When you are building your outdoor living space, you have many options when it comes to deck boards. The most common choices are hardwood, softwood, and composite deck material. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each type.
Hardwood Deck Boards
The most common deck material is hardwood. It is a natural choice and one of the most affordable options. Homeowners love the beauty of the wood grains and patterns. One of the drawbacks of wood is that you need to maintain it and re-stain it about every two or three years. They are also prone to rot, insect infestation, and mildew if not kept clean and well-maintained.
You have many options available that include oak, maple, and exotic hardwoods. You can also choose reclaimed woods. Pressure-treated wood can help alleviate the rot and insect issues for some time, but it also adds extra expense. Over time, natural wood deck boards can become grayed and curled on the edges.
Softwood Deck Boards
The most common softwood deck material includes cedar and other redwoods. These types of wood are soft, but they are also resistant to rot, insects, and mold or mildew. Even though the wood is softer than hardwood, cedar also tends to last longer because of its resistance to damage. One of the downsides of cedar is that it can be expensive. It is also prone to splintering and becoming damaged easily. Many homeowners prefer the color of the wood and grain patterns of natural cedar.
Composite Deck Boards
One option that is quickly gaining in popularity is composite deck material. Many colors and patterns are available, and some of them closely mimic the natural patterns of wood. One of the reasons why composite deck boards are so popular is that they require less maintenance than natural wood. They are UV-resistant and will not fade. They tend to last for 25 years or more. Many of them are made from recycled wood, and they do not need to be re-stained or painted.
Most woods need to be scrubbed frequently to prevent mold, but composite decks are naturally resistant to it.
One of the downsides of composite decks is that it is often slightly more expensive than natural wood materials. When choosing between wood and composite, you have two decisions to make. You must determine whether you would rather pay more now for a deck that will last for many years and is lower maintenance, or whether you want to stick to a lower budget and perform the necessary maintenance. If you need any help deciding which one is right for your needs, our team will be happy to discuss your dreams with you.
Why Royal Deck
Royal Deck has been providing excellent deck resurfacing, deck installation, pergolas, gazebos, and louvered roof systems to areas in the Chicago area. With over a decade of experience, our team knows how to give you the best result. We specialize in the needs of Chicago homeowners and can help you create the perfect outdoor space. Give us a call, and we can help you transform your backyard into a relaxing sanctuary.