Adding a deck or porch to your home is a smart investment. In the short term, it deepens the enjoyment of your home’s outdoor space. In the long term, it increases your home’s resale value. Since cost is the main driving force in most homeowners’ decisions, knowing which matters most to you will help you pick the right material, whether it’s a deck, porch, patio, or path.
Also referred to as engineered wood, composite decking is made from a combination of wood scraps and a binding material. For instance, sawdust combined with plastic. The result is a low-maintenance alternative to wood decking.
Pros of composite wood: Composite decking requires no sanding or staining to install. It eliminates the need for time-consuming maintenance, too, thanks to a long-lasting, easy-to-clean engineered shell that resists fading, scratching, and stains. Various color options combined with a uniform shape create a stylish look. It’s also sustainably made from recycled materials.
Cons of composite wood: Composite decking costs more than wood, at least up front. Quality varies by brand, too. Some look obviously fake, some get slippery, and some don’t resist mold or mildew, especially in the shade. And though composite decking lasts a long time, it’s not immortal. Age and decay look pronounced when they show up. Should composite decking sag or bend, it tends to be worse compared to wood.