Redwood Decking vs. Composite Decking

Outdoor space is near the top of the list of must-haves for homebuyers and those contemplating home improvements. Decks provide a place to relax and gather with family while enjoying the beauty of your backyard. Decks can run across the entire length of the home or create a more intimate space just outside the back door. While design is important when thinking about adding a deck to your home, a critical decision is what materials you will want your builder to use. There are many choices, but the main options are wood or composite. Here, we consider redwood decking vs. composite decking.

Redwood Decking

The natural beauty of redwood decking is unparalleled. Redwood, like cedar, is naturally rot and insect-resistant. It also resists weather damage. If properly cared for, a redwood deck can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years. Redwood is among the more expensive options for wood decking, but many homeowners appreciate its warm appearance and natural feel.

However, the “properly treated” part can be a sticking point. All wood decks require regular maintenance. To stay in good condition, homeowners will need to sand and stain or seal natural wood decks every few years. Without proper protection, decks absorb water and can warp, crack, or splinter. Even rot-resistant wood species can’t hold off the effects of weather forever.

Composite Decking

Composite decking consists of wood fibers coated in plastic. This kind of decking is extraordinarily durable and, unlike most wood decking, often comes with a warranty. Some homeowners don’t like it because it simply isn’t as attractive as wood. Although composite decking has developed over the years to mimic natural wood, and a greater variety of colors with wood-like textures has become available over the years, plastic is still plastic. A composite deck won’t fool anyone into thinking it’s real wood. They also tend to retain more heat in the summer, and they can be slippery.

However, composite decks require far less maintenance than natural wood decks. They don’t need sanding or sealing, just a good washing once a year. They won’t splinter, stain, or rot and are UV-resistant, so they won’t fade. Composite decking is more expensive to manufacture than natural wood, so the upfront costs can be greater. Savings come on the maintenance side.

Selecting materials for your deck comes down to cost and personal preference. Choosing redwood vs. composite decking may come down to cost, maintenance, or appearance. Homeowners seeking an easy-to-maintain solution may elect composite, while those who emphasize natural beauty choose redwood. Gannage Construction is a home remodeling company in Paso Robles, California, that can help homeowners select the right kind of decking for their needs.

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