Which Type of Material Should I Build my Deck With?

So, you are planning to build a new deck for your home and family to use this summer, one the first questions you should ask yourself is “What type of material should I use?” Determining the right material for your deck can be as important as the design of the deck itself. Each type of material has different cost and level of maintenance associated with it.

Wood Decking

Redwood, Cedar and Mahogany

This material is the most popular amongst homeowners because of the overall natural beauty that it gives to your deck and home.


  • Has a natural smell and look
  • Strong material that can last over 20 years with proper maintenance
  • Proven resistant against bugs and rot


  • Some hardwoods can be some of the most expensive material
  • Requires the most maintenance out of all materials
  • Price and availability are limited depending on the region you live in

Pressure Treated Wood

This wood is treated with toxic and corrosives that help it stand up to the elements better than redwood and cedar.


  • Cheaper than redwood and cedar
  • Ideal for structural and surface decking
  • Even more resistant to water, rot and insects
  • Can last 15-20 years if maintained properly


  • The chemical treatment gives the wood an unnatural color
  • Wood tends to bend and warp easily
  • Requires yearly washing, sanding, and sealing

Composite Decking

This material is made from a blend of plastic and waste wood fiber. The benefit of choosing composite decking is that it comes in over a dozen different colors to match your home.


  • Weather and stain resistant
  • Lightweight material
  • Lower maintenance required than regular wood
  • Relatively cheaper than wood, depending on brand


  • Has an unnaturally look and feel to it
  • Depending on brand, material can be slippery
  • Not resistant to mold and mildew
  • Tends to bend easier than wood

Vinyl Decking:

This material is made like a composite type deck, but is 100% plastic. Vinyl decking is easy to work with and most vinyl decking brands come with a lifetime warranty against cracking and rotting.


  • Requires the least amount of maintenance of any material
  • Variety of color options to choose from
  • Resistant to weather, insects, mold and mildew
  • Does not crack or spilt


  • Can not be painted or stained
  • One of the more expensive materials to use
  • Reflect heats, causing decks to seem warmer

If you feel you need more professional advice on choosing the right material, please call Boston Porch and Deck Co. and we will help you pick out the right material for your new deck!

Posted in Decks
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