Why choose to install decking? Many people choose deck installation for a variety of reasons. It adds an extra aesthetic to your garden or entertainment area. It can provide an area for entertaining guests which avoids making a mess of any lawn area due to constant footfall. Decking can also add value to your house, usually in excess of the actual costs to buy and install. Decking can also provide a safe area for children to play on. Another reason is that it can be used to cover any unsightly features in your garden such as drains.
Until relatively recently, you could only choose wooden decking. Most deck contractors would only offer two types of wood for decking; cedar or redwood, both of which remain very popular today. Cedar is the cheaper option of these two, and you should always choose the darker colored version. Redwood is a less common and more expensive option. Though lightweight, it is also strong. The darker version of this has natural resistance to rot which can be a major benefit. When looked after properly, both these wood types will last for anything up to 20 years.
Something of a newcomer to the decking scene, vinyl decking is PVC (Polyvinyl chloride). The overriding advantage of this decking material is that it is by far the easiest material to maintain, and is often the choice of business premises such as cafes or restaurants for that very reason. With no wood content at all, vinyl decking comes in various colors including white and different shades of brown. Pricing for vinyl decking is around the same as redwood decking, though the solid core version is slightly more expensive. PVC decking usually comes with a warranty for 20 or 25 years.
Deck installation costs are usually similar when it comes to materials. A very popular choice of material is composite decking. It is a combination of wood fiber and recycled polyethylene. Available in a wide variety of colors and textures, this decking material closely resembles real wood in appearance. It is also low maintenance and has similar warranties to vinyl decking. What makes composite decking stand out from the pack is its versatility. The composite planks can be heated and then bent into different shapes offering something a little different to customers. Prices are similar to vinyl decking.
High End Decking
If you are looking for something a little special, then you may want to consider a South American hardwood called ‘Ipe’. It is more expensive than the other decking materials but has a beautiful appearance and is very durable. It also needs sealed on an annual basis to preserve its rich look. One thing to note is that Ipe is very difficult to work with, and this means that labor costs are significantly higher than those incurred with other materials. It is also advisable to check that Ipe has been sustainably sourced if you are buying this wood.