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The perfect deck will blend form with function. It’s a relaxing extension of your home, blending the comforts of the indoors with the pleasure of being outdoors. Whether you use yours for barbequing, suntanning, or reading, it’s a mini-escape literally just outside your doorstep.

However, it must be durable enough to withstand the effects of heat, cold, rain, sun, insects, and general wear.

Sonoma County Deck Contest Winner

There’s a broad range of choice between wood and composite (a combination of wood fiber and plastic). But how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s compare the benefits…

Composite

  • The addition of plastic to the wood fibre makes this a harder material, making it more durable
  • Requires less maintenance to upkeep
  • Great for regions with extreme climates
  • Does not require an annual staining or weather-sealing finish
  • Many varieties are made of recycled materials and are an eco-friendly choice
  • Surfaces can be finished to repel UV rays
  • Surfaces can be finished to resist splintering
  • Some planks are dual-sided with linear and wood-line textures, making a customized pattern possible

 

Yakima Prestige Composite Decking - Mahogany

 

Wood

  • A classic choice like cedar creates a more traditional look to your deck
  • naturally UV ray-resistant choices available, like red cedar
  • Can offer structural strength to a whole property
  • Can be good for wet climates: redwood and cedar have natural water-repellant properties
  • Most varieties have a natural resistance to insets and decay
  • Can be more economical for drier climates in which you can get away with a softwood like pine
  • Exotic woods (like Ipe, Cumaru, and Tigerwood) are currently a popular choice for their unique grains and colors.
  • Exotic woods can be three or more times as hard as traditional woods, increasing durability.

Pavillion Jarrah Engineered Wood Decks

 

For a durable, low-maintenance material that will hold up well in extreme climates, go for composite decking. However, if you’re after a more traditional look that requires some up-keep, wood decking might be the right pick for you. For more information, take a look at our articles on composite decking and how to choose wood decking for your climate.

 

 

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Alexandra Wong

Alexandra Wong is interested in design and home decor. She has lived and studied in Canada, England (Oxford, no less), and the United States. She writes pieces on art and lifestyle that reflect her passions.