Driving home the day-before-yesterday around eight-ish, I realized that it was practically dark outside, even if only a couple of weeks ago it was still pretty bright. Autumn is nearly upon us as we enjoy our late summer.
Time marches on.
Yet, just because it will soon be time for fewer moments in our outdoor living spaces in which many memories were made this summer, one thing we’re learning as our 21st Century progresses, is that those outdoor living spaces are an integral part of our homes no matter what time of year it is.
We’re begining to come around to the fact that any separation between outdoors and indoors is a pretty blurry one. So, it makes sense to think about how to define our outdoor spaces, even as weather turns more crisp, and as evenings aren’t quite as drenched in summery daylight as they have been in previous months.
Decking as a base for outdoor living spaces
One direction many homeowners take to bring outdoor living spaces into focus has been their decks. Specifically, many have turned to composite decking, just because it’s so versatile in all kinds of climates. But more recently, the industry has put a lot of effort into expanding what a composite deck can mean to an outdoor living space on more than just that functional front.
They’ve approached the manufacture of composite decking to concentrate more and more on aesthetics – on how it looks, matched with how that look will last for the long-term.
Composite decking evolution
This evolution of composite deck manufacturing is driven by the expectations of savvy homeowners. These people are thinking about getting more bang for their buck, particularly now in this economy. If you can get a functional deck likely to last for decades, as well as enjoy a product that’s going to look fantastic for that length of time, it makes sense to do so.
Besides that, a lot of this drive to evolve what composite decking looks like in 2012 comes from what composite decking manufacturers are seeing in other markets, like the increasing impact of solid hardwood decking products. Not everyone has the budget for a solid wood deck. The question is then about how to take a composite deck product that is durable, made from recycled materials, and within the price range that many homeowners are more comfortable with, and make them reflect that same natural beauty.
Modern composite decking: “how does real wood look?”
Manufacturers of composite decking products have thought about how real wood actually looks to help guide the evolution of their own product lines. A lot of what they’ve concentrated on has to do with the color of real wood decking. In composite decking of the past, this had meant a sort of uniform gray or brown. But, in real wood, you’re seeing a subtle combination of colors rather than just the one, often depending on how the light is hitting it.
In real wood, there are highlights, and subtle differences in the appearance of a real wood decking board. And then there’s texture, and the way that the light defines the grain patterns, suggesting how it feels even before you touch it. The direction in which to take the manufacturing of composite decking, and all of the challenges in replicating these kinds of visual subtleties found in real wood is pretty clear one for the composite decking industry.
And they’ve risen to the occasion.
“Dura Shield” composite decking
One such example of modern a composite decking product is represented in BuildDirect’s recent addition to the Yakima composite decking label – Dura Shield. The idea behind this product line is more attention to detail when it comes to how each decking board looks, with all of the scratch-proof, weather-resistance that is a must-have with any composite decking product that’s worth its salt.
This is a close up of the Dura-Shield “Ipe” composite decking, one of three options in the line:
In this, you’re seeing a superior approximation of the subtleties reflected in real wood with the practical resistance mentioned above as well. Just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’ll take any mess in the James Brown sense of the word.
Outdoor living spaces in the fall
The overarching point in all of this is that an investment in a property includes outdoor living, no matter what the season. What the guiding principles of this also isn’t about the season. It’s about getting the look you’re after, and the long-term performance too, at the budgetary range that makes sense for you. And now because of keen observation that has informed the technology, a modern composite deck like the one above can help you get to where you want to be.
If you’ve got any questions about this new line of composite decking, or about composite decks in general, be sure and drop a line to the BuildDirect decking department, or call 1 877 631 2845.