There are many different factors to take into consideration when choosing materials for an outdoor project. Your Northern Virginia deck will be exposed to the wind, rain and sleet. It will also get a certain amount of sun, depending on whether your home faces north, south, east or west. Your budget, tastes and lifestyle will also come into play when making this important decision. What are your options and how can you make the best possible choice in deck materials?
Pressure Treated Wood
One of the most popular options available for exterior wood projects, pressure treated wood has a variety of benefits. It is virtually maintenance free, thanks to a chemical treatment embedded deeply in the lumber that offers lifetime protection against rot and pests. But the green tinge of this wood will eventually turn grey. For a burst of color or to match your outdoor décor, pressure treated wood can be stained with specially formulated products available at leading building supply stores.
Pressure treated wood decks are the most affordable option and can be designed to suit nearly any landscape. In fact, whichever material is chosen for the deck board, railing and accessories, the frame of your Northern Virginia deck will be constructed out of pressure treat simply because of the durability and strength this product offers.
Cedar is another option for those who love the feel and charm of a wood deck. Tannins in this lumber make it naturally rot resistant for decades, although it will require annual maintenance to retain the warm beauty.
Cedar decks need to be washed and stained at least every other year (depending on the exposure and traffic). If you do not enjoy outdoor tasks or tedious jobs, this is not likely to be the deck material for you. Hiring a painting company to refinish your backyard deck will cost a few hundred dollars, but many find that the time and effort saved is well worth the money.
There are a variety of composite decking products on the market today. Most of them are made from a mixture of vinyl or plastics and wood by-products (fibers, sawdust, etc.). This composition allows them to echo the texture of wood while providing the durability and maintenance free features of plastic. There are a few different colors available, mostly in the brown and grey tones.
Composite deck boards are available in both extruded (with a hollow interior) and solid forms. They may or may not have a groove down each side for use with hidden fastener systems. It’s worth noting that specialty screws are required when fastening composite products. These fasteners are designed to avoid the mushroom effect that mars the surface and appearance of this type of board. They are also color coded for a nicer finish.
Another maintenance free choice that is likely the most expensive option, vinyl decking will provide a lifetime of dependability. Available in white, tan and grey, vinyl deck boards are hollow and most often attached with a clip system. A textured finish on the top prevents slipping and thicker vinyl has greatly reduced any squeaking. Vinyl is cool to the touch no matter the weather and looks especially attractive on front porches.
You also have the option of choosing aluminum or tempered glass for the railing on your Northern Virginia deck. All of these materials provide a comfortable, attractive structure that will compliment your home and lifestyle for years. Work with your deck contractor to choose the materials that best suit your family.