How to Select the Best Deck
Trying to decide what kind of deck you want can be a bit overwhelming. With all of the different flooring, handrail and baluster materials, as well as the many other decisions to be made, you are probably wondering where to even start. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide what type of deck is best for you and your family:
Will your new deck be used mostly for entertaining, relaxing or a simple transition to the rest of your yard/patio?
If you are looking for low maintenance, then composite or PVC will be your best option. Keep in mind that pressure treated decks do require a significant investment in time and or money to keep them looking nice.
Options do add expense to any custom deck project, but they can also make your deck stand out from the rest. Planter boxes and bench seats are great options, as well as stair and post lighting. Adding a pergola over part or all of the deck is another great option to consider.
As with most home improvement projects, there are many styles to choose from when considering your new deck. If you are building a large deck, you may want to consider using a design that has a soft radius or several offsets. If you have a large yard then a multi-level deck may be just right for you.
Do you enjoy planting flowers? Custom planter boxes are a beautiful accent to any custom deck project. Just be sure that your contractor has an understanding of proper drainage and construction so there is no risk of added moisture to your new deck.
This is one of the more commonly used products in deck construction. It makes a great structural base and is resistant to termite damage and decay. As for the surface of your new deck, this is not the best choice. It is uncomfortable on your feet and warps, cups and splits very quickly. Pressure treated decks also require a lot of maintenance. With this option, you will pay less upfront but the high maintenance costs will eventually exceed the initial cost of a composite deck. The life expectancy of pressure treated decks is about 15-20 years with yearly maintenance.
Most composite products are superior to pressure treated lumber, but not all of them are created equal. Veranda decking, Rhino deck and Trex all have a great reputation in the industry and offer top of the line products. It is important to keep in mind that while composite material is maintenance free, it is not 100% rot resistant. It will outlast a pressure treated deck by many years,but it’s greatest benefits are no maintenance and the fact that it is very comfortable on your feet. The life expectancy of a composite deck is about 20 or more years.
There are several exotic hardwoods available but the most commonly used are Ipe and Tigerwood.
Ipe, pronounced e-pay, is one of the hardest species available. It is naturally resistant to rot and decay. No special preservatives are required but can be used by choice. Ipe is also naturally slip resistant and exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment. The life expectancy of Ipe is about 25+ years.
Tigerwood is also a very durable species of exotic hardwoods and is very much like Ipe. The main differences are that Tigerwood costs much less than Ipe and the color is different. In fact, Tigerwood is mostly known for it’s wide variances in color. It is light golden brown to reddish brown with irregular black and brown streaks. This type of decking can really make your deck stand apart from all the others without breaking the bank. The life expectancy of Tigerwood is about 20 years.
If you live in the Charlotte, NC or surrounding area and are looking for a high quality deck builder, please give us a call to discuss your new project!