual maintenance
cost is virtually eliminated saving time and money and the life of the product, while woods tend to decay over time and are subject to fungus
attacks, neither has been a problem with composites.
Another decking material that needs little attention is plastic decking. It is almost maintenance free and
offers similar performance to wood, but with a longer life.